Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Customer Satisfaction - Pizza-2-Go know it

Finally, someone understands the concept of customer satisfaction!


Here I am sitting at work, attending a training session, and wondering what to have for lunch. We decided earlier on Pizza and were going to go with Domino’s, but I suggested Pizza-2-Go (for obvious cost-saving reasons in that they have a 2-for-1 special all week, unlike Domino’s who only do that on Monday, bastards).

So, I sat down with my posse and we started dissecting the menu to see what we will be having for lunch. Unfortunately, they don’t have buffalo wings :(

I made a note of my overly large order (keep in mind we’re 12 hungry heffers), and took to the phone to place it.


(PS the pic was pitch black but I found a nifty prog that does photo edits!)


Please bear in mind that to this date, Papa Johns do not deliver all over Kuwait! Despite their being in the market for quite some time, they do not deliver to Shuwaikh.

Back to the topic; the guy on the other side was extremely pleasant, and joked about the abundance of spice-heavy pizza’s in the order. We took two of their economic meals along with a few extras. Overall, we’d ordered 4 large pizzas + 2 medium, 4 pastas + 2 bolognese and 1 fettucini, 2 orders of wedges and garlic bread, 2 cokes, + 2 Caesar salads and 2 regular salads. The grand total was KD29.750, well within the daily budget.

Now the order has been made, and I asked for a one o’clock delivery. They called up to verify my address, again, a pleasant voice on the phone, courteous and polite.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the following message on my phone a while later:

“Sir, again this is pizza 2 go reggai we send you extra 2 bottle sprite and 1 slice of cake for you. Thank you”

Now if that is not customer satisfaction, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS!

They are downstairs as we speak, and my mouth is watering.

Courtesy of KuwaitPaperDump, here is the menu. Do enjoy the pizza, it is light, and will not leave you feeling stuffed, unless ofcourse you stuff yourself, then you will be stuffed.








 




Monday, September 27, 2010

Linkin Park - The Catalyst

Linkin Park... FTW

God Bless us Everyone
We're a Broken People Living Under Loaded Gun
And it cant be Outfought, it Cant be Outdone
It cant be Outmatched, It cant be Outrun

God Save us Everyone
When we Burn Inside the Fires of a Thousand Suns
For the Sins of our Hands, the Sins of our Tongues
the Sins of our Father, the Sins of our Young


Friday, September 24, 2010

Skype Vs. Nymgo - Which to Choose

I remember way back in the day, when mobiles were non-existent, and methods of communication were limited to phone calls on a land-line, the golden age of personal time, as now your mobile phone, which is as close to you as your internal organs, rarely leaves your hand, and it is highly possible to find a guy in the john and on the phone at the same time! We used to record tape messages for our relatives back home and send them via any travelling friend! Talk about out-dated information! Although it is rather cool to play those tapes now and hear how I used to sound 14 years ago!

Voice over Internet Protocol, that is the future of telecom today.

Is VoIP costing the Ministry of Communications? Yes. But, I believe in Laissez-Faire, a free market economy, survival of the fittest, and if VoIP provides me with the same quality of calls at a mere fraction of the price, then it has my full support.

But, which to choose? The two leading ones currently, in my honest opinion, are Skype and Nymgo.

A couple of things off the bat, these are not free. They are also not like PC-2-Phone or Net-2-Phone where you go out, buy a card, scratch, dial etc. (i.e. a neanderthal experience, and highly wasteful in time and energy).

So, before you choose a provider, make sure you have the resources to charge your account. Nymgo is now blocked in Kuwait, yet there are ways to bypass that block (not http://www.hidemyass.com/ , but a more professional method, follow me if interested to know :P ) and recharge it. I have a story about that which I will share in a moment.

So, the best way to charge your account is via Internet shopping card (better received through NBK banks as opposed to Gulf, because with NBK you charge it only with the amount you need to make a purchase, as opposed to Gulf requiring a minimum balance be maintained, I have another rant against The Gulf Bank, which is the worst bank in the Middle East, but I am saving that for another time). Using an internet shopping card is safer than using your VISA (Internet Shopping Card is a Visa Virtuon), in the unlikely case your transaction is hacked, the most the culprit can hope to steal is whatever meager amount you have in it, and via online banking and currency conversion, you can always put just the right amount for your particular transaction.

I digress.

Now, Skype Vs Nymgo.

Both sites are blocked in Kuwait, but to the internet savvy, no block can remain impenetrable.

Lets start with Skype. When I started using Skype, it was ok, I miss the opening theme to making a call, it was funny. However, more often than not, I would hear no audible sound from the other side, whilst the meter was running, meaning the call was connected, but the audio was not working. It happened on several occasions. And that was the main reason I decided to jump ship from Skype to Nymgo. Plus, Skype took a long time to connect the call, as in to hear the dial tone, and at times, the dial tone was not heard, and the call was picked up. So overall, it was messed up. Whether they fixed this issue or not is beyond me.

Phishers unfortunately prey on the helpless, and have moved to Skype as well, being a social platform. I did get one woman claim to be the girlfriend of my long lost relative who shares my same name (who incidently also shared my uncles name!), and had passed away, leaving a huge inheritance with no heir apparent. YAWN.

However, one thing I do miss about Skype is the SMS. See, with Skype you could link your phone number to your calling account, meaning when you made international calls your number would show up to your recipient. This worked with SMS as well. You could TXT someone for example, and if they simply clicked REPLY, it would reply to your phone directly (i.e. you do not look like a cheapskate sending messages from a website; and you end up saving on the cost of interational TXTs, a double entente).



Now, Nymgo. Nymgo surpasses where Skype fails, and fails where Skype surpasses. The calls are much faster, the dial tone is instantaneous. Its rates are less than Skype, by almost half, purportedly.

However, the txt messages show as being received from http://www.nymgo.com/, hence, your recipient would have to identify you, go out of message reading mode, and into message sending mode, find your name, type a response, send. Then, lather, rinse, repeat. A rather tedious process.

Now, Customer service at Nymgo is terrible. I recently had a problem with my payments. Reason being, I believe, the fact that my payments were coming in to their system through a Germany Router, via Kuwaiti credit card. They must have suspected theft. And they asked me for a copy of my passport, bank statment and credit card.

There responses are automated, and lacking of proper customer service techniques, of showing you a persons name, so as to atleast refer to that person on any future complications regarding the same issue.

Now, as to which to choose, the choice is yours, and yours alone.

Enjoy.


Special High Intensity Training - Do you qualify?

This memo will be sent out to all employees soon:




TO: ALL EMPLOYEES

FR: MANAGEMENT

RE: SPECIAL HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING


In order to assure the highest levels of quality work and productivity from employees, it will be our policy to keep all employees well trained through our program of SPECIAL HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING (S.H.I.T.). We are trying to give employees more S.H.I.T. than anyone else.

If you feel that you do not receive your share of S.H.I.T. on the job, please see your manager. You will be immediately placed at the top of the S.H.I.T. list, and our managers are especially skilled at seeing that you get all the S.H.I.T. you can handle.


Employees who don't take their S.H.I.T. will be placed in DEPARTMENTAL EMPLOYEE EVALUATION PROGRAMS (D.E.E.P. S.H.I.T.). Those who fail to take D.E.E.P. S.H.I.T. seriously will have to go to EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE TRAINING (E.A.T. S.H.I.T.). Since our managers took S.H.I.T. before they were promoted, they don't have to do S.H.I.T. anymore, and are all full of S.H.I.T. already.


If you are full of S.H.I.T., you may be interested in a job training others. We can add your name to our BASIC UNDERSTANDING LECTURE LIST (B.U.L.L. S.H.I.T.). Those who are full of B.U.L.L. S.H.I.T. will get the S.H.I.T. jobs, and can apply for promotion to DIRECTOR OF INTENSITY PROGRAMMING (D.I.P. S.H.I.T.).


If you have further questions, please direct them to our HEAD OF TRAINING, SPECIAL HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING (H.O.T. S.H.I.T.).


Thank you,



BOSS IN GENERAL

SPECIAL HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING

(B.I.G. S.H.I.T.)

Why India does not have Professional Wrestling

This is the unholy love child when Bollywood meets World Wrestling Entertainment, can you imagine sitting through an hour of this every week on TV?

I grew up watching Wrestling, despite the disclaimers, me and my brothers always tried this at home, a couple of years of chokeslams helped my younger brother be taller!

Our parents would leave us sitting with a crowd watching Wrestling outside the shopping centers in Kuwait City, we would even make a dinner of it and get Shawerma from a nearby shop, it was classic.

The sound effects are ....................... (fill in the blanks)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Religion Vs. Science: Who is Winning?

Computers show how wind could have parted Red Sea

New computer simulations have shown how the parting of the Red Sea, as described in the Bible and the Quran, could have been a phenomenon caused by strong winds.

Seriously? Timing is everything, was it a mere coincidence that this event just so happened to coincide with the Israelites plight from the Pharoah? That must be when they conned the phrase "In the nick of time".


63mph winds from the east could have pushed the water back at an ancient river bend

The LHC, thats Large Haldron Collider for those of you who have not read Angels & Demons, attempts to create "The God Particle".

Two beams of particles will race in opposite directions around the tunnel, which forms an underground ring 17 miles in circumference. The particles will be guided by more than a thousand cylindrical, supercooled magnets, linked like sausages. At four locations the beams will converge, sending the particles crashing into each other at nearly the speed of light. If all goes right, matter will be transformed by the violent collisions into wads of energy, which will in turn condense back into various intriguing types of particles, some of them never seen before. That's the essence of experimental particle physics: You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out.


 

Next thing you know, Science will be calling religious texts "Great works of Fiction".

It is unfortunate that the Human Condition dictates to tear down one ideology for another. The state of peaceful co-existence is but a Utopian Dream, for in reality, we live in a massly Secular world, that prefers Facts over Faith and Blasphemy over Beliefs.

The Church tried to dispell science as witchcraft and wizardry in the Middle Ages only to have science come with Avengence this day in age, Ironic.

The phrase "heading to a hell in a handbag", comes to mind.

In the war of the media, guess who is winning? As religions are too busy battling each other, they are unaware of the growing masses of those who believe in Science, or simply do not believe in God.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What is Wrong with the Arab World?

Like the carbon paper in a notebook, the Arab world has tried to be but a mere carbon copy of its Western counterpart, and failed miserably, blindly emulating ideologies without fully understanding them.

There are a myriad of cases to further commiserate the truth behind this claim; celebrities, local media, law enforcement etc. let us explore some of those now.

Celebrities and The Media; In the Arab world, we strive so hard to emulate our Hollywood counterparts, yet we fail miserably. Our “cinema” is a joke. Our “celebrities” and I use the term loosely, spit out a movie every public holiday, whereas in Hollywood, a film can be teased 3 years prior to its release.

There is no sense of Social Responsibility, with our “celebrities” lending their endorsements to food items and junk, where their Hollywood counterparts are actually taking interest in global events. Fundraisers, concerts, charities for those victims in Haiti, Pakistan, Katrina etc. When was the last time you heard of an Arab celebrity taking interest in the less fortunate? Giving up their free time to help those in need?

Never, all we hear about is their scandals and tax evasions, failed marriages and failure soap operas.

Angelina Jolie, the UN Ambassador of Goodwill, takes her job seriously. You can find pictures of her in Afghanistan, taking an interest in the plight of women there. What do we have? Haifa Wahbi is thinking about donning a veil. Adel Emam is or used to be an “ambassador of goodwill”, what did he ever do?

I believe the only person we can be proud of is Egyptian Actor Hussein Fahmi, who resigned that post [Ambassador of Goodwill] in protest of the UN's inaction to halt the Israeli aggression against innocent civilians in Lebanon, especially the most recent heart wrenching Qana bombings that kill over 60 civilians, mostly women and children.

The movie World Trade Center (starring Nicholas Cage) was recently playing on MBC 2. Director Oliver Stone took the tragic events of that fateful day and molded them into a movie that is meant to inspire hope, and show the world exactly how hard the USA was hit.

Is it any wonder why they hate us? Children will watch this movie, watch how “helpless” the US was against these foreign harbingers of terror and destruction. In a nutshell, it elicits sympathy and empathy from the world. What of the thousands who die in Iraq as a result of those same harbingers? Afghanistan? Gaza? Are they not victims too?

The veil of secrecy and decency is pulled over our eyes, and we see not but failed, slapstick comedies or attempted thrillers. No one ever discusses the important issues. Our attempt at humor is dry and ill-mannered at best, and attempts to raise social awareness are so apparent in the scripts they come off as idiotic, if not moronic and completely out of character, with the actors going as far as to gaze off into the distant horizon, as if at some distant yet unreachable Utopia.

I believe the latest issue of the proposed burning of the holy quran is testament to my point. The entire western community condemned the acts of this lunatic; Public Relations at its best. Representatives of other Religions, other Government Agencies, NATO, the Pope, Secretaries of States, the President even! They quickly disassociated themselves from this madman. Had the Arab world, either as a whole, or separately, risen up to condemn the acts of those vile, wretched harbingers of terror, immediately after the happenings of that tragic day, maybe we Arabs would not be viewed as evil today.

Nut how could we? Would it not be hypocritical for a government to condemn the acts of such villains, whilst at the same time arresting a “wizard” and planning his execution? Or inquiring whether a doctor would be able to medically paralyze a person as a result of them paralyzing another individual in a fit of rage at one point in time? Or sentencing a 75 year old woman to lashing as a result of her entertaining unrelated male guests in her house?

Take for example the recent incident in Arizona regarding the legislation that would allow law enforcers to randomly stop anyone in the street and ask for their identification documents. They viewed it as a breach of civil liberties, and let us face the facts, when it comes to illegal aliens residing within a country, I believe the USA trumps all the Arab world.

Here in Kuwait for example, is it not commonplace for a police officer to stop anyone in the streets and ask for their civil ID? Or stop a bus at random and check that everyone has their civil ID? At times I would live in fear of going to the grocery store right across the street, for I would need to carry my civil ID with me, and losing it is a whole other hassle.

One time, me, both my brothers and a friend we hadn’t seen in ages were sitting outside our building near a shop that is adjacent to it. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time, it was late and we lost track of time, a patrol car passed by us and stopped, asking for IDs. Now, I was standing right infront of my building, but the officer wouldn’t allow me, a child, to run upstairs and fetch my ID. He even went as far as saying he could pin a felony on us and say we were attempting to break into the shop we were standing by.

Civil liberties?

Human rights?

Are these terms virtually nonexistent in the State of Kuwait?

Here is another example, also recently, a blogger posted a picture of a garbage dump near their house, and how a bulldozer would come in to take the trash away. Mere days after its posting, the trench is cleared out and filled, and the Governorate sends him a thank you note. Good, right? Something is being done? What of the residents of a building whose owner went as far as pouring CEMENT into the sewer system, causing houses to flood with filth, in an effort to get them to move out?

I believe the key word I am looking for is DUALITY. The existence of duality in the Arab world. The hunger of those who have to stand in lines for hours on end just to buy a loaf of bread that is subsidized by the government, which is not fit for consumption by swine, much less people? Whilst others host wedding receptions for their daughters by flying in catering from Europe. Unbelievable? Believe it. It is true.

We in the Arab world do not value human life. Is it not commonplace to find laborers on a building site with no hard hats? Forget about that, what about welders, handling flames that cut through steel cables, at an intensity of hundreds of degrees, with no proper eye gear, with those steel filings flying like a plethora of fire-flies around them?

There was a great show during Ramadan on MBC1 called 5awa6er, or خواطر for those who wish to view it on Youtube, and I was so shocked at the comparison of muslims in the arab world to their counterparts in Indonesia and Malaysia. We take Islam for granted; it is our historical heritage as opposed to actual way of life. Is it also not commonplace here to find a dictator of a CEO who cuts costs by underpaying employees and is extremely rude to his subordinates, prostrated on a prayer mat begging for mercy and wealth?

It has reached such a point as to people actually invoking the name of god and the idea of whatever is fated to happen will happen. Ask any foreigner in Kuwait what does the term “inshallah” mean. They will respond, “it is another way of saying you have a snowballs chance in hell.” Where in actuality, it means insha’a إنشاء “if wills”, allah الله “god”, if god wills. It is a more covert way of saying no. On 5awa6er, when restaurant cooks were asked why they do not wear gloves or hair nets when handling food, they simply answered leave your health to god, instead of the more logical, to me at least, explanation of them not making enough to cover the costs of these utensils. A moot point, yes indeed, but atleast it is more relevant than simply saying leave it to god.

I apologize, there has been and there are incidents of social and moral responsibility awareness through media, the very case I just mentioned was shown on TV, along with a woman who disrespects and torments her maid, not to mention the current ones showing how locals believe they can trample over the rights of expats. However, these are not endorsed by “celebrities”, and are shown in merely one venue. More needs to be done; it is not a hopeless case, but an uphill battle that with the proper determination and drive, can be overcome.

We need a dose or reality, social and moral responsibility. We must take a look in the mirror and see the problem, not ignore it.

In the Holy Quran:
[.. إن الله لايغير مابقوم حتى يغيروا مابأنفسهم وإذا أراد الله بقومٍ سوءً فلا مرد له ومالهم من دونه من والٍ ﴾[ الرعد:11)

[Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls) But when (once) Allah willeth a people's punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him any to protect.] Ar-Ra'd: 11

So the question now is, are we blessed, or cursed?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We are all addicts, we just don’t know it


The 21st century is an amazing time to be alive, don’t you agree?

You have no choice but to agree. Think about it, remember those history lessons that taught how people used to live ages ago? Forget ages, let us examine a mere 50 years, in cosmic terms, less than peanuts. What did our fathers do to keep themselves entertained? They actively participated in sports. Why should we do that when we have the luxury of gaming consoles? All the excitement and adrenaline rush of an actual game, with less than 1% of the actual effort! And what is best is you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own air-conditioned house or plump couch!

What else did they used to do? Go out to restaurants. We can order in now! Why bother dressing up and hauling butt?

Meet friends through casual acquaintances and go out to parties etc. We have social media now, you can be sitting, again, in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by all the lovely gadgets and what not’s that make your life simple, and be conversing with someone all the way on the other side of the globe. A simple click of a button and a perfect stranger is not privy to all the information you wish to share, and then some.

Our fathers used to write letters and go to post offices? We have email and DHL, call them up and they come a runnin’. Whereas an actual letter is such a wonderful thing to receive, to keep, to cherish, to lock away in a box of memories, all we do now is type words on a screen and transmit that to anyone and everyone, it makes no difference.

That is basically it. McDonaldisation and Desensitization of the masses as a result of technology. We no longer have the capacity to engage in actual human contact, personal, one-on-one. Case-in-point, the Asian couple that let their newborn baby girl DIE, yes DIE, as a result of gross negligence as they were too immersed in playing an online game.

I have tried online gaming. It was an addiction. I would stay up for hours on end, bearing in mind that I taunted and poked fun at my friend who introduced me to it initially, calling it a lousy waste of time for the lazy masses. I was soon to join them.

Chatrooms. Big trend back when the internet came out, especially Yahoo! Chatrooms, those were amazing. I still remember my “alias”, my “alter-ego”, my “suave smooth operator”. I was 12 pretending to be 18 and getting away with it.


I joined facebook initially to reconnect with all my classmates whom had travelled to their respective parts of the world, as you know, Kuwait is a transient society, here today, gone tomorrow is the motto. But then it spiraled to those applications, the games, making friends with strangers, even meeting those strangers. Remember the case of the 20-year old Australian girl who met and subsequently was murdered by someone she befriended on Facebook, who claimed to be someone he was not? Does that deter us? No. You still have the masses on Farmville, Gangsters or what not. Is it a good way to spend a few minutes? Absolutely. However, those minutes have turned to hours, those hours into days, until you find yourself completely and utterly immersed in a world that is not your own.


We no longer talk to people verbally. Ever since the invention of the mobile, the vocal connection has died out, replaced instead by 160 characters or more. Which is understandable when talking text messaging, as more letters means more messages meaning more money, however, is it necessary to follow those same speech patterns when typing up an email? I no longer am able to distinguish whether people are just abbreviating words or whether they are plain ignorant, substituting there for their, they’re, your for you’re and your, even poses and pauses! Are we really in that much of a hurry, in our daily lives, have they spun so hectically out of control that we do not have the millisecond required to type properly? The worst part is, some people believe this is the language of the 21st century, and insist on using it in their everyday lives, even, say, when submitting a paper to a professor in university! I saw this with my own two eyes, the numbers replacing letters, the Zs instead of Ss.

But hey, it’s the 21st century right? Get with it or get out, succumb to the mass disillusionment and conform to the new system. Embrace the machine, forget about the red pill.


Wrong.

Would you believe that there are people now, who are making a living by deleting your online persona for you? And even counseling those who have lost precious data that is irrecoverable? Yes, they are making money out of it. They do what you cannot, they delete your facebook, your twitter, your blog. Have a look:

Based in the Netherlands, the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is a website that logs into your accounts and deletes all of your data, friend-by-friend and post-by-post.

We have dug ourselves into a ditch, and cannot get out of it. I admit, I am an email addict, I check my email maybe a dozen or more times a day. But I cured my online gaming addiction myself, and have never relapsed, despite the temptation.

Have you ever googled yourself? Pardon the humor in the question, but contemplate the reality of it. How much of yourself is literally out there for everyone to know? Despite its intentions, LinkedIN is literally a gateway into your autobiography. You detail every aspect of your professional life, in hopes of landing that dream job, oblivious to the fact that the information you share can be used for identity theft.

After all, the man in France who hacked Obama’s facebook or email did not do it through brute force, but rather common sense. He read Obama’s profile and guessed his password. How many of us use passwords that are a combination of our birthdays and nicknames, or worse, merely our mobile numbers? Or childrens names, or birthdays, or maiden names. The list is endless, and given enough patience, I believe all passwords are crackable as a result of googling ourselves.

How many posts do you make on the internet using one single nickname? You can find out so much about a person by doing that.

Not to mention the shamelessness-ness of people online. You may like S&M, that’s your personal choice, no one can hold it against you, except maybe in a court of law, but do you have to like the page “S&M” on facebook?

They even had a study on how people select their display pictures for their online profiles. We are literally studying ourselves as we move into this uncharted territory of humanless emotion and quick fixes.

We are the cure, we are the disease.

This will be my last post for a while, hope you enjoyed it. I believe I have left enough material to keep you entertained in my absence.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Future of Gaming

As a child, I went through the normal progression of gaming consoles, started off with the trust ol' Atari and its joysticks, playing that jungle boy game, the car races, and the the planes one too! My favorite was the hide-and-seek game.


Then, it was time for the old nintendo console, with the games on its memory and the brightly colored cartridges:



Funny story, I once let a friend borrow mine, and the idiot had to go and play mechanic with it, I have no idea what possessed him to melt the plastic above the power supply, where you would plug the funny cross-shaped adapter head with the several different shapes. But he did. So he was calling me up one time and my little brother answered so I told him "tell the guy to piss off and hang up on him", and what does my young brother do? He literally tells the guy "Aymz said piss off and hang up on him", neglecting the fact that the last portion of that sentence was an action, not a statement!

Then ofcourse, came the Sega! Enter Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Streets of Rage and most importantly, Sonic The Hedgehog!



Remember the different gamepads that came with the Sega? They had the extra XYZ buttons, as well as a control for quickness via six knobs on the gamepad. Good times. Simple times.

Then, it was time to move on to the PS1, with the first taste of Analogue and 3D gaming. I remember my first game was Resident Evil III, and I stayed up for hours playing that game, until my eyes literally, literally saw the whole word in pixelated form! I was addicted.

I stopped @ the PS2 for the sheer quickness at which games were developing. Now we have the Dreamcast, the Wii, the XBox, the PS3.

Now games are incorporating more than just gamepads, they have tennis raquets, boxing gloves, exercise mats, guitars, drum kits, dance pads etc etc.

What will the future be?

Heres a peak:

A buddy of mine pointed me to this wonderful website, which serves as a great way to vent and have a laugh at the same time! Please note that I do not publish websites haphazardly, and doubly check whether any link I show is tainted or not. I'm not the kinda guy who'll send you to a website with a Trojan on it or something.

Without further adieu, the website is as follows:

http://shtukoviny.ru/orchestrion/


This is the website, just "touch" the scenery

For those of you too chicken to try it, let me explain: the website accesses your camera, and you are shown yourself amidst a plethora of objects around you. Your movement is translated into music, an orchestra (hence the word orchestrion), you can tap the clouds and make it rain, you can bash the drums and make them go BOOM, you can move everything on the screen, without using a gamepad!

So is it any wonder that, as a young tike back when the internet was first booming, and digital cameras were a luxury commodity, and the chatrooms were exploding with people wanting to share your world and see you irl, that I feel for the "your monitor is a camera" gag, and actually smiled as the monitor flashed and the picture of an orangutan showed up? I'm sure I wasnt the only one who fell for it! Probably the only fool to admit it though!

Imagine if the next console is basically just that, a console with a camera installed on it, and you are free to interact with the game in whatever which way you choose. Pushing aside curtains, punching villains, high kicks, scaling walls, the ultimate 4D gaming experience.

The future is now!

Toy Stores, The Missing Link

In this world, there are few places that make one feel at peace. Where your inner child is allowed to run rampant, and a trip down memory lane brings back all the nostalgic feelings that are the side-effect of growing up.

To me, that feeling of intent and calmness, so far, happens in two shop types: Toy Stores & Stationary Shops (Including Bookstores).

Old Souk Salmiya has two toy stores remaining, remnants of the old block that used to house Baskin Robbins, Hardees and Tikka on the side. To me, they have always been a place of magic and wonder, where I would go to pick out action figures (lets just call them toys shall we?)  as a child. They always had more toys that I had pocket money to spend! It was such a treat to be greeted by a familar figure from a cartoon you were just watching.






The Mario Brothers Costumes!!

It is my sad duty to inform the masses tha Al Manara Bookshop is no more. They have finally closed shop. There, where I spent countless hours pouring over magazines, comics, reading book jackets and once, buying Spiderman Trading Cards.

There was another equally great bookstore that was just across from Tikka in Old Salmiya, but it also died out too soon. I bought many a Valentines Day Card from there.

Memories are the sweet residue of history, left in our minds to remind us of how beautifully simple the world used to be, and how happiness can be found in a store.

What ever became of The Street Sharks?

I grew up in Kuwait. The only form of English television available back when satelites did not cost an arm and a leg was KTV2, a rather odd channel that ran only from 2pm to 1am.

That channel introduced me to many different cartoons, much to which I owe my English language, as it explains how even though I went to an English School, my accent is American (blame the media!).

So, one of the many wonders this channel introduced me to was The Street Sharks, to those of you who do not remember them, here they are:


A rather blatant rip-off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja (later hero as Ninja was deemed too violent) Turtles, this series ran for 3 seasons, and I was so infatuated by it that I went out and got one of their action figures on my birthday! (Top left one, the leader! My younger brother, who shares my birthday, got the one with the roller blades; they were quite fascinating, the shark part was made of rubber, and the teeth glowed in the dark, plus their jaws moved!)

So here I am, a couple of odd years later, and I am wondering, what ever became of The Street Sharks?

I was checking out the arcade area of a shopping mall when I came across this:




The poor sods, even Sharks were not spared from the economic crisis, and are forced to moonlight as "whack-a-sharks" at the arcade to make ends meet.

Economics, affects all species.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Girls can be so Cruel... Video

We've all been there, I feel your pain little man:

Plans to burn the Quran Cancelled

Thank you lostb2amreeka!

My thoughts to come shortly:
From Yahoo! news:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The anti-Muslim leader of a tiny Florida church backed off his threat to burn the Quran, defusing an international firestorm Thursday after he said he was promised that a planned Islamic center and mosque would be moved away from New York's ground zero. The imam planning the center, however, quickly denied such a deal.


Jones had never invoked the mosque controversy as a reason for his planned protest. He cited his belief that the Quran is evil because it espouses something other than biblical truth and incites radical, violent behavior among Muslims.




But he said Thursday that that he prayed about the decision and concluded that if the mosque was moved, it would be a sign from God to call off the Quran burning.


"We are, of course, now against any other group burning Qurans," Jones said. "We would right now ask no one to burn Qurans. We are absolutely strong on that. It is not the time to do it."


After the news conference, however, Musri told The Associated Press there is no deal to move the mosque. He said there was only an agreement for him and Jones to travel to New York and meet Saturday with the imam overseeing plans to build a mosque near ground zero.


In New York, the leader of the Islamic center project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, said he was surprised by Jones' announcement.



"I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qurans. However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri," Rauf said in a statement. "We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony."


The cancellation was welcomed in Gainesville, a city of 125,000 anchored by the sprawling University of Florida campus.



"It's very good news for Gainesvilile and good news for everyone involved," said City Manager Russ Blackburn.


Jones' neighbors also have said they disapprove. At least two dozen Christian churches, Jewish temples and Muslim organizations in the city had mobilized to plan inclusive events, including Quran readings at services, as a counterpoint to Jones' protest.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Travel Ban on 29,000 Kuwaitis

Zawya:

 More than 29,000 Kuwaiti citizens (2.9% of the Kuwaiti population) are currently banned from traveling outside Kuwait due to non-payment of outstanding debts, according to a senior Ministry of Justice official. "Thirteen thousand of the citizens facing travel bans have debts ranging between KD 100 and KD 2,000," said Ali Al-Dhubaibi, the head of the Ministry of Justice's implementation department.


The total owed by those banned from travel currently stands at KD 526 million, which includes unpaid alimony, outstanding bills for state services and loans that were defaulted on, he told Al-Qabas. Al-Dhubaibi also revealed that the number of Kuwaitis taking out loans for consumer goods has risen steadily, saying that this negative habit is leading more and more citizens to fall into debt.

So, to all expats living in Kuwait, a word of warning. Heed the evil that is credit cards, be weary of outstanding debt, before going on vacation, check with the Ministries Complex and ensure that none of the companies to which you owe money has filed a complaint against you for non-payment. Companies are now wily, and do not inform the customer before going to court, leaving it as a surprise.

Remember Nicholas Warner's story.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Burning of the Quran - Blessing in Disguise?

The title is meant to grab your attention, the content is meant to question your perception, and intial reaction.

1) US church defiant despite condemnation of Koran burning (BBC)
2) Petraeus: Koran burning plan will endanger US troops (BBC)

The chain letter that has been circulating for years has finally come true to fruition; a group has congregated and taken it as their holy mission to mark the passing of the 9th anniversary of the tragic September 11th attacks by burning several copies of the Quran stating, "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam."


The man in charge is Pastor Terry Jones (monkey on the right with the Hulk Hogan/ Gunslinger tache) who, despite having a congregation of just 50, has gained worldwide notoriety, sparking demonstrations in Afghanistan and Indonesia. He is both adamant and steadfast in his quest to burn several hundred copies of the Quran on saturday evening.
Author of a book entitled Islam is of the Devil, the Pastor has said that it was "time for America to quit apologising for our actions and bowing to kings".

Here is a photo from the BBC of protestors of the planned burning of the Quran doing what? Burning an effigy (representation) of the Pastor. Does that not strike as contradictory and hypocritical? You protest the burning of the Quran by burning an effigy of the man responsible, along with Old Glory?


Are they angry? Yes. Do they have a right to be angry? Yes. Will the Pastors actions further degenerate the already strained ties between the West and Islam? Possibly, but it depends on the reaction, on both sides.
As with any fool who seeks attention, the more attention you give them, the happier they become. The reactions; the justified, undeniable angered reactions of the millions upon millions of Muslims from around the world; their protests, their adamancy, serves merely to fuel the fire of this neanderthal.

However, their pleas, their anger, their protests, are in vain, and falling on deaf ears. No matter what we say or do, no matter how many people say it, no matter how many petitions are signed or emails forwarded, the crazed lune will follow through with his plan, and burn those copies of the Quran.

We have a saying in Arabic, used when dealing with a stubborn child, an infant, "when a dog barks pay it no attention". The more we react to his lunacy, the more importance we give him.

Why not, for example, choose to focus on the fact that the following bodies and people are as disgusted as we are by the Pastors proposed actions:

- Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen blasted the plans, telling reporters that burning Korans violated the Nato alliance's "values".

- Gen David Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, said on Monday that the action could cause problems "not just in Kabul, but everywhere in the world".

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Pastor Jones - "I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths," she said.

- The Vatican and The Obama Administration have also expressed concern over the plan.

- An interfaith group of Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim leaders meeting in Washington on Tuesday condemned the proposals as a violation of American values and the Bible.

We are the ones being victimised now. The world is showing sympathy, and not scrutiny.

When we as Muslims wish to discard a piece of paper bearing one of the ninety nine names of Allah, what do we do? One option is to burn it. So, if we strip the actions of the Pastor down to their quintessential elements, and ignoring the cult of hate he hopes to breed, we are left with one of the most accepted methods of discarding Islamic texts. For one second, let us believe that the good Pastor has found several hundred copies of the Quran that were misprinted, and has taken it upon himself to discard them properly, the equivalent of watching this scene unfold, if it were to be broadcasted to an international audience, and hitting Mute.

What could happen, what will happen, is that someone will post the video onto youtube, it will instantly garner millions of views and hits, and millions of ignorant, idiotic, hate-filled comments from both sides. These are not the chosen representatives of both sides.

He (the Pastor) could have chosen one of a myriad of methods to taunt Muslims all over the world, to desecrate the Quran, yet he chose a bonfire. Why not turn the other cheek and see it for what it could be, and not what it blatantly is? As we did as children, let us play "Make Believe".

Make no mistake, I too am insulted by his proposed actions. The Quran teaches, unbeknownst to those who have not read it, to respect the other Celestial religions, and their texts, The Torah and The Bible. It even goes to mention that tears well in the eyes of Priests [Al-Ma'eda - 83]  (the word used is  قسيسين ورهبان which translates literally to priests [قسيس as they are called in Arabic] and monks (رهبان), a generalisation for religious figures) who hear and are reminded of verses from the Quran, them being of different faith! It also teaches to not keep company with those who insult Islam. Which is what we are doing now, we are keeping the Pastor company, and further fueling his disgusting antics.

The more attention we give him, the more motivated he feels. If we were to say, turn our backs to this raving lunatic, ignore his ridiculous plight and idiotic reasons, we come off the better. Who knows, this may even be the catalyst that pushes forward the building of the Islamic center at Ground Zero, Obama will be held accountable, whether he is or is not, for this lunatics actions. He will not be able to back-pedal on his words this time, and must make a monumental gesture in good faith to appease the billions that have been insulted and aggravated by the Pastors actions.

Let not the actions of one fool represent that of a Nation in its entirety. That works both ways, for Muslims given the present circumstances, and the West, they also need to understand that the majority of elements in Islam CONDEMN what has happened on September 11, 2001. The actions and speeches of the radicals, the extremists, do not represent that of the entire Nation.

Earlier this year, an opinion poll found that 53% of Americans view Islam unfavourably, with only 42% viewing the religion favourably. It is our responsibility to re-educate Americans, one at a time if need be, of the true meaning of Islam (peace) and Muslim (peaceful).

BTW world, it is not Koran (كورأن) with a K, it is Quran (قرأن) with a Q. The first is nonsensical, and could mean spherical, the latter is the proper English translation. Emphasis on the Q/K sound.

Just sayin'.

Update:
Religious leaders have openly condemned plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday.


The statement follows the widespread condemnation of plans made by Pastor Terry Jones to burn copies of the Koran on the 9/11 anniversary.

The leaders - including Dr Ingrid Mattson, President of The Islamic Society of North America, Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington and Rabbi David Saperstein from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism - issued a statement condemning the church's actions during a 'clergy summit' to discuss the controversy over plans to build a mosque close to where the Twin Towers once stood in New York.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Men have hymen's too

Apparently.

From the HuffingtonPost:


HANOI, Vietnam — An acupuncturist who claims she can detect a man's virginity based on a small dot on the ear has become a minor celebrity in Vietnam, where she is credited with helping to free three convicted rapists from prison.


Traditional medicine practitioner Pham Thi Hong started lobbying for the men's release, pleading their case all the way to the president, because she believes all three men are virgins and therefore could not be guilty of rape.
"They all had small red spots on the back of their ears," said Hong, 54. "The spots should have disappeared if they had had sex. My many years of experience told me that these men did not have sex before."

After seeing the spot on Kien's ear, Hong believed his insistence that he was innocent. She later examined his two alleged accomplices and began a campaign for their release. Eventually, President Nguyen Minh Triet ordered that the case be re-examined.

Investigators who revisited the case discovered flaws, including the fact that testimonies of witnesses indicating their innocence were not included in the case's files, according to the local Pioneer newspaper. The three men, having served 10 years in jail, were released in January.

She says she was first taught how to determine if a man has ever had sex by feeling their pulse. She later developed the ear-spot method on her own. She says the spot will only disappear after heterosexual intercourse and is not affected by gay sex or masturbation.

Absurd? Ridiculous? Down right lunacy? All of the above?

ofcourse, she is not without her critics:



"I have never heard of this method before," said Nguyen Van Hao, 60, an acupuncturist who has practiced for 14 years. "From the medical point of view, it's impossible to determine whether a man has had sex or not by feeling the pulse or examining the red spot on their ears."

Shes an acupuncturist, right? Works with needles, needles are sharp, red spot, behind the ears, i.e. cannot be seen...

"Look, hes a virgin, he has red spot!"

*poke with hidden needle*

It seems medical breakthroughs that push the envelope and blur the barrier between fiction and common sense are all too often revealed in the courtroom. One has but to watch Boston Legal , or read the fantastic novels of John Grisham, which give a provocative view into the world of law, to know that science and medicine are for sale when it comes to testimony, to the highest bidder. For the right price,  you can get any established, professional, to sign their name to the most absurd speculation in order to prove a clients innocence.

That, in essence, is the real issue. Money can buy anything, and endorsement, by the right individual, speaks volume for the cause, no matter how inane it appears to be.

Professionalism and ethics are dying traits in this world.

At the Cinema - Concession Stand Conundrum

 
The year was 2005, Summer of my 3rd year at uni. I was feeling the buzz of the much anticipated release of Star Wars Episode III- Revenge of the Sith. What vision George Lucas must have had, to have started the saga close to 30 years ago! And wait until the technology needed to transfer his dream-child from his mind to the big-screen became widely available.
Enough about that, this is not a review of the movie, but an anecdote of what really happened to me that night I booked my cinema ticket! This is a true story, as all my stories are, no fiction!
The cinemas over there did not yet have the high sucrose, delicious and wondrous, concoction that is sweet, sweet Caramel Popcorn. They packed the usual garbage of water, soft drinks and chocolate bars. Things that are available at every corner of every street. Feeling a bit mischievous, and explaining to myself that I no longer wish to fund the man's corrupt regime, I took a stand then and there and refused to buy my snacks from the cinema itself, with the knowledge that they mark-up all their products. I was smarter than them, much smarter as you will see how exactly I was able to sneak the food in.
I liked baggy clothes at the time, having just finished my last exam, I was still carrying my ruck-sack-come-book-bag, the ones with the rope on either side that you pull and the neck sort of closes? Those thingies! My ensemble consisted of a wide shirt (Hawaiian!) over a t-shirt and baggy pants, a regular bother-me-not type. So, as I was going toward the cinema, I had an epiphany.

Large shirt + Ruck-Sack + Food = Happy FULL Me.

So heres what I did, I went to the nearest baqala, or grocery shop if you want to stick to English, and hooked myself up with a family sized packet of chips (or crisps, USA or UK), a bottle of Laban (healthy!), 2 cokes, an assortment of chocolates and pastries. Bear in mind, Star Wars run-time was roughly two and a half hours! I wasn't going to leave anything to chance!

So, after buying it all, I placed it in the ruck-sack, and wore it much like an actress wears the padding for a pregnancy scene, over my gut. I then donned my shirt over it, buttoned it up, and in under 2 minutes had gone from slim to chunky. I even walked differently to pull off the whole thing to perfection. I have a picture somewhere, I will find it in due time (cant just pull it off facebook coz it wasnt main stream back then!).

As I walked up to the gate I was sure I would get caught, but I played it cool. When I passed the real concession stand, I looked at the employee behind the counter, gave 'em a smug smile, patted my "belly" and shot 'em the thumbs up. 

She smiled. Sucker.

By the time I got to my seat, the lights had already dimmed, I waited until the best part of the movie was over, the trailers, then proceeded to unbotton my shirt. Sounds dirty right? It was a down right crime! I sat cross legged on the chair with my supplies on my left, happily gorging myself on junk food as the many destitute, and hungry, people around me sat twiddling their thumbs.
After the movie was over, I neglected to button up my shirt again, and was getting strange looks from the ushers. Now I kid you not, this really happened, a bunch of girls from my row were waiting by the door, and as I passed by them, I heard one ask the other, "hey isn't that the guy from our row?", to which the other replied, "no, no, no, the other guy was FAT!"
 
 
This opened up a whole new world of forbidden food in the cinema! I could start peddling food to the masses inside at a small profit to myself!
Sadly, it took one mishap to smash those dreams to smithereens.
One day I forgot my trusty bag, and shirt. But had baggy pants on, so I decided, what the hell, lets just get a family sized bag of chips (or crisps) and walk in with it tucked into the front of my jeans. Unfortunately for me, the usher at the door dropped my ticket, as they bent down to help her pick it up (gentleman, remember) I heard the distinctive POP! and got the weirdest look from her.

I just smiled and mouthed something about a big lunch earlier. As I walked away I felt something crushing beneath my footsteps. I looked back to find the tell-tale Yellow Chip Road leading from the door right to me! The chips (or crisps) were escaping through the popped bag and down my pant leg and onto the floor!
Suffice to say I missed that movie, and didn't go to that theatre for quite some time afterward!
Word to the wise, if you ever attempt this trick, be sure to deflate the chips (or crisps) bag BEFORE wearing it!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Reading Arabic is Hard for the Brain say Israeli Scientists

No comment. No comment. Please feel free to comment as I don't have the slightest clue what to say about this. Has anyone checked out the origin of the scientists? I suppose reading Hebrew is easier..

From the BBC:

Israeli scientists believe they have identified why Arabic is particularly hard to learn to read.


The University of Haifa team say people use both sides of their brain when they begin reading a language - but when learning Arabic this is wasting effort.

mark the use of the words "wasting effort".
 
The researchers looked at 40 university students. Some of the students only spoke Hebrew, while some also spoke and read Arabic well.
 
Characters in English and Hebrew are easier to tell apart because there are clearer differences between them than there are in Arabic.

Lets end things with a joke, here is how to read Hebrew:

A team of archaeologists was excavating in Israel when they came upon a cave.



Written on the wall of the cave were the following symbols in order of appearance.

1. A dog
2. A donkey
3. A shovel
4. A fish
5. A Star of David

They decided that this was a unique find and the writings were at least more than three thousand years old. They chopped out the piece of stone and had it brought to the museum where archaeologists from all over the world came to study the ancient symbols.

They held a huge meeting after months of conferences to discuss what they felt were the meaning of the markings.

The President of their Society stood up and pointed at the first drawing and said, "This looks like a dog.

We can judge that this was a highly intelligent race as they knew how to have animals for companionship.

To prove this statement you can see that the next symbol resembles a donkey, so, they were even smart enough to have animals help them till the soil.

The next drawing looks like a shovel of some sort, which means they even had tools to help them. Even further proof of heir high intelligence is the fish which means that if that they had famine that hit the earth whereby the food didn't grow, they would take to the sea for food.

The last symbol appears to be the Star of David which means they were evidently Hebrews.

"The audience applauded enthusiastically and the President smiled and said, I'm glad to see that you are all in full agreement with our interpretations."

Suddenly a little old Jewish man stood up in the back of the room and said, "I object to every word. The explanation of what the writings say is quite simple.

First of all, everyone knows that Hebrews don't read from left to right, but from right to left...

Now, look again..... It now says:

"HOLY MACKEREL, DIG THE ASS ON THAT BITCH!"

The Night of Value ليلة القدر

It is known by many names, mostly Laylat al Qadr, the day the first verses of the qoran were revealed to the prophet.
A long day it was yesterday as well; it started right after Iftar, @ 6:30 i picked up a friend from Salmiya and headed over to Ahmadi, a place ive heard of but never been to before, for Rugby practice. All went well, was a tad late but hey, its always good to be fashionably late! Training lasted for about an hour, and we were done by 8:20, which was just-in-time for me to dust off, change, and head on over to Movenpick Al Bida'a in Salwa for a company function, a ghabka. On this, the holiest of nights!


"A wizard is neither late nor early, but arrives precisely when needed..", I had to be there by 9:30, i was there by 9:20. Showed up, said my hellos, smiled, nodded, waved etc. Count-down begins, I had to haul out by 10:30 to have enough time to make it back home, shower, and be out the door again for the grand mosque! All in all, I made perfect timing.


The Ambiance at the Grand Mosque is humbling. It is true, all mosques are gods house, but the spirituality of praying amidst thousands of others is awe inspiring. Despite being early (prayer starts at 12:15, I was there by 11:10) the doors to the inner sanctum sanctorum were closed, so we had to make due with praying in the court-yard beneath the night sky.

The mosque patrol as I like to call them, were out in full force, ensuring adequate provisions of water were made to the public, and regulating the flow of traffic. However, I do not believe that all of them should be walking around waving their fancy batons like light-sabers and having their walkie-talkies beep during the actual prayer. Once people are praying, join them! For the love of Ramadan, Ramadan only comes by once a year!





Now, here comes the Rant, here comes the Rant!

I choose to park a good distance from the mosque to make the journey home quicker. Prudent Planning. I make it a habit to show up early enough to guarantee myself a decent parking spot. But what really glazes my donuts is the inconsideration of some people who, show up late, and decide to seal off the parking spots by parking DIRECTLY in the middle of the exit. Meaning that you, the person who had the foresight to arrive early, now must wait for the tardy one in order to leave. The worst thing is, they blame it on prayer, their response is, 'sorry I was praying', well so was I, but I made it here on time. No one respects anyone else, they feel they are free to do as they so wish, that the end justifies the means. However, it is in our teachings that your freedom ends when it violates mine.
Thats part 1.
Part 2, the River of Black, as evident in the pics I was able to snap, pardon the quality, I left my camera with my colleagues at the function and so had to suffice this night with my trusty n97 5MP. It may not be apparent in the pics, however the road next to the mosque was segregated by a shield of human volunteers to keep the men-folk away from the women-folk. For the love of Ramadan! I just came out prayer, who am I? Gropey McGrab?! Whats worse is, most of the men were parked on the other side of the street, near the banks, but the foolhardy volunteers were not directing traffic as much as they were separating apples and oranges. We ended up having to walk half way to the Library before the chain of volunteers ended and the Blacks mixed with the Whites (FYI not a racial slur, but a truth, the women are clad in black, and the men are dressed in their white dishdashas), I had to endure a comment of "Shenu tsawoon? Shfeekom? Ma yseer Tchithi, Wein el reyoula? (What are you doing, whats wrong with you, this is not right, where are your manners)..
I respect women. I believe in the ladies first concept, always. BUT, BUT, BUT, theres a limit! How many "ladies first" can you spew out when they are flowing like a stampede? And whats worse, they are not clumped up in groups, no. They are all in single file, you can't get through them, so in the end, and this was comic, you had the guys putting their hands on the shoulders of the guy infront of them so as not to be accused of indecency, forming a chain of tresspassers to get to the other side. That was fun.



No disrespect, but I dont think its necessary for me to walk miles out of my way because of the cattle mentality of just walking straight off down the road.

You want to know what it was like to try and cross that River of Black? Watch this stampede:



Not a good idea... I need a moment... *tears*

WHY SCAR, WHY?!
Now, last rant of the evening, shamelessness. Abraaj provide metric gallons upon gallons of water for the Grand Mosque goers. Some are at room temp, some are freezing cold (what I wouldnt give to be allowed to sleep in that walk in freezer one night!). On the way home, I pack two mini-bottles in my pockets, one for the road and one for my food. It is not a strange sight to see some guy walking off with an unopened carton as a momento of the occasion. Shameless, that it is, but its a guy, what can you do? Shamelessness runs in our blood. BUT, BUT, BUT, when you see this:

 Women jacking water. What has the world come to? We live in a country were FUEL is CHEAPER than WATER. I personally, would be embarassed to walk off with a carton in my arm, much less a carton in one arm and a sling containing more in the other!
Oh wait, I forgot the catering! Some company offers boxes of food for the prayers, to serve as a sohour, the last meal of the day, however, it is not a strange site to see a dishdasha clad man walking off with four boxes on top of each other, toward his Cayenne.
Theres a saying in arabic, roughly translated to English it goes, "if its free give more to me".
Allah Yehdeen.

On a side note: I got my ticket for the Masquerade Ball, now all I need is a date :P

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Romance 101- How NOT to write Poetry!

 Ok, little fact about me; I'm very romantic @ heart. This started way back in highschool when I moved to the New Environment Setting.
It was the year 2000, emotions were high as people rejoiced the fact that the new millenium has set in, and we were all infact intact and the Y2K bug was nothing more than a hoax. People were happy in the streets, much like:


I had my first crush. Aww how sweet you say? No. Not so.

Girl was an intellectual, top grades, top of the class. I was your average smart guy (remember, I was in the top set too). What does a 13 year old do to show he loves someone? He writes poetry. So I did, it was an
epic piece if I do say so myself, the one line I remember vividly is:

When we are unseen,
I treat you like a queen

In reference to the fact that, when I do manage to pry her away from her female entourage, I am very sweet.

So, I had written the epic piece, typed it up at home, saved it onto a floppy disk (there was no USB at the time!), and moved to the school labs to print it out. Little did I know that the printer was on the fritz. So I kept hitting the print button, over, and over, and over.

Still nothing. So I merely moved to another PC lab. Printed the poem, sealed it in an envelope, and gave it to her.

Sweet, right? Happy ending? Hardly.

I was not as tech savvy back then as I am now, I did not know of the term "spooling" which is jargon for queueing documents to be printed. The printer in the first lab was restarted, and guess what? It printed out copy, after copy, after copy, of my poem.

Which, had my name, her name, and my home number eloquently weaved into lovey-dovey words.
And it was found by someone in our year. And I was the only one with my first name in the school. So, I was caught red-handed. Incriminated by myself. Could not plead the Fifth on that one.

Everyone read it.

Is it any wonder she wont accept my friend request on facebook now, 11 years later?

A strange twist of fate also happened, 7 years later, I was engaged to another intellectual, in uni, top of our year, who also happened to share her same first name. Suffice to say, things didnt end well there either! What was that name you ask? No harm in telling, its similar to the title of a song by Plain White T's, which was spoofed by James@War on youtube as a spoof of Harry Potter.

But thats another tale, for another time :)