Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CC's in Office Correspondence, whats up with that?

It took me a while when I started working to understand the concept of the words CC & BCC in emails.

Maybe, just maybe, there are others out there who were/ are as oblivious as I once was regarding these two devils. So, lets shed some light on this situation.

CC- Carbon Copy; same concept as a forward, more business-like.

BCC- Blind Carbon Copy; email goes to these people annonymously, no one else can see that they were included.

I find it rather, irritating, when someone sends you an email with a request or statement, and your manager is in the CC.

As an auditor, I can understand that, its called Accountability. You are proving to your manager that you have done something, or requested something, so if you do not receive any feedback, you have done your part and your manager is aware.

Is it official? Yes.

Is it compulsory @ times? Yes.

However, that still does not diminish the fact that it is annoying.

Also, the part of "please confirm receipt of email", Outlook took it a step further and instead of asking you to re-email someone, it simply informs you that the sender requires read-receipt, please accept.

Office Politics...


Monday, June 27, 2011

Expats have a New Address in Kuwait - EEK! Magazine

Despite the sweltering heat, blowing dust and vile humidity that tend to frequent the atmosphere in Kuwait, causing a myriad of problems, both health and holiday, for it seems the dust is eagerly awaiting the weekend to embrace Kuwait in its sandy bosom; Kuwait remains a destination for transients and travellers alike.

For those living in Kuwait who want to be kept up-to-date with the happenings, the events scheduled to take place, the groups they can join, the offers available etc. And even for those living abroad who wish to get a better understanding of life in Kuwait through the eyes of expats; there is a simple answer to quell queries of both.

and that answer is EEK!

Forgive me, for that is no shrill shriek, it is merely the title of Kuwait's weekly Expat Magazine.

Whether you are looking for an apartment, an interest group, looking to buy, or even sell furniture, a car. EEK! is the magazine for you, delivered straight to your inbox in pdf format, it makes for an interesting read.

The number of subscribers is steadily escalating, and pretty soon it will be received and enjoyed by all expats in Kuwait, and all those around the globe wishing to come to Kuwait as well.

As I said previously, expats can use this magazine as a guide to Kuwait. A way to connect with social groups, events etc. For those leaving Kuwait, it is the perfect place to put their wares on sale, and those coming to Kuwait, it is a perfect place to pick up experience and living items at less-than-retail-price.

What do you have to be a part of this? Simple, send an email to info@expatserviceskuwait.com

Check out their website: http://www.abcq8.com/

So expats, locals, potentials, and everyone else, enjoy EEK!

I know I certainly do.

Why I Blog

We are all put on this earth with a purpose. Some are made to save lives, some are made to protect lives, some are made to educate, some are made to sing, and some are made to write.

It is every bloggers wish to have a readership. And it is every bloggers wish to read comments from other like minded individuals who have taken the time out of their lives to read what this blogger had to say and added their own input; their two cents.

This came to my email, from an Anonymous reader, who liked the quote I came up with at the end of one of my posts (here), and augmented it by doing the following:

Dear reader, to you I say thank you. Unbeknownst to you, this has been a rough day from the get go, and this gift you gave me has served to lighten my mood a great deal, a great, great deal.

Rest assured Anonymous, it is indeed my background now. Your work is amazing, and your concept adds all the more value to what I wrote.

I will go and add that picture to the post itself.

God bless you, and all readers everywhere.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Al-Nasser Sports Item FAIL

Truth be told, I should be mad @ Al-Nasser sports for promulgating the name "Nasser", which has been the bane of my existence in Kuwait, being a Nassar (no Al), I cannot count the number of times my name has been written as Al-Nasser.

All that aside, Al-Nasser Sports is a true story of Kuwaiti accomplishment and achievement.

Once upon a time, in a complex in Hawally called "Adasani" (or مجمع العدساني), which was a one-stop shop for clothing items and the "latest" fashion. One the forefront of the mall, to the far left corner, there used to be a rather large sports shop called Al-Nasser Sports (here), selling clothing apparel on the ground floor, as well as equipment and more clothing apparel in the basement. i.e. the store had 2 locations within the large complex made up of 3 floors (basement, ground and 1st).

This was ofcourse during the 90s, the golden age of Kuwait in my honest opinion.

Fast forward to 2011, and Al-Nasser Sport has become a HUGE competitor on the sports apparel scene in Kuwait. Remember those two shops it had in Al-Adasani Complex? They were closed down, because Al-Nasser Sport built an entire new BUILDING the size of the complex, right behind it, to house their goods. Talk about expansion.

The reason Al-Nasser Sports is such a success is because it carries no-named brands, or brands that are not as well-known in the sports universe such as Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok etc. Hence the keywords are economic and affordable.

However, I was recently there a while ago and came across the following display:

Now, I am no Marketeer, however I pride myself on having a keen eye for colors, and the above color combinations are HORRENDOUS! These items are on sale at the counter, and quite honestly, they would put me off of purchasing anything, as some of the combinations are vomit-inducing.

Had they been plainly colored, one may have overlooked the flamboyant coloring, however, sticking a flag in the middle and not paying attention to the clash of colors is downright negligent.

I wouldn't use them if they were gifted to me.

authors note: this post is not meant to degrade or defame Al-Nasser Sports Center, however it is meant to draw attention to the minor flaws that, if rectified, can serve to enhance its current position

Pizza Hut's Super Supreme Customer Service

246-50-50 Pizza Hut delivery ready to go.

That is the jingle I remember playing on the radio back in the days of middle school.

For the longest time, Pizza Hut (here) had been the dominant force to be reckoned with in the pizza pie industry, before there was a Papa John's or a Peppe's Pizza in Kuwait. They were the first to bring the stuffed crust onto the market here.

Whether or not they are the greatest pizza makers in Kuwait is debatable, I myself am more of a fan of Domino's Pizza, their dough is much lighter. However, Pizza Hut will always be Pizza Hut, just like Pepsi will always be Pepsi, despite the emergence of several other competitors.

Last thursday we were hosting a family member over and decided to go for Pizza Hut's Mighty Variety offer; this is not a food critic's blog, so I will not dive into the details of the meal, suffice to say it contained four different pizza toppings, cheese-garlic bread, chicken rollers, chicken wings and wedges.

I placed my order @ roughly 9, the pizza came in due time.

I was put off by the fact that the following happened:

1) The pizza topping was stuck to the top of the box.
2) The pizza bottom was also stuck to the bottom of the box.
3) The dough felt raw, and upon inspection, a clear white middle could be seen in the pizza slice, with the bottom a healthy beige colour.

We had a guest over, so the evening continued as previously planned, and when it came time to bid him farewell, at the stroke of midnight, I felt compelled to call up Pizza Hut and inform them of my comments.

I believe the number on the receipt was 22244555, which is their customer service hotline, I called up and immediately had my call answered by a charming fellow who noted my complaint, my phone number and the time of my order. He told me he would have the branch manager of the branch which sent out the pizza call me back in 10 minutes.

10 minutes later, I receive a call from another charming fellow who asks me what had happened, and I informed him, he inquired as to whether there were any pieces remaining of the pizza for "analysis", and I told him that yes, there had been a few pieces left over, and that I would have called them earlier had I not been entertaining a guest, as it seemed preposterous to wait twice as long for food to arrive.

What was the managers solution?

He sent me a whole other pizza (offer without the additions), for FREE, in exchange for the remaining pieces to be analysed at their restaurant.

Despite having said earlier that I would boycott Pizza Hut for their failed standards, never-the-less I still remain a Pizza Hut enthusiast at heart, and will continue to use order, if simply for the fact that they know how to treat a customer.

This reminds me of another fast-food incident I had, once upon a time I was addicted to KFC's "Big Filler" chicken sandwich. As I work close to Al-Shamiya, I decided to pay the branch there a visit and quell my hungry taste buds desire for a Big Filler. I was informed at the counter that the branch had "run out" of Big Filler sandwich buns, and that they (KFC Shamiya) can make the same sandwich in a different sandwich bun. Being an auditor at heart, I asked if the other sandwich bun was the same size as the Big Filler, for those of you who have tried it, it is a Big Filler indeed. I was told the size difference was negligible. So I agreed and paid and waited.

What I found out when I got home was that the sandwich was MUCH smaller than it should have been, and that the chicken used was stale i.e. had no moisture, dry, tasteless.

I called up the management to voice a complaint, and at the time I had fed the chicken to my cat, so when they asked whether or not the sandwich was still available, and I said no, they replied along the lines of "tough".

Since then, I have never gone back to the Big Filler.

So Pizza Hut, I commend their efforts on listening to their customers, and applaud the fact that a customers voice does indeed carry weight in the State of Kuwait.

Sorry Colonel, the Hut always wins ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

When Destiny comes Knocking, Shake Hands with Fate

It is said that in every person there exists the potential and ability to write a book. This is my attempt at that endeavor, on a small scale, as I have this opinion that the trials I have gone through so far are “bookworthy”, to say the least without sounding  arrogant.

This will be but a brief chapter, or three, depending, based on the experiences I have had in the Kuwait Job Market. From interviews to actual jobs, all will be laid bare.

I will not start as they say, from the beginning, rather, I will pick up the story from the day of my first employment, highlighting along the way some tidbits from my earlier life. Given response, we may go back and relive the days of high school, university etc.

This seems like the appropriate vessel through which to channel this impeccable memory I have, being able to remember vivid details from the past.

What makes me compelled to share this is that there is a learning experience in it, as the title goes, when destiny comes knocking, shake hands with Fate. This is my way of saying that everything in life happens for a reason, and everything happens in exactly the right time, you just have to seize the opportunity when it presents itself.

This is not a work of fiction. This will be my story, as told by me, the person living it, in the first person.  I will simply abbreviate the names of all the characters I have come across, instead of giving them made-up names, although that would serve to protect their identity better should I feel the need to rant on them, however I would need to draw up a list of who-is-who so as to avoid confusion. However, anyone who knows me personally would be able to tell who is who.

It would be truly delightful to get feedback, be it in terms of comments, emails, messages, criticisms, threats (?).  I’m open to everything (except the latter, unless it involves drowning me in a vat of tiramisu). Of course, I am not a gay, Syrian blogger so I do not expect thousands of responses, but at the same time I am not some 40-year old quack pretending to be a gay, Syrian blogger.

I started working in 2006, December 2006 to be exact; therefore so far, I have about 5 years of work experience. I have worked for 3 different companies in 3 different industries (currently still with the third). Thankfully, each change came as a higher rung on the career ladder. And with each corporate change, there was a perfect definition of seizing the opportunity.

I will work on these chapters during the weekends, and hopefully, post them soon, under the same title as this post.

Onward and upward.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sitting Down - Another Silent Killer

Yes its true, we spend a lot of time sitting on our derriere, completely oblivious to the fact that this is truly unhealthy.

When we are at home, we are mostly sitting down, when we are at school/ university, we are sitting down, when we are at work, we are sitting down, when we are eating, we are sitting down.

Ever since reading these I have started becoming aware of a dull strain in my lower back :S

I guess ignorance truly is bliss.

Read on..

Monday, June 20, 2011

Free iTunes Substitute - CopyTrans Manager

For the longest time, I have been unable to access my iPod through iTunes due to some inane error message that kept popping up telling me that iTunes is not recognising the device attached, please disconnect and reconnect to solve problem, despite windows reading my iPod as a storage device.

When all methods to solve this problem proved futile, including going to Apple's website to troubleshoot and being told to "reinstall iTunes", a blanket response given by the most inexperienced tech n00bs.

I turned to Google to give me an answer as to what program can be used as a substitute for iTunes. My prayers were answered.

At first I used to use Sharepod, but apparently that well has dried up, and it didnt really work well in terms of organising, but it did allow you to take music off of the iPod with ease.

So now I bring you CopyTrans (here).

Having personally used it to rearrange the music in my playlists before hitting the cross trainer at the gym, I can vouch for its authenticity. This is a great program to have as a last resort for Apple's moronic interface.

This way, you can easily connect more than one device to a single PC, and copy files from friends to you and vice-versa without the hassle of each having to bring their synced PC along. Copy-paste was never easier. Even the rearranging of music is simple. Gone are the days of the error messages from hell that have no logical sense and just happen for the sake of happening.

Lets face it, despite Apple's great success, be it their Mac books, iPods, iPhones, i-This or i-That (not iBlooogle btw, thats all me), the one fact that remains is that Apple is, much like Microsoft, a MONOPOLIST.

iPhone, has to be interfaced with iTunes, one account linked to one phone, you cannot sync one device with more than one PC. What if I had it synced to a work PC? What if my laptop blows a fuse? Nada, no response.

Coming soon, an articulate piece on the benefits of buying HTC phones as opposed to iPhones.

Stay tuned.

And for the time being, enjoy this iTunes substitute for managing files on iPods and iPhones.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The New "Face" of Freedom? We are all Anonymous

What, or who, exactly is, or are, Anonymous?

Their news has been popping up all over the internet, Youtube is littered with videos from various persons claiming to be within the loop of Anonymous. As of late, several "hits" have been orchestrated upon various organisations around the world - the IMF, the US Senate, the CIA (allegedly). The list is growing.

And then, this pops up; Spain arrests Anonymous suspects (here).

Another Hacker group is gaining notoriety at the moment; LulzSec.

Both groups appear to have targets which are politically motivated, although LulzSec was behind the Sony hack.

Their motto is to break down any restrictions the governments of the world impose upon the internet.

What do you think?

Greetings. We Are anonymous. We are an activist group which exists on the internet. We are not, "Cyber-terrorists". We are not one, for we are an entity with in the internet itself. There have been recent attempts by the administrations of the world, and scions alike; to hunt down, and warrant the imprisonment of participants of Anonymous. Not only is this yet another exertion to solidify reason to exterminate our civil liberties, but it, itself, is yet another act of tyranny by those in which placed there, by none other, than you. They lead you into a false sense of security by promising such things as, lower ing taxes, and reducing the national debt, Getting us out of war, and increasing the jobs. These all of course, are lies. They become your favorite, "Rock star" Candidate to win your attention. and they do. It is then when you begin giving your civil liberties away. 235 Years ago, The following was written speaking of a certain situation;

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths, to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights; Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their, just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to, alter or to, abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

Just over, too hundred years later, it is happening again. there exist conditions around the world under which people must change their governments, that all nations both small and large have produced such conditions.

It is for those reasons and those reasons alone, why we act, when, we act. Remember you have the right to pro test, As long as it is peaceful, we cannot be stopped. As long as we are faceless, we cannot be stopped. As long as we are leaderless, we cannot be stopped.

If you would like to Join Anonymous, You Just have.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Syrian gay girl in Damascus a HOAX - Bloggers Responsibility

And I fell for it; hook, line and sinker.

Then again, I am not alone. The entire world fell victim to this "individuals" distorted mentality; Tom MacMaster, a US student studying in Scotland, allegedly blogging from Turkey.

And that, dear bloggers, is the REAL bloggers Dilemma. Separating fiction from reality - I am all for a good fictional story every now and then, but do not fool me into believing it is an excerpt of reality.

His blog has garnered a huge media attention, gathering as many as 2000+ followers, and countless anonymous commenters. The BBC reports (here) that it was all a sham.

(Truthfully, some of the entries did read like Syrian Soap-Opera. Why were we blind to this before?)

I never truly understood the mentality behind men posing as women and vice versa on the world wide web. I had my first rude awakening when playing an online game, Myth of Soma, whereby certain female characters on-screen turned out to be led by men. (Think "Gamer" starring Gerrard Butler).

I hereby redirect my previous post (here) that was unintentionally "inspired" by the shenanigans of Tom MacMaster toward the real bloggers, who blog under their real names, such as Ali Abdulemam, Mohammad Abdul-Kader al-Jassem, Hossein Derakhshan and countless others who discard the idea of a "secret identity" to add a touch of realism to their blogs and writings. MacMasters deluded writings represent a slap in the face to all those who have been imprisoned for voicing their opinion.

Blogging is a privilege, readers deserve to be treated with decency and respect. Pulling a shroud of inaccuracies over their eyes and masquerading it as the god-honest truth, well, that is just unacceptable. Movies have the decency of stating that "the following movie contains scenes of a fictional nature, no person was hurt during the filming of this movie" etc.

Blogs need Disclaimers too.

The greatest difficulty this day in age is separating the truth from fiction. I pride myself on being an online skeptic, there is nothing I do not Google, be it forwards or job offers, to get to the truth. Sometimes certain items fall through the cracks.

However, let it be known that some facts, more often than not, can be refuted and disputed. Take for example a recent email I received asking me to place ad-links into some of my content. I was overjoyed by the idea, until a dear friend informed me of the existence of an article from a fellow blogger claiming that this emailer was a hoax.

Well, I have the money to prove otherwise. So there is one case in which an extensive online search that garnered results turned out to be false.

How often does one receive email pleas from African Kings or deceased Kin who share your same last name? How about the Green Card Lottery?

This seemingly idiotic facade put on by a 40-year old is proof of one thing; we need to exercise greater caution in what we invest online, and I am not just talking money here. Emotional investments exist as well, where you believe in a cause so much to the point that you throw caution to the wind. Both emotional and monetary investments in false ideologies end up backfiring on their investors.

I sincerely hope that Mr. MacMaster stands before the opposite side of Karma, for making many a reader appear to be fools.

This is a crippling blow to LGBT rights activists, as you can see, anyone with an active imagination can parade around as a young lesbian in a country on the brink of Socio-Economic turmoil, and their words are instantly echoed in the media. Why? Because society has grown cautiously weary of the LGBT movement. You cannot say anything without first weighing the impact it may have, and the way in which it may be received.

Kobe Bryant was fined and side-lined for calling a referee a certain derogative term that was deemed ill-advised by the LGBT community. His words were deemed "homophobic slurs", and the last thing you want to do as a celebrity is upset the LGBT community. Tracy Morgan, the side-kick from "Cop Out", also came under heavy fire as a result of some hard-to-swallow personal opinions regarding the LGBT community.

We have stigmatised anything to do with LGBT, as everything has become criminalised, be it moral or judicial; Affirmative Action in the 21st Century.

Let us hope that MacMaster is not the first in a trend of people who take to minority online personas to get a point across to the world (if indeed there ever was a point to his tirade, as all it did was cause more harm than any good). MacMaster masqueraded as a Female-Sunni-Muslim-Half-Syrian-Half-American-Lesbian, how many of those exist around the world?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Al-Marai Spokesperson

I am addicted to Al-Marai juice (here); my fridge is never complete without at least 2 (if not more) of their beverages inside it; I usually tend to go for orange juice with pulp along with their mixed berries. I've sampled all of the line, enjoy some more than others and approve of the recent new additions to the family (Pomegranate and Kiwi & Lime).

If anything, I'd say the only thing they are missing is Peach, and then their dominance would be complete.

I want to be the official Al-Marai spokesperson!

Why do I wish to claim such a title? Remember this:

21K later, there is only one beverage that will replenish me.
Ok, take away all the ads on my back (I'm not averse to being any of their spokesperson either!), and the guy in the background, and come on, it sends a nice message right?

I told their guys there after the race the same exact thing, my fridge is never complete without their juice, and after mentioning my undying love for the Orange juice with pulp, the guy hooked me up with 3 (see, I can balance 3 in my hand!).

Ofcourse, I did end up giving them to thirsty policemen, so that also shows how Al-Marai is for all and enjoyed by all.

On a serious note, I think they do outstrip any other juice brand out there, and very well priced, as well as offering a good selection.

The smaller servings of lemon fly off the shelves at lightning speed; last night, whilst restocking @ a local Market, and immediately after a gruelling, intense workout, I was in need for some citric acid. Couldn't find any lemon!

So what do you say Al-Marai? I'm not a greedy person, I don't want money, just a lifetime supply of Juice :P

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Bloggers Dilemma

This is my dilemma,
As you see, I’m a blogger
I love to speak my mind,
I say the truth I'm not a lier
When I stand before the mirror,
What will I see?
Who will be staring back at me?
Do I lay low; do I stay out of sight?
Or do I stand up and shout it is not right!
Do I live in fear of what could happen to me?
Or do I do what I want
Coz in the end it will set us all free
Break away from the shackles of archaic slavery
We are born no less than anyone else
We deserve the same rights as those living anywhere else
They can try to scare, they can intimidate
They can do whatever, they can never strangulate
It will not matter for these shackles we will eradicate
The voice of those who long to live
The spirit that will continuously give
We are united in our hopes,
Unified in our dreams,
We live as one when we set to change the world
To fix it at the seams

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Losing Weight in Kuwait - How to Take It Off and Keep It Off

On May 6, 2010, the ugly truth was revealed, and CNN posted the following story:

Fast-food-loving Kuwaitis battle the bulge

This is an epidemic of global proportions, and it is not just isolated to Kuwait, albeit in Kuwait, we feel the effects more heavily (no pun intended) than most given the transient orientation of the populace.

That however, is a flimsy excuse as even families and locals are battling burgeoning waistlines.

In the old days, in merry old England, a rotund stomach on a man was much sought after by maidens, as it signified an abundance of wealth. Nowadays however, one can be wealthy and wise, and hopefully trim.

The reason I mentioned the transient population is that, Kuwait is made of mostly expats (2-to-1 with the locals), and let us say that the fair majority are single, or their wives are abroad in their home countries. So, they lack proper home cooked food, and this in turn helps speed up the fattening process, as they rely heavily on the many millions of fast-food restaurants that cater to their appetite.

However, that is also not the case, as families have been shown to have their own clashes with cellulite.

Some even go as far as saying that eating meat makes you fat. Well I know quite a few vegetarians who are obese.
As you can see, I keep coming up with excuses and refuting them. In the end, we are the instruments responsible for our own self-destructive nourishment tendencies.

In a country where the norm has become this:

(I would have used the Khaleeji one, mostly circulated during Ramadan, however I am unable to find it atm, and google is not helping!)

Several other blogs have touched on the calamity that is apparent when one visits any of the millions of eateries around Kuwait; young children, with no visible neck and a plunging waists, standing (and panting) eagerly in line awaiting to place their order.

Do these children not have parents worried about their health? Unfortunately, we have a saying in Arabic:
القرد في عين امه غزال

Roughly translated, it relates to "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" by referencing that a mother will see her child as perfect.

The usual white lie of "its just puppy fat, it will turn into height later" is thrown about casually.

So, the younger generation have found sanctuary in fast-food restaurants, given absent parents etc.

What about my generation?

Desk jobs, working 8~5, heading home, collapsing in a heap, ordering out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Greasy meals heavy with artery choking HDL's and trans-fats, deep fried in days old oil not fit to be lubricant for a Model T.

At least before, as kids, we used to have activities, we used to go downstairs to play; football, عنبر, hide-and-seek. We used to do errands; wash the car, go to the bakkalah to get stuff, take clothes to the dry-cleaners, throw away the trash. Nowadays however, there are no empty areas for children to play, as the capitalistic fat-cats have completely taken over all areas to build their ominous monstrosities, cars occupy every other empty area; everything is done for us; the Hariss takes care of the trash and washes the car, the dry-cleaners will come right to your door to take your clothes as well as deliver the ones that are finished. Bakkalahs, even bakkalahs have delivery boys, and it is not an uncommon sight to witness people driving up in their cars, honking their horn, and refusing to take the 5 or 6 steps to get into the bakkalah.

We have become a society overcome by the idea of ease.

Once in a while, a person will look at themselves in the mirror, feel utter disdain, commit to a gymnasium for a month and either one of the two following scenarios will prevail:

a) they lose the weight and stop going to the gym, only to put it back on again.

b) they give up and stay at home.

What most people do not realise is; there are easy ways to lose weight.

I do not believe in diets. I do not weigh my foods and accurately measure 0.5 grams of cheese and balance it on 1.2 grams of smoked turkey mortadella. I do not do "serving size". I believe in this mantra: Moderation in all Things, and all Things in Moderation.

We have to start injecting exercise into our daily routine.

So these are my steps:

1) Forget taking the stairs, instead when you are at work and feel tired, go to the nearest staircase, just walk up and down one flight of stairs.

2) Park farther away from your destination, those extra few steps will do a world of good. (preferably not in the heat ofcourse)

4) Drink green tea.

5) Reduce the sugar you take in your drinks, or do as I did, and cut it out all together. I am 25 and have been drinking sugarless since I was in my 2nd year at university (I was 17 at the time). I didnt do it at first out of any commitment to losing weight, I was a bachelor and ran out of sugar, too lazy to go downstairs and buy any, so after finishing all those packets I'd picked up from Starbucks that were lying around the house, I was forced to go sugarless. And I found it was not bad at all.

6) Cut out fizzy drinks from your diet. They are not "essential" or packed with nutrients. Their consumption is a force of habit (take it from me; remember in Kuwait back when the Pepsi truck would go door-to-door and you would exchange crates for 1KD? [the 90's,, sigh] I averaged 2 bottles [330ML] a day, one for lunch and one for dinner. Ever since January 2011 I have quit cold turkey and have not looked back since). Go for juice instead; if you feel juice is also fattening, merely cut it with water.

7) Eat brown bread. Sure it is hard and tends to fall apart, but it is a healthier option than white.

8) Reduce intake of rice and bread. It is most difficult, but you can do it.

9) In the morning, add a teaspoon of Apple Vinegar to a glass of water, and do so before every meal. Apple vinegar has numerous health benefits, so much so infact that I add it to my salad and spray it on any plate of food (simply punch a small hole through the lid and it serves as a cool dispenser).

10) Eat more fruits and vegetables. Especially those fruits rich in citric acid.

11) Reduce cooking with oil, and reduce consumption of fried foods, opt for grilled instead. If you go out for Chello Kebab (Iranian Kebab @ Mubarakiya in Kuwait City) Do not indulge with the Irani bread, just eat the meat (Atkins!).

12) When ordering out, and lets face it, we all do at some point, request your burgers etc with "No Mayo".

The points above are simply short-cuts that you can inject into your daily routine that will help regulate your weight. The most important thing however is self motivation. It must come from within.

Contrary to popular belief, overweight people are not inactive, nor are they slow at sports. Trust me, my cousin outran me in a race, and I jog on a weekly basis, and he's overweight! Still.

Nor is it taboo to be overweight. Its a condition, not a disease.

The reason we fear obesity is because it can lead to severe health problems down the line, with cholesterol, blood pressure, knee problems etc.

In conclusion, a commitment is necessary to take off the weight, and following the steps above will help keep it off.

So, as a friend of mine said, we must all:

Commit to be FIT!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Chance meetings in the Blogosphere - Blog Cafe aka Better Books

Serendipity - Good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries.

We truly live in a world without borders.

Recently, well, prior to my vacation a weeks ago, I had decided to embark upon an adventure that would take me to the most "hip-&-happening" place to hit the Kuwait scene, right behind Al-Rashed Hospital on Amman St.

Yes, thats right, I'm talking about Better Books Cafe, right here:

Now, I'd originally gone there to meet a friend, and was surprised to run into a friendly face from work, there to toast with the toastmasters, but it seemed the night was young and truly full of surprises.

My first impression was that of a kid in a candy store; so many books, so little time! The facility of reading the books right then and there was previously unheard of, and being served tea or coffee as well... HEAVENLY! Not to mention the nostalgia factor that kicked in when I saw the cushions on the floor (which I strenuously resisted the temptation to relax on), reminiscent of my old school's library.

So, I asked the charming patron of the bookstore-come-cafe if they had an inventory list of all the books they were displaying, as going through them, despite being an adventure in itself, would be a tremendous task! She asked me to leave my email address and they'd get right on it.

(I do not think I will be viewing that list tho; as sifting through the books is like searching for a buried treasure buried in treasure!)

The last surprise of the evening came when I handed over the list with my email added to it to the friendly patron's (I wish I were good with names, I'm sorry!) colleague? Assistant? Business partner? Who was categorising the books and entering them into the database.

Upon inspection she asks, who's email is this? (pointing @ mine), I sheepishly raise my hand. She asks, "you're lordaymz, the blogger?"

Hehe, small world, turns out, she too is a blogger! So it occurred to me to redub the Bookstore Blogosphere Cafe, where bloggers can meet-&-greet, relax and whatnot.

Z, SW, I am hesitant to thank you online for fear of revealing your identity :S suffice to say it was really nice to tie a face to the wonderful writings I read :)

Keep up the great work!

And bloggers, head on over to Blogosphere Cafe for 'inspiration'. For it is literature, in all its kinds, that is both a window into the past, as well as a guiding light toward the future.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Stay calm…stay calm…STAY CALM!

By “worry management expert” Denise Marek!

A list of tips and tricks to help us wiggle our way out of the jaws of worry:

1-Stop the “What Ifs”—The outcome of your mistakes is not as bad as you think; it’s the “What if?” that causes unnecessary worry.

2-Ditch All That Stuff—When your home (or workplace) is a mess, it causes mental clutter and anxious thoughts. Declutter and only keep items that you need, use or love.

3-Just the Facts, Ma’am—Challenge your assumptions. They are often wrong, and negative assumptions are unfounded if you don’t have all the facts.

4-Make More Mistakes—If you’re not making enough mistakes, you’re not taking enough risks!

Get a Second Opinion—Talk to someone else for an unbiased view of the situation, but don’t get your second opinion from a negative person.

5-Rock Your Worries Away—The motion of swaying back and forth can calm your body and mind when you’re stressed. So let’s get rockin’!

6-The Truth and Nothing But…—When you’ve had a breach of integrity, acknowledge it and make amends; don’t let it erode your inner peace.

7-It’s Okay to Look Foolish—Stop obsessing over what others think; no one ever died from embarrassment. Really!

8-Don’t Give Up—Never judge your success by your first effort. You need to make a last three attempts.

Be a Warrior, Not a Worrier—The next time a worry comes up, ask yourself: Will it really matter 12 months from now? Move on!

Imagine spending the next week not worrying about looking foolish, making mistakes, or spending excess time on matters that won’t mean squat a year from now. 

Doesn’t that make you feel CALM already?