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Monthly Archives: August 2008

happy fasting to the fasters out there!

and happy discreetly having lunch/coffee/smoke to those not fasting!

😛

for those of us not fasting ramadan is a great time to learn new things, or do stuff we dont have time to do during the rest of the year. finish that book you’ve always wanted to read, starting sketching or painting again or even learn how to how to use the 90% of the functions on your camera that you never use.

its a great time to go on adventures where ever you may be. for many foreigners there are areas that we’ve been told not to go, and as some one who never listens to what might be sound advice, now is a great time to check out places like jahra or jleeb al shyukh to see how the other half live.

at around sundown the streets are empty as everyone is breaking their fast, so those areas are relatively safe.

but do be careful, sundown is also the most dangerous time on the roads as there are always a few that decide to speed recklessly to make it home for breakfast.

what will the skunk be mostly doing during ramadan?

i have my own adventre that i will shortly be embarking on so i will mostly be reading up on japan, and finishing off some last bits of paperwork. it has finaly gotten around to the point where i am now shopping for airplane tickets,… whoohoo!

i’m also toying with the idea of making music videos for some of my tracks,… which i have yet to finish,…

ummm, yeah,… we’ll see how long that idea lasts,..

anyway, i shall leave you with this dr seuss poem from the excellent Haikugirl , who’s blog i have been reading,…

to those of you embarking on adventures, old or new, big or small, physical or mental or spiritual,…

dr seuss is at hand:

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’ t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so

but, sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

“zebraporn”

2 hits froma search engine.

i googled it:

apparently its the name of a livejournal account: http://zebraporn.livejournal.com/profile

which is fair enough.

thing is, the google result and link to my blog doesnt show up,….

i went thru 4 pages of results and i’m not listed as a result.

not that i should be,…. i never wrote anything about, pertaining to, or even remotely connected to zebraporn besides this post.

conclusion:

someone is looking for zebraporn soooo hard that they have used a search engine other than google, or including google and have actually managed to go thru all the result pages till they decided to click on my link.

you strange strange people.

edit: i have tracked down the reason why zebraporn led to my blog…… apparently i coined the phrase in a reply to a comment.

yes i am one of you strange strange people too.

ever wonder how your neighbours can afford to buy a new car every year or so even tho they only have average jobs, or even good but not super spectacular jobs?

they must be loaded right?

well,…. not necessarily.

overheard in a cafe:

a: you should see my new car its sweet as!

b: didnt you get a new car a few months ago?

a: yeah but that was last year.

b: so you got another one?

a: no, i traded in my old car, and then i paid only KD600 and got a brand new 2008 car.

b: nice.

a: yup, a new car for only KD600!

b: bargain!

a: but i really want car x which has a new model coming out at the end of the year so i’ll get that afterwards.

b: cool, and you’ll probaby have to pay less since your new car will still be pretty new when you trade it in later this year.

a: exactly! so i’ll get a brand new 2009 for even less than KD600.

b: thats quite clever.

a: it is quite sweet.

.

.

.

wtf?

now bear in mind that a car, unlike real estate or stocks, is not considered an asset. not even if you have paid it off.

why?

cos unlike a house, which over time should appreciate in value greater than the cost of owning it (repairs, etc) a car can only drop in value from the minute you drive it out the shop. add to that the cost of owning and operating it and a car is a negative impact on your wallet. it is therefore classed as a liability and not an “investment” by any stretch of the imagination. unless you are buying an “already classic” or unless you want to stretch your imagination to 70 years where maybe, just maybe your mass produced car becomes a classic,… after 99% of the cars produced have been scraped.

so what is dude (a) doing that dude (b) is impressed with?

as far as they are concerned, dude (a) gets a brand new car every year and it “only” costs him KD600 a year.

dude (a) and dude (b) both think its a great deal cos yes if you only look at it that way then a brand new car for KD600 a year is a great deal. infact, its so great a deal that i dont know how those car companies make any money or stay in business.

but behind the new car is a loan.

and with each new car, his previous loan is rolled over into a new one.

with massive payments to make every month.

so dude (a) is perpetually in debt.

which i suppose is not a big deal here, unlike overseas where good credit is required to put a roof over your head.

credit ratings dont exist here (yet), so mortgages are approved simply by having a government job or by being a citizen, or by working for a listed company if youre an expat. for locals, home loans are backed by the government and seperated from other loans, and expats arent allowed to purchase property, which means the only things you’ll really really need a loan for is consumer items.

does not being in debt not mean anything?

or does it just not mean as much as maintaining the impression that you have an oil well in your backyard?

and that question is even funnier when you realize that i’m talking to expats as well, who sure as hell dont have an oil well in their backyard, if they even have balcony let alone a backyard. and yet becaus they work ina  country where “everyone has an oil well in their backyard” they have to be seen to be doing well.

yup, the expats adventuring into such stupidity come from every class,… from the new fresh from college indian kid to the “i’ve been here 15 years” egyptian lawyer to the “yay! i’m not paying taxes western contractor with the filipina girlfriend” to the ” i’ve been here 30 years, so i really do know everything jordanian who has a canadian passport but is really palestinian”.

everyone’s doing it so it cant be stupid can it?

well,…

thats up to your own personal definition of stupid.

but atleast now you know,…

youre neighbour isnt necessarily loaded.

he’s just as likely to leave his ID at the gas station as “collateral” as the next guy.

some people should not be allowed to operate computers, or cars, or anything more complex than a plastic baby spoon.

1- pass by NBK head office, go upstairs to corporate, wait your turn,….

notice big bowl of free chocolate,…

help yourself to one,..

or 5.

2- pass by stock exchange,…

chat to dude, notice a big bowl of chocolates on the coffee table,…

have a couple,…

or 7.

3- exit the stock exchange, say hello to the teaboy on your way out.

dude insists on getting you some tea and having a chat,…

ok.

and some cookies.

4- head to NBK branch to pick up new card with superduper chip in it.

find baskin robbins staff inside said NBK branch handing out free scoops.

have one.

get some stuff done, and wait for the NBK guys to do their stuff,…

branch is kinda empty so the ice cream guy comes around again,…

“its ok i just had one already,”

“nevermind, have another one.”

well,… it would have been rude to refuse.

and all this before lunch at 1230pm.

when a former madman like gaddafi,

who lives in a tent:

gaddafi's tent at the Hôtel Marigny a 19th-century Parisian state residence

gaddafi's tent at the Hôtel Marigny a 19th-century Parisian state residence

and has an entourage of deadly female ninja bodyguards:

gaddafi and his killer babes,... literally.

gaddafi and his killer babes,... literally.

calls you mad,…

then you know you’re screwed:

from the LA TIMES:

“What Iran is doing stems simply from arrogance. … In the event of a decision against Iran, this country will suffer the same outcome as Iraq. … Iran is not any stronger than Iraq and won’t have the means to resist (a military attack) on its own. … The challenges are greater and exceed Iran’s ability to reply.” – M. Gaddafi.

surely nothing is more sobering than a nut calling you the ayatollah of cashews.