Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Politik 09

The most political I am is when I listen to Coldplays Politik.

Our history is littered with war and spattered with bloodshed, and the past will keep repeating itself. It makes me read the newspaper from back to front avoiding the yellow journalism of the front pages. This is what drapes news stands, the innocent victims of conflict. Is it fair to to expose young minds to the atrocities of the world? Have them grow up in fear, minds conditioned to expect the crappy residue of mindless actions?

Sometimes we like to live oblivious to the gore and sensationalism. Sometimes I think about this hypotheses propagated by The Secret that claims the more you pay attention to something, the more it is reinforced by the energy of your attention and the more it thrives. Maybe I'm just justifying ignorance. Who is to say that blind faith isn't the way to go? What do most of us do in all our awareness of the current crises of the world?

Should beliefs not spur action or is there a self reassuring illusion when they are complacently held? I don't have any answers for a question I don't even know. All I can wonder is, "2009, what will you bring us?"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Midnight Toil

Off I was to Camp Arifjan today, with limited new music on my mediocre N78 and a full tank of Gas. Though my work actively revolves around it, I show up there once in a year to process my access badge, which eventually finds itself in the black hole of a bottom drawer I have; or depending on how nice my picture on it turns out; hangs from the blinds of the window by my desk.
While a good project manager drives the hour long drudgery that is the drive, to liason with clients and look at current progress; the better project manager meets them at parties or elsewhere off base where it's more relaxed and 20 minutes away from the couch, yeah that be me indeed. For work, the phone and email and my cushy chair more than suffices. Nevertheless, the badge is still required if I need to put in an appearance for damage control or another Operation Myspace kind of thang.
So off I went. The procedure to get your access badge gets complicated by every millisecond- which is coincidentally the same amount of time another General Trading Company would take to sprout up that requires a cascade of access badges. I had found out this morning that the latest in a series of unfortunate changes made in the process is this new one- it requires me to personally go to the base to take a token number. This token number is an appointment stating the date and time I can return for a long procedure that involves everything short of a body scrub. Now I'm conditioned to think that all of those meticulous measures are forgivable but what I'm not too happy about is that written on my file, what is supposed to be the time, looks something like a 5. Like 5 in the morning. The A of the M. That's seriously the last way I want to start the 3rd day of the New Year, or the 4th or the 5th even. A couple of calls later and nothing. An hour later, and still nothing. It looks like I'm going to have to experience the beauty of sun rise once again. Ummm, yay.

Anyways since I can't click pics of the base mostly coz they won't let you take a phone with a camera in, I clicked you a mundane Middle Eastern Kuwaiti Sunset on my way there. I'm gonna bet I can get a similar pic of sunrise 3rd morning, look out for an identical post, jeez.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Red Light Mania

No, the mania is not related to being scantily clad at a red light district. I wouldn't want to catch a cold, and there's also the fact that besides not being my cup of tea; it's risky monkey business here. It still exists, though the activity past the Highway of Death down by Fahaheel has thinned down from what it was before (well, at least the former link depicts it isn't prostitution more often than not). Hilarious related stories, though since I just realized that digressing is the cardinal sin of blogging, I shall spare you the more interesting accounts and revert to the original sleep inducing one.
My red light related mania has been my unintentional deviant crossing of red lights. Being the new driver that I am, the focus has usually been on not causing utter chaos while sucessfully releasing pent up fast lane fury.

So you can imagine my horror the other day, when my foot refused to roll off the accelerator and ignored the yellow light; which to my foots utter surprise turned red what seemed like two seconds later. Suddenly it didn't matter that I was cheekily racing with cute SLK guy. My oblivious lil foot hadn't a clue about a 3 month jail sentence and even deportation for expats for crossing a red signal. Fortunately though, both signals I'd swished by had neither cameras nor badly camouflaged cop cars.... It was utterly unintentional, and I'm not the red-signal-crossing type, or resortin-to-safety-lane-during-trafffic-jam-type or non-indicating-skipping-lanes-too-fast-type.

My aberrant indulgences involve inching forward in spurts at red lights to see cars following me doing the same in silly inches; clicking a picture with flash of the jerk who overtakes me after tailing me at 140 bumper to bumper-just so he thinks he got clicked by a speed camera; occasionally putting on my windshield wipers on to spray the jerk behind me if he's kissing bumper butt faster than he should with his high beam on. That could sound like a bad metaphor but it's obviously not. Listen, you may say delinquent, but oh if you only knew how people drove here you'd think I'm an angel shaped Asphodel.

Anyways, just thought I'd put what seemed to be the only circulating ( and now the spelling mistakes in it can be read, thx damn expat :-D) copy of the new traffic rules that seemed to have
had an effect. Though as that article implies, expats are being deported for the more severe penalties though it's not mentioned here. Drive safe, peeps. And I'll try to find me some road rage management either way.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Geminiac Disfunctionality

I am the gemini child of gemini parents. Even the conspiring astrologists maintain that a gemini horoscope includes a whirlwind personality with no room for boredom. In the past month though, I have been the living proof for the world to have enough reason to tie up these astrologists and punch 'em until they really see stars.

For the last two months, I have been a virtual wanderer, from blog to blog and link to link (and we know how that can be a vortex of a loop, infinite in its continuity especially when you leave the tabs and windows open from yesterdays reckless web surfing). I have been bored to smithereens, and while the astrologers may shake their fists and say it is situational and blame my laissez-faire aka neglectful uninspiring Management; I will merely ..... merely...... merely raise an eyebrow (!) and say that the word situational** was not mentioned beneath the horoscope in fine print. Hah.
Either way, back to reality where I am supposedly solely responsible for said lethargy and lack of focus- I have figured out how to be productive and fight the humdrum conundrum of 9 to 6 again(no, no more aptitude tests)! Since most of my work is done and over with by noon, I am going to pull out my old Business plan from the folder in the folder within the folder behind the folder- obviously a forgotten and far away file, and edit it yet again for what I suppose is the 33rd time. I was meant to kick start this baby when I was 25 and grieved a dead dream on the eve of my birthday. But hey, if I look beyond my melodrama, I still am 25 and have 6 months before that deadline is actually due!
Now, I need to keep reminding myself that I would be proving 'em astrology peeps predictions wrong if I succeed as an entrepreneur!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting Down Tonight

Okay, my best buddy is out of town to gimme an opinion. Even though I know that my non existent range of readers are not going to read this post today itself and the partay is tonight. Oh well, I'll leave it to you to pick one of the two ensembles below.

And if you dont I'm going with the first!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

America's Got Talent: A Mockery of Indian and Pakistani Culture

The three judges from America's got Talent seem to have turned Pakistani and Indian culture into an utter mockery by endorsing the most awful representation of it and addressing it as what it was meant to mock. The second round of Americas Got Talent saw Kashif Memon through; and during the selection of these top 20, they addressed the drudgery spewed by the amateur bollywood wannabe as mesmerizing. Osborne lauded him for bringing his own culture to the show thus dooming the otherwise promising Indian movie industry to be stereotyped as a deadpan, bland international joke. Sources reveal that this may be Pakistan's back up attempt to hit India where it hurts most:- the pelvic moves of the cherished Indian cinema!! If America prefers to watch this act, which belongs to the worst grade of Bollywoods bowels, then their ignorance is befuddling- But this may not be a shiny new fact after an 8 year Bush administration.
Memon put on a deadpan performance botching several Indian dance steps which wound up bearing a resemblance to a bad knee massage, he lacked choreography and had the charisma of a dying rabbit. It seems maybe this show was trying too hard to rival Joshua and Katie's bollywood sequence in So You Think you Can Dance

Now compare that to this please?

It seems that America doesn't really have any talent if their top 20 consists of a Pakistani who lived there for 6 months and is doing a bad imitation of Indian Cinema. I think this calls for damage control from those three dunces (not as much Piers Morgan as the other two, since he at least hit the buzzer during Menons third round) and they should invite Joshua and Katie with another Nakul Dev Mahajan sequence to amend what they wrongly depicted in the last season of the series.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Get More Blogger Followers.

Yeah, I know I don't have alot of 'em but thats honestly cause I'm not trying to. Different people have different reasons for keeping blogs, and whilst some actively yearn for hits, followers, links; others need a vent, some others need to concoct a facade, some like one of their multiple personalities to get some face time. I need to practice my commitment to something. And starting with something non human was obviously an easier option.

Either way, back to cheap tricks.

Zero in on blogs that have even slightly common interests as you. Leave a comment on their every post for a week. Be sincere. When they start responding back, become a follower. Even if they don't reciprocate, keep at it. If they don't within a week, withdraw the cavalry, cease to follow.

Add yourself to all those new nonsense widgets and gadgets like technorati, humor blogs, 20's something (even if you are not 20 something- you can say you are 20 something at heart) Stumbleupon kicks more ass than any of the others do, more so because its as simple as it is to eat a cupcake. The blogs you find through this, will be those related to your interests and thus sincere comments wont be that difficult.

Keep your posts short, and simple. We have attention spans that are more in demand than is the Mona Lisa. Thats not true but brevity is bloody important. We are kids at heart. We like color too. Slap in a picture or two.

Everytime you get a follower, make a mention of them on your next post with a link. Do a one line review if you can.

Don't underestimate what this group can turn into. It is limited to 100 people and will then be made private. Join now, and it will be an exclusive group of people who would like comments or followers.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Review of Top Aptitude and Personality Tests

Can you tell that I am saturated with my job? Seems like the common sentiment around, must be the weather.
So I was trying to magically stumble upon my dream job on bayt.com when I saw instead a feature they had done on self assessments tests. Since today is supposed to be a pre- bakri eid holiday, and I am at work (while the employees of the mother concern have sauntered off home) I shall revolt by trying to find out what career I should actually be sacrificing my couch time for!
The first was the Mapp Assessment Test. 71 questions, done in 15 minutes. I think it's the career seeker package that is supposed to solve my problems which is some 40 dollars. It reveals just half of who it supposes you are and conveniently avoids the top 10 suitable careers but allows you to see the 10th-20th best. All Mapp packages reveal the top 10, and the cheapest package is 20 $.
Then I tried the SDS method which I liked a little more. It starts out by asking you what you what careers you are/ have been interested in, takes about 20 minutes. The answers come more naturally and I don't mind paying the 5$ for it. Just trying to find someone who wants to give me an early xmas present since I've got probs with my credit card :-( I'll update the results of the purchase later.
The renowned Myer-Briggs test gives you a a result stating what "type" of person you are. I have before been aptly described as an ENTP, and like an astrological sign there are variations of it at typelogic (it tells you about what relationship is best for you with what type- now obviously you can't go find a certain Type to fill that void in your life - but if you know a certain type and are not taking advantage of this side of the relationship, well stop reading this and apply it and experiment. Then come back here and tell me if it works.) There's even an ENTP website but they may be pushing it too far.
Though it was upsetting to get the results of the Keirsey test for the second time as an Idealist (An ENTP is not an idealist but a Rational (or Inventor)). So I did the Carl Jung Meyer Briggs test again and I turned out to be an ENFP this time which isn't too different from the basic ENTP. It does fit with the Keirsey test and it makes me a champion and Keirseys ENFP description says this type can fall under inventor too. Maybe they are right...... Or maybe we change over time.... I'm also sure I have completely lost you so just go do the Myer-Brigg and the Keirsey test and lemme know if they wind up the same. Time to know who you are, sport!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I'm gonna miss your pinkness! I even drew you a piggy wiggy .... Surf safe....................

Border Run

Mutton. Sorry, I didn't mean that.
I may have meant Shworma.

Running on empty and we still had 30 Kms to go. But I think a beat up mazda 6 can do 50 kms in reserve

It said do not photograph. My finger slipped! The skeletal remains of vehicles during the war with Iraq.

The left road goes to K Crossing and the Iraqi border. The right goes to Camp Buerrhing.

A lone camel.
Little Vagabond walking towards a mirage.

The middle of nowhere.
More of the Middle of Nowhere, just increased contrast.
To the Kuwait-Iraq Border to K-Crossing. I liked all the pictures so didn't go through the trouble of depriving you of any of the almost identical desert landscapes :-D



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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Overrated Originality

First the novels were cast aside by television taking over. Nobody would read anymore. Then it was the internet. There was alot of online reading. The books were e-booked and also audio booked. But somewhere down the line we wound up being satisfied reading articles.
The artists and painters got coreldraw, comic strip generators for cartoonists, PCDJ and other DJ softwares to match BPMS in a heartbeat, we got a Googles Sketchup software for you to become your own architect. Bloggers proliferated and suddenly everyone was a writer. The originality was not running out, it was getting overrated. Everyone can be replaced.

N78 after the 6300

I've had the N78 for about 5 days now, and I've been highly tweaking it. I hope it comes to replace the 6300 I slept with, which witnessed my morning ablutions, which I'd forget at home once every alternate week and drive back 20 minutes to pick up. I thought my palm was permanently contoured to the sleek body of the 6300 but it seems like there is hope. The N78 ain't really waif, but that doesnt make it un-holdable at all. The buttons were particularly noticed by the bevy of ooh-ers and aaah-ers, but it is highly usable as opposed to the comments its appearance provoked. No, the buttons are fine.

The FM transistor being the main function I picked it up for works well, except a 10 second stretch on 6th ring road. I am yet to experience more than the Viva La Vida on it though. The shortcuts flustered me before pleasing me, the keypad is fantastic to navigate around once you figure out the various shortcut keys it allows you to take advantage of. My favourite standby theme hidden under the personalization feature is the Vertical icon bar that allows a maximum of about 14 shortcuts from the main page.

Another feature I found was pressing the menu key left bottom, allows you to see all open applications and go to them from there. Sheer genius. The Games required me to download NGage which works well, but I haven't found fab game options yet.... but there are many more to look through.

So thats my latest discoveries on the N78, I will certainly come back and update this when I uncover some tweaking time from my not very busy day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Salaries and Costs in Kuwait

I've had a couple of people ask me lately about standard salaries in Kuwait. The different information they receive is staggering apparently, and Google rendered only one relevant article. I know there is a large differentiation in payscales for westerners and non-westerners but that is still too broad a description to help. There are some who get paid more due to the vasta they have with their employers and others who are being paid way below what they deserve. After I filled out my details on www.payscale.com, it said "Our database is growing very quickly, so we hope to be able to satisfy your request for a personal salary report soon. In order to do so, we need more employees in your industry and your location in our database, so please encourage your colleagues to visit us ".
Other than that, current costs have increased here due to , which was followed by government action which happened for the locals, but many others didnt get it and the private sector definitely didnt endorse it. Later in June 2008, another 50 KD approval for Kuwaitis which actually caused the inflation to worsen. So now, studio apartments are no lesser than 200 KD- Its hard to find studio apartments except in Spanish Villas and such with facilities like a pool and Gym. A one bedroom apartment is easily 200 to 250 KD which is what an excellent 2 bedroom place in salmiya by La Baguette on Baghdad Street cost me in Feb 2008. Now it takes alot of searching but I do know of 290 KD two bedroom apartments and 350- KD three bedroom apartments.
It would be helpful for you and others if you anonymously jot down your information, blogger allows you to do so anonymously if you will as well.
I'm sure an anonymous summary of our sals, Ethnicity + # of years in work experience; and monthly expenditures can allow us to share perspectives and perhaps gain insight on where we stand and how to better ourselves.
Update: I'm no longer as brave as http://www.myopenwallet.net/ to scream out the privacies of my bank accounts so I shall be one of the anonymous commentors who (if any) state it below......

Trying to Technorati, and Bugger Buzz.

Technorati Profile
Update: My next post will be Technorati for Dummies. Once I figure it out!

Now I'm going to try to yahoo buzz this article- though I want to ask--- is there a way to automate your posts to enter into the yahoo buzz?
Any place that has yahoo buzz, technorati, digg, reddit for dummies?