Michael Jackson – Too Good, Too Soon?

28 06 2009
Didn't get back up this time

...didn't manage to get back up this time around...

So, seems like MJ really is dead. Cardiac arrest, followed by an hour of resuscitation, but to no avail. Again, Muslims/Islam managed to tick some people off when a news channel censored Jermain Jackson’s press conference’s ending statements, where he said “May Allah be with you, Michael, always,”. Jermaine is an announced Muslim (taking the name Abdul Aziz) whilst rumors surfaced about MJ while he was in Bahrain.

I was really surprised about ToO’s news yesterday about Jackson being in Oman, esp on the personal invitation of The Essa Zadjali. But since I was not in Oman at that time (a university had hired me to study for them. Tried to resign tonnes of times but they wouldn’t let me. I had a negative salary of 250 RO/m), and there was no media coverage that I recall, so I was genuinely surprised. And then the cheesy shot of Essa & MJ with an Omani cap in MJ’s hand. Wonder what the motive was!!?

Surprisingly, again, there has been very little bile in the media so far. Frankly, I expected more. Most of it is subtle, tepid “such unfulfilled promise,” “remember what he was, not what he became,” “I loved him as a child star”, bot-man genius” et. al. Unfulfilled promise? Every LP was a masterpiece, (or atleast a best-seller).  Remember what he was, not what he became? He wasn’t a model, he was a singer and songwriter, and pretty good one at that: up there with Elvis & The Beatles in rankings. & then the condescending: he was so sweet! So precocious! Yeah? And “Smooth Criminal” is one of the greatest pieces of music of all time which I personally like. So is Billie Jean & Thriller is the best selling album of all time.

Celebrity statements are pouring in. There are tonnes of them here. Mostly repetitive though, but shows you the people who knew him. I expected more on Farah Fawcett!!

Funeral arrangements are next. Expectations are to get the body Tuesday & have something ready by then or Wednesday. Oooo! Like to see the media got batshit crazy over this one, just like they did for Diana & Elvis. I regularly want something like this (not someone dying, but some one/thing to waver, even if for an instant, like Anna Nicole) to see the media instantly stain their pants. I mean they instantly go all ga-ga and start dripping! Wow! Really talks volumes about their professionalism and sense of perspective.

So I end this here with a RIP for the man who really didn’t matter if he were black or white, coz he gave us a thriller of a ride as long as he lasted off the wall, with his dangerous defiance of cultural norms. He did rock my world once, then fell out of my life, but doesn’t take away from his history, which was not bad, btw; I still remember the time. After all, no one can beat it like the King of Pop did. Poor thing, managed to be gone too soon. Guess this is it then!

-FK





MJ dead

26 06 2009

Seeing notices of Michael Jackson’s death on the BBC website, nothing on CNN for now.

Paramedics were called to the singer’s Beverly Hills home at about midday on Thursday after he stopped breathing.

He was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre. Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, said he was believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest.

Hmm.. he had, like, 50 concerts planned, starting next-next Sunday.

So, I guess it’s RIP!

-FK





Leftist Laughs

24 06 2009

… and then there were leftist cartoons…

Can cartoons be leftist? Well, they sure can, as Barry has shown. And not that only, the satirical content, whilst not so hidden as to be subtly satirical, is out there and brazenly displayed for everyone to see.

The US is promoting democracy in more places than that…

-FK





“To be Pissed or not to be Pissed”

23 06 2009

That’s what I get paid. Obviously, I’m generalizing. And then again, it might not be true, but still.

My current dilemma/pissed-offness stems from a query whether I’m being paid by my company (company 47) for the time I spend on my seat? Am I being paid for the work that I do? Is my payscale determined by my job responsibilities? Or by my job profile @ 8 hours per day?

If I were to lean to time-based payments, then there would be an overtime policy in-place. But there isn’t. I can work my ass off and go home at 12 pm and return at 7 am continuously, and I won’t be paid a single dime extra for it. But if it is work based, then there are no major milestone policies in-place. (There is something initiated and loosely applicable within my department only, but that’s something we’ve implemented ourselves, just to help the annual employee evaluation process be transparent-er). It is not something at the corporate/company level.

So, time or work? There are circulars floating around requiring not to leave before off-time and to come at on-time. There is also a card/fingerprint timing system in place. So that means it is time-based. But then why no overtime?

Associated problem: The management is not required to use the timing system, nor are they required to be in on time. That comes with the fact that official functions can, and do, carry over into the night, often requiring 12/14 hour days. But I have a management-member-boss who implements to 9-5 on himself. He is there, bright and shiny, always before 9, and leaves after 5. He mentions that whenever he leaves his office, he does mention it to his boss (who is the penultimate boss, btw); so he expects us to do the same. So, governed by management rules, I am not required to follow the 9-5; governed by boss-rules, I’m expected to follow the 9-5, strictly, and the mgmt-member-boss always has himself as an example.

Come end of month this month, I see red-marks all over my presence sheet. Asking for an explanation gets me the “I come at 8:30” mini-speech,  and now I’m stuck, weirded out, and pissed.

What to do?

-FK





ICC T20:We Have a Winner!

22 06 2009

In more ways than one. Having an all-winning team winning something is just continuation. Having an all-losing team t20_world_cup_2009(25)winning something is just a coincidence. Having Pakistan win the T20 World Cup is just astounding!

There are many tiny elements that seen individually cannot predict the final outcome. The slowly building media-realization of a pitch-perfectly-consistent bowler; the simple move of a batsman from #6 to #3; the return of an old player; the wiping off of a grin from the captain’s face and the simple feeling of pride on success  garnered carefully by the team’s management; all these factors exist and have existed at different times, but for all of them to come together and produce a fitting outcome for a team & a country that needed something like this, desperately.

It makes me happier in the knowledge that the displaced refugees from the Northern Areas of Pakistan would be smiling last night. Many would be jumping in joy and the ones able to, would be dancing and celebrating on the streets. Victims of mindless terror attacks and suicide bombings might have forgotten their sorrows and allowed for a smile to flit across their faces, bringing back some of the color lost to tension, fear and sorrow. The politicians, keeping their lies to themselves, commended the team, their first truth spoken in years. It makes me happier to see the people spontaneously coming onto the streets, instead of running for their homes; people dancing and laughing openly, instead of unashamed tears over losing a loved one; the municipality cleaning the roads of confetti and sweetmeat boxes and colorful ribbons, instead of washing away blood and dismembered parts. It makes me happy to have Pakistan in the news for winning a World Cup, instead of losing a life.

Jolly good show, sir!

-FK





10 Grand – Below the belt!

18 06 2009

Thanks to Queen of Tarts for sending this. Now, I’m starting off with a disclaimer that this stinks. In fact, I’m all ready to dismiss it as outlandish, but then again, the URL seems legit, & Mozilla had a scheme somewhat like this sometime ago, albeit without the cash. So typical of Microsoft to ripoff someone else’s idea.

SMIS0308_IE8_twitter_bg_cpd

The idea is that Microshort has created a page somewhere on the interwebs that is IE viewable only. And whoever finds

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

that page gets to win 10,000 US$. They claim that page is non-Firefox viewable, however, I’ll have to recheck that one.

The original announcement is spotted at Microsort Australia. Then there’s a Twitter page (and user @Tengrand_IE8) which shall start posting clues everyday from the 19th of June onwards. Another website is linked too, but it is down (or mebbe just for me @ work).

Now I want to know what type of pages are visible in IE8 and not in FF3. How is FF3.5 team going to be able to resist adding features to their browser to make it open anything on the web. Ofcourse, the winning page can always detect the browser type and then render some alternate elements to be displayed. But then again, I use IE Tab, (which is awesome btw) and User agent switching plugin which defeats the whole purpose of this idea, right? Hehhe!

And what if we do a V for Vendetta and flood the Intertubes with the winning page? And how does Microsock hope to use this tactic to make IE8 actually work properly!???!!

As usual, the shenanigans start. here, here, here and here.

So, someone from Oman finding it?

-FK

Update: Microshlong is really desparate for IE8.

Update #2: The whole thing works with User Agent Switch. The ThisMachine diagnostic website reads FF3 as IE8, fully and properly. Ironically, when I tried it using IE8, they told me I was using IE7. Now THAT’s Ironic!!!!!!

Using FF3: Click to see

Using FF3: Click to enlarge

Using IE8: click to enlarge

Using IE8: click to enlarge





(Ir+Om)an

17 06 2009

Iran, Oman & the Kish Gas Field

Yup, it’s official. Following my previous posts there was a pending visit, I was waiting for our Deputy Prime Minister to visit but it seems as if I have been upstaged by the govt. and now it is His Majesty himself who is going to pay the newly crowned Iranian President a visit. While this is significant on many levels, it is a bold statement by His Majesty to be the first head of state to visit the Iranian President after his elections. Whilst partial recount is underway, we really don’t know the state of Moosavi supporters’ unrest by the 28th. But it figures that the state police in Iran will have squashed all opposition to make it peaceful enough for our delegation to visit.

And the enoturage is impressive too. ToO states:

His Majesty the Sultan will be accompanied by a high level delegation comprising

Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, minister of the Diwan of Royal Court,

Gen. Ali bin Majid Al Ma’amari, Royal Office minister;

Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, minister responsible for foreign affairs;

Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, minister of national economy and deputy chairman of the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council;

Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al Rowas, His Majesty the Sultan’s adviser for cultural affairs,

Dr Ali bin Mohammed bin Moosa, minister of health;

Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, commerce and industry minister;

Lt.-General Malik bin Sulaiman Al Ma’amari, inspector-general of police and customs,

Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Romhi, minister of oil and gas,

Sheikh Yahya bin Abdullah Al Fannah Al Araimi, the Sultanate’s ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Nice! That’s 7 ministers, 10 portfolios and 13 heads of profiles and 1 Head of State. Seems like Oman will get a corner of the international media for this event, since all spotlights are pointing there already. Oman will be like a minor character in a play suddenly sharing the stage with the main female lead who has been hogging the stage. Now whether this character uses this opportunity to do something screenworthy and make her presence felt or will just pass on the glass of water, play his minor part and exit left, is yet to be seen. Hoping it is the former, expected to be the latter.

But then again, expect important development to happen on the Gas Sharing thingies floating around. With the ongoing gas field deals, the joint gas and energy company setup, tourism and infrastructure deals setup, I want to think that nuclear issues are also going to be discussed, however I don’t think that is going to be announced anywhere.

Well, let’s see.

-FK