The Bottom Half Divided by 2

5 08 2009

I’m kinda sorta having trouble with work nowadays.

Not with the authorities/company policy, but with a couple of “elements” that take the concept of CYA a bit too far. The general mentality of the ‘little black workers’ to screw up everyone and everything, to let go of all morals and integrity of theirs, but to not let go of the job/post is not something compatible with the likes of me. However, sadly, such things are not things that you raise at the proper level, neither can you do anything about them at your own level, being as inconsequential as they are. But they do have a consequence of pissing me off and making me shake my head at how relative morals are. My father had this gem to pass onto me: “Imagine a person of average intelligence. Imagine how he would be acting. Now imagine that half the world is less intelligent than that.” I’ve read it before, but I still like it everytime I hear it! 🙂

5795

The Bottom Half of the IQ level, divided by 2.

-TFK





Vegetables, Steam and In-laws

22 07 2009

As I departed in the immortal words of Arnold, with a resolution of “I’ll be back”, little did I know that my solid confidence and regards for the Queen to uphold my blog and keep the visitors coming would be brought crashing on by her solitary post with all its tartiness in effect. The detrimental effect of having the amount of unique visitors drop from 40-something to a measly 10 for the last 4 days shows how tempered and generally non-tarty-minded my readers are (all 4 of them; the rest 36 are, I think, accidental Stumblers).

Anyway, the in-laws are still in, with an impending travel date finalized. Things are fine (and those two sentences are not related, mind you) and going well.

The atrociously weird post heading brings me to the vegetable market in WadiKabir next, where a bulldozer was spotted digging up the floor and wrecking general havoc. At the risk of upsetting dear wife, I managed to stop the car and get a peek and saw these great large trenches and deep pits all dug up, which proclaimed a “they’re resetting the drainage system” comment from an elder, after which they’ll have to re-do the flooring with new tiling. No signs of any accelerated work, nor are hordes of little dark workers being dumped; no urgency to completion, not even regular speed, as there has been no work in evidence for 3-4 days now (based on when I manage to drive by there). I did take some pics, but currently don’t have the mechanism to make them reach this pc, so that’s all pended for a later update.

Humidity and heat in the atmosphere elicited a comment from a 10-year old who pompously stated that it was so hot because of all the steam in the air. Trust good ol’ brain-farted me, who spent a good 10-minutes explaining to him the difference between humidity and steam, only for him to remark, in the manner of all 10-year olds, “I know!”, leaving me feeling pretty uncomfortable. Sadly, I avoided a 10-year old kid for the rest of our excursion trip.

Otherwise things are going on. Life goes on and the dents you try to make are pretty soon popped out by the pressure of everyday events. The huge dent put in by MJ with his death and memorial and all has already started filling in, where you can spend 3/4 hours on the telly without seeing an MJ story. QoT’s rant on Joe Jackson’s mug notwithstanding, the key players in the children’s money custody drama to emerge are more busy with lawyers and stuff than ever, who shall be ignore by the media until something untoward happens, such is the twisted demand of the viewing masses.

The Renissance Day holiday has been announced on Saturday, the 25th. All talks of the govt joining the Islamic Holiday of Israa’ wal Me’raaj and Renaissance Day have evaporated with only 2 discrete off days in 2 consecutive weeks. Good thing though that the extended weekend shall bring more people out of their houses if the current overcast condition prevail till Saturday, as it did Monday.

Stay In Peace.

-FK





Pricey Nike…

4 07 2009

Our beloved TSC has recently revamped its non-foodstuff floor. Whilst being one of the few peaceful & better places left to shop, I’ve noticed the steadily stealthily hiking prices of sports items and clothing. I’m sure these pair of shorts were not more than 7 rials a coupla months ago.

But now, we get a whopping 20 R.O price tag for them. You can get the same original stuff at City Center for not more than 15, even 12 rials is some cases.

I wonder if TSC is in cahoots with unFair??

-TFK

Note: 1 Omani Rial = 0.386 US$





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





Its Only Words…

17 06 2009

No paraphrasing this time!

Anyway, what is so scrumptiously intriguing as to make you cachinnate and have all onygophagists forget their obsession and instead treat themselves to it? Dunno? Neither do I.

But instead of finding such things, what amount of words should a person know, or, what should be the vocabulary level of dictionary-thumb1a person in today’s world & time? Should the above sentence be understandable by more than 50% people? If one does not understand it, is he to be considered “less-read” or something similar? What levels should we look at?

Vocabulary, like so many things linguistic, is something that is majorly dependent on the environment, usage and application of  the person. People working in business environments are used to “With due regards to the below-mentioned” while management members write emails like “Pl. proceed as discussed. “, while at the same time people who have no requirement for English exposure, who work and live surrounded by their natives are very happy with “haan, we got the order 7abibi!. Call rafiki. Capsice?“.

Then there are the long-nosed, glasses-at-the-end people who are all prim and proper and are the Allied form of grammar nazis. Pushing, pulling and rearranging their narratives to include curmudgeonly words and proper grammatical structures.

But what is the standard? Words that take you through? Or words that will pass a standardized test? Or even still words and a vocab that is better than your peers around you, regardless of standardized tests and exams? Whatever it entails, being arsefingley is a major consideration.

But all in all, new words have to be learnt, or even invented, coz the yipnupdooley will never stop.

-FK





Emot-Iran

16 06 2009

Take a horse. Should be dead. No, kill him, just arrange to obtain a dead horse. Lay him down (or if you can, make him stand up)….. and then beat him. Beat him and Beat him to death!

Just what did you achieve? The same as I’ll achieve by speaking about the spin media puts on events.

The elections in Iran. Ever since Ahmadinejad even hinted at his victory, the media, international ofcourse (CNN & Bloomberg, that we I get here) has been ranting and raving about foul, rigged, cheated, fradulent and what-not elections. Regardless of what happened on-ground, why does an supposedly independant 3rd party have the gall to point out one viewpoint so loudly as to defean others. Just like writing 30,000 billion and then 1 trillion and saying the billions are more. Twisting, turning, churning, pivoting, manipulating everything to suit one way or the other.

NatGeo: Iran

NatGeo: Iran

Why just can’t we have a newsflash that says “It is believed by so-and-so that the elections were rigged. However, so-and-so says they were not. The Iranian leaders announced the win of so-and-so but have now called for a recount”. Phrase that properly and ta-da, news! But even here, the possibility of manipulation is so much. The first so-and-so could be someone of clout, the 2nd one a known crankcase, one viewpoint with videos and graphics, the 2nd one delivered with a smirk across the face etc etc etc. Bah!

But then again, its Iran we’re talking about here. A nation of people who lost an entire generation battling the Iraqis. Who saved their land from invading forces and lived to tell the tale. A land where if walk the streets you see many more women than men. Going from the Middle East, you pause and stand seeing male:female ration of 1:3. Where women police officers are as much, if not more, active than men. A nation of proud people, defiant in the face of the West. Ostracized by the international community, scraping and making inroads by sheer force of resilience and on the back of their God-gifted natural resources. Deeply religious, fanatic Shiites. One can judge their emotions by the fervor during the ’79 revolution, the annual religious festivals, the ’83 war. Why wouldn’t they be having strong opinions about the election? English hooligans anyone?

I started off with ideas and things to write about,  but scenes of the horse pass in front of my eyes. Poor horse. Dead and still taking a beating.

-FK





ICC T20 WC

15 06 2009

Busy in life. Yup, that’s what I have decided to blame my laziness to. I have not been on vacation, I have not been busy in work (infact, lately I have been working hours more and more like a govt. officer rather than a private-sector employee).  A very routine 9-5, followed by a usual trip to TSC, ending up at home with nothing to do except waste time. Some relief in the form of the ongoing ICC Twenty20 World Cup, but that doesn’t promise to last long with the random performances of Australia, West Indies, England & Pakistan, the only teams I can support. Good time to be a Sri Lankan though, however I think that if I become a Sri Lankan to support the team, I’ll lost the urge to support the team. That’s the way they are. They just are! Its as if they had to be, and if given a choice, they’d choose not to be. But since they are, they are! Splat!

There are a few good things about the ongoing tournament though. The best thing about the opening ceremony was that it didn’t happen. It would have inadvertently a roughed up copy of the IPL opening ceremony, since everything else is, with the gyrating 3-somes that they call cheerleaders, the blast of incomprehensibly small fragments of music, destroying good songs in between overs and wickets falling. Thanks to the powers-that-be that sixes are being called sixes and not a “ICC-T20-WordCup-Super-Six”.

Kudos to the Pakistani captain, Yunus Khan for mentioning that “”In this form [of cricket] it is better to take it easy and have fun. It is like WWF.” Not sure who is going to take offense, animal-rights-activists for equating the WWF to cricket (willow bats and leather balls anyone? Or rather tree-killer-bats and horse-killer-balls…… no, no, no, I didn’t mean THOSE balls!!!!)

Negative points to Australia for losing out, however, if I were a conspiracy theorist I’d say they had this planned all along in order to fully concentrate on the Ashes, leaving a befuddled England to play this and then re-organize themselves for 50 and 500-over games. Also gives the Aussies more time to down some Irish Guinness, which they can compare to the colored water sold back home.

Plus points to Pakistan for squeezing New Zealand when it was required. This gives them a spring in the step, a bounce in the jump and a bigger stick up the nether-regions when they lose out in the next big match.

-FK

I’ve been out of sorts, kinda. Apologies to my full harem of readers (all 3 of them). Things promise to pickup (and then fall drastically) soon. Keep those hits coming. And thanks for reading.





Pigeon-headedness

28 05 2009

Seems that in their astoundingly successful quest to achieve the lowest form of distorted truths and moral values possible, people living across the mountainous borders have once again numbed my senses and rendered me speechless, hapless, unable to move, respond or cry/laugh. The only possible response that I can evoke at a time like this are zangjillion thanks to the-powers-that-be that I am not living, forced to live, or planning to live in that country anytime in the foreseeable future.

A court in SA has ruled that the testimony of pigeon-breeders is inadmissable in court. And to justify the ruling, the esteemed personality added that this was because pigeon-breeding was an act of the people of ‘Lut. Google-translate, in all its wisdom tranlsates this to “…because pigeon-breeding was an act of sodomites”. Furthermore, the presence of these birds on rooftops reveals the presence of houses of sins!

God! Just typing that has again numbed half my neurons and threatened to fry the rest!!

Original and Google Translate Version:

شهادة مربي الحمام غير جائزة

Pigeon breeders testimony inadmissible

عبد الله المقاطي ـ ظلم Abdullah Almqati injustice
أكد لـ «عكاظ» عضو هيئة كبار العلماء الدكتور صالح السدلان أن شهادة مربي الحمام أمام القضاء غير جائزة، وقال «إن شهادة مربي الحمام مرفوضة شرعا؛ لأن اللعب بهذا الطائر كان من فعل قوم لوط، إضافة إلى أن القائم على هذه المهنة يعتلي أسطح المنازل ويكشف عورات البيوت»، لكنه استدرك «إن تربية الحمام للاستثمار شيء طبيعي ولا غضاضة فيها».

He told «Okaz» Member of the senior scientists, Dr. Saleh Alsdlan pigeon enthusiasts that the testimony inadmissible in court, and said «The Certificate of pigeon enthusiasts religiously unacceptable; play because this bird was the work of the sodomites, in addition to that based on these dot the rooftops of profession reveals SINS houses », he added« The pigeon is natural to invest in the no objection ».
I don’t fark on SA. Infact I seethe, burn, ponder and rant on my own, but I won’t fark on it. Because it is so skullnumbing that the people who wrestled control over the world’s most resource-rich country, who have control of the undividedly holiest places in the Muslim world, who are center to Mecca, Medina, the general area of hijaz, who were handed over the holiest relics of the fastest-growing religion in the world…. they are nimbnomcoops.. and that too an extent that is unmatchable. Infact, I believe that it is going to be a very close contest of moral stupidity between the Taliban and these people.
But then again, Bin Laden is a Saudi national!
My anger is not over this case of pigeon breeders, I just thought that I’d post this cause it was in the ‘funny’ category. But just thinking about the mechanisms that bring such people and such judgments to fruition are the cause of my neurotic aneurysm. Dead expats, torture cases, pedophilia, rampant social and moral vices, flagrant disregard for the law, stupid laws itself, corruption, homo-hetro rape…ergh! C’mon,  “Custodians of the Holy Mosques”?, I’d not let you custode my dead cat, let alone the Holy Mosques!
I must stop before I really do burst an artery.
-FK




A Pulitzer & a Peabody…

20 05 2009

C’mon. Bring on the honors and the awards. Journalism cannot go any higher!

Times of Oman says:

ROP Extradites thief from EU

Royal Oman Police has managed to extradite a thief from an EU country, who was convicted in a criminal case he committed in the Sultanate. The ROP had received a complaint from the bank informing that an unknown person had illegally installed a device at the bank’s ATM.

Lets try and list the ambiguities here! “A thief”, “an EU country”, “a criminal case”, “unknown person”, “some ATM”…

Wow! The only way I think we can improve on this is:

At some date, someone did something and then something else was done by someone else.

That would surely get an award!

Another gem of a news that we see in the paper today is:

Metrology Day

The Sultanate will today join other countries of the world to mark the World Metrology Day which falls on May 20 every year.

And then I was like, so, are we like, actually doing something about it? How do you mark a day? On the calendar. That’s it?

Ugh!

Seems like they are in competition with Fox News!!

-FK

Update: Seems the wonderful piece of investigative journalism was half-heatedly copied from the ONA. Atleast they have a better worded article.

ROP Extradites thief from EU

Muscat, May 19 (ONA)—Royal Oman Police (ROP) has managed to extradite a fugitive robber from an EU country, who was convicted in a criminal case he committed in the Sultanate.

The Anti-Economic Crime Department at ROP had received a complaint from a bank informing that an unknown person had illegally installed a robbery device at the bank’s ATM. After investigating the matter it was confirmed that the convicted had fled the Sultanate.

Due to co-operation with Arab and International Police and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) the fugitive was captured in Spain and extradited by Spain’s Judiciary to the Sultanate to spend a year and three-months in jail.

—Ends

Seems the Times of Oman copy/paste was a bit too hasty. And they didn’t even credit the ONA for the other one!

Here’s the ONA original:

World Metrology Day Marked

Muscat, May 19 (ONA)—The Sultanate will tomorrow (Wednesday) join other countries of the world to mark the World Metrology Day which falls on May the 20th every year.

The science of metrology has been important for public life since all have realized the importance of measuring and it’s impact on countries economies and necessity for establishing national systems that meet international requirements.

Owing to development experience by the world, the openness endeavours in the world as to reach a world-class markets to streamlining flow of commodities, rules and regulations have been devised to meet the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. The developed countries are therefore spending about 62% of their GDP on metrology infrastructure to cut trade exchange costs and improve quality of products and industrial process and protect health of individuals and the environment.

The Sultanate has been working hard to develop the metrology systems by updating the National Measurement and Standardization System to strengthen the national economy, promote competitiveness in various spheres. The systems also aim to establish infrastructure for scientific and legal measurements.

—Ends

Pulit for the 1st and a Pea for the 2nd.

-FK