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





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





How many Gulfs?

24 05 2009

That is an assumption of course. Since the Europeans created the Euro, the Gulfians should create the Gulf; and maybe have its symbol to be a stylized  G (okay, maybe not a G with a strikethrough!)

But still, what would it be named?* What would it look like? What would it show? Colors? Size? There are obvious problems. The GCC has 6 member countries and 6 local currencies. These are the:

Bahrini Dinar

Kuwaiti Dinar

Kuwaiti Dinar

Omani Rial

Omani Rial

Qatari rial

Qatari Rial

Saudi rial

Saudi Rial

UAE Dirham

UAE Dirham

So there are 5+7=12 heads of states that could look for space on the note; the color ranges could be from a soothing blue to a neutral gray to a rich red; the denominations could be as low as .005 of the base unit upto 500 of the same etc etc.

I’ve often thought, who decides such things? The Omani note, forex. Gray! Steel Gray with white! White on a currency note? Anyone expected it to remain white? And the dimensions? Following international standards, I think. But still!

As for the other issues, there are many toothsayers saying all sorts of things. GCC common curreny doomed. UAE plays its card. UAE move shows underlying differences. Currency on brink of failure. & the UAE itself is leaving options open.

I think its not as decisive as it should’ve been could be. The UAE obviously wants all matters pertaining to incoming funds within its jurisdiction at the moment. And the current crunch, if nothing else, tells them the imprtance of having cash-in-hand. On the other side, SA can use its behemothical size to roll this way or that and make the currency happen with or without UAE.

Oman, otoh, I think, has once again shown something that is much better, much deeper and much more decisive than all the other member states. I again do not know who makes these policies (the originators, the one fiscal expert who thought this up, “Let’s not join”), but this basically shows off a “good move” on the part of the country. After all, no one is going to tax Oman or levy any ‘late fees’ if we join later, right? The country has a good, solid 25-year plan going in full swing. The targets decided upon are very much on track, the proper assets are in the proper places to start all engines, but there is essentially no pressing need. Yeah, it would be swell to have tonnes of money and assets floating around, but we have a bit more than we want currently. So no rush. The UK was reviled and pointed at and accused of missing out on something ‘wow’ but they stood their ground and kept the Pound and still joined the EU. Years on, while they are not on top of the world, but they are not hurting either.

But I still think we should move away from the USD peg.

-FK

*A little birdie told me they’re planning to call it the ‘Khaleeji’. Expect all South/East Asians to call it a “Kahleeji” (with a ‘K’ intead of the throaty ‘Kh’)

Proposed Symbol

Proposed Symbol

The Arabic word ‘khaleeji’ (خليجي ) stands for ‘of the gulf’ thus the ‘G’ symbol with the by now customary central bar . And just as the ‘$’ symbol once so aptly stood for ‘ unit of silver ‘ letthe Khaleeji be understood as a ‘unit of gold’? The most convincing argument for such an interpretation is that having a gold/silver backed currency is considered the final leg to remove Riba (ربا ‘interest’ or ‘usury’) from the financial system, which is forbidden arcording to Islamic economic jurisprudence . Or, we can just use the Arabian affinity for gold.

O_O





Blatant Advertising

20 05 2009

Yup, it doesn’t get any lower than this!

Up for grabs are the following two items:

Videocon Integra 32″ LCD TV. Around… ummm…. 6 months old. That means the 2-year warranty is still in effect.

Want to sell it for a bigger size. Techie details for the same are here.

2nd piece of most-wanted hardware for sale is:

This is the Canon Powershot Sx100. This, again, was bought around December last year. The 1 yr warranty is in effect.

Go for techie details here.

People in and around Oman a-wanna buy? Leave a comment or email thefarkknight (att) yahoo (dott) com

People from wayy off wanna buy? Include S&H and leave a comment or email thefarkknight (att) yahoo (dott) com

Dont wanna buy?  Humph!

-FK





Shipping Company Ships Ship to Shipping Lines

17 05 2009

That would be better read as Oman Shipping Company ships a new oil tanker to Mitsui Shipping Lines “. Makes sense, but be honest, you wouldn’t have clicked here if I’d written that, would you!? =P

MoI says:

Oman Shipping Company (OSC) […] commission[ed] its giant oil products tanker, Raysut [yesterday]. [It has] 21.5 metre draft, [is] 244-metre long, 42 metre wide, has a capacity of 105,000 tonnes.

Raysut is the third in OSC fleet of oil products tankers alongside Liwa and Haima. The new vessel will operate in the international market as part of Mitsui’s Shipping lines.

Ms. Hana Wahibi represented OSC in the ceremony*. Mitusi is a very large carrier company that has well-reputed trade routes and et al. Seems like OSC has a comfortable relationship with ’em.

Wisam bin Moosa al Najar, Senior Commercial Officer at OSC, said Oman Shipping Company was able to build a fleet of 38 tankers during the past four years, with 22 tankers operational and 16 others under construction.

And there is a lot of that going on around. Seems like Haima was delivered only in March this year.

Oman Shipping Company (OSC) commissioned LR2 Haima, a carrier of oil derivatives as 18th vessel on the company’s fleet. The carrier is built by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding company of Japan.

Also,

Click for large size

Click for large size

Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM), a joint venture subsidiary of the state-owned Oman Oil Company, took delivery of ‘Gulf Muttrah’, a 46,000 dwt vessel from a Korean shipbuilder.

Lots of investments going around.

*I like the Axe!!!!

-FK





Inflation: Down, Reserves: Up

27 04 2009

Oman has lots ‘o’ money. Which is good, ‘coz inflation drops. And it did (bottom half). As for the budget surplus, I really can’t tell what to do with it. Medical services is one field that comes to mind. I’m still being harangued by these private medical clinics whose interest lies more in the bottom line rather than sick people. I really do think that education (specially higher and professional education), medical services and emergency/civil services are very much no-go areas for private companies. NO, at all costs. Since in these areas the quality of service provided HAS to be dependant on nothing, not something as stupid as the bottom line, comparatively. A person’s knowledge level/mental treatment, physical treatment and saving lives has no value. Private entities are going to squeeze you for it. Who can easily stop using a medicine or forego the fire brigade just ‘coz he/she can’t pay for it?

Anyhooo, we have a surplus. Maybe we can get a govt-run hospital where expats are allowed? Allowed peace of mind?

This should be apicture of a newspaper clipping!

This should be a picture of a newspaper clipping! http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/09/04/13/10303653.html

Menafn reports that Oman’s inflation index has decreased from 9.4% to 7.9%. They say this is due to lower prices of crops, fuel and other thingies. The break down of the General Index is interesting:

Jan 2008: 9.4%  v/s  Feb 2009: 7.9%

Jan 2009: 8.1%  v/s  Feb 2009: 7.9%

Foodstuff, soft drinks & tobacco:  -1.7%

Crops & Products to:  -2.1%

Meat & Poultry:  -1.5%

Oil & Fats:  -2%

Fisheries:  -5.3%

Milk & Products:  -2.7%

Transport & Communications Group:  -0.1%

Personal commodities & other service:  +4.9%

Textile, readymade garments, shoes, medical services & education services: +-0%

House leasing, electricity, water and fuel:  +0.2%

Furniture & Households:  +0.4%

Recreational & Cultural services:  +0.2%

Go Fish!

-TFK