“I’ll Be Back!”

15 09 2009

Real Life has a way with things. It looks at you, finds you, stops you, pushes you, sneaks up on you, bashed you on the head and then drags you away to where it wants you to be. And currently, Real Life (RL) does NOT want me to blog. I’ve pleaded, begged, hidden from, tried to bypass and even fought it, but it wins. I threatened it once, but then realized that was Not A Good Idea! 🙂

Blog or no blog, life goes on. Things are happening in the world and the world is happening to things. The silly political hoo-ha regarding Obama’s speech, the weird activities of Coalition forces in Iraq & Afghanistan (but why are they called coalition? Why was the word ‘allied’ dropped? How long are they going to come up with similies?), the death of Patrick Swayze, Serena Williams’ tirade at the umpire and more. While The Fark Knight sits in his roller coaster, watching these things zip by, wanting to stop or atleast slow-down to look at them with detail, Real Life wants me to sit tight and go at the pace it wants. I could jump off it and do things at a much slower pace, but the coaster wouldn’t stop. I’ll do that, doncha worry, but when time comes.

Anyway, you don’t do things like that on an empty stomach. 🙂

(Much Belated) Ramadhan Kareeem to all. Remember that there is a person behind this persona. Pray for him in your prayers in The Blessed Nights.

-TFK

ter5011





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





Who me?

16 07 2009

I was supposed to write here? wtf? Oh, hiya all. My name is the Queen of Tarts and I’m quite Tarty in that respect. I was checkin’ out my old stuff and discovered a finely honed talent of mine that is the inability to throw away old stuff. I don’ frikkin’ wanna be like those old dodgers on Opera who’ve gotten these whole warehouses o’ stuff in them there 3 room houses. Ugh!

Anyz, here what I think I look like

I like me more tarty than that

I like me more tarty than that

Of course I’m not a redhead. I’m beach blond.

Last night, returning from a footy, there standing in front of me, in all his grimy glory was a playa from the match. The bastard had managed to catch my eye and was “mistakin y’ all for a friend o’ mine, nevermind you”. Pompous ass. It was high mighty fine time for a chunder but somehow I stopped meself and decided to give him a gobful. That turned out the right thing to do, as the playa was a mighty wuss, running away without a single word to say to me!!! LOL! Poor thing must’ve gotten all his gonads in hyperdrive on seeing a sheila, turned out all his bluster and grace was as useful as tits on a bull for all I saw, wonder what they  feed these players nowadays, musta been all them drugs.

Police refuse to take mugshots of Joe Jackson, they say their lenses crack

Police refuse to take mugshots of Joe Jackson, they say their lenses crack

Wacko Jacko splenidified all of us mere mortals in his memorial service. I know FK likes MJ so I won’t go in my Morpheous-stance on the matter. On the other hand, if I had a dad as evil looking as joe jackson, I’d probably throw an acid dish on his face as well as mine. Jacko did the latter, forgot the former. I think this is the same reason all of MJ’s siblings have their plastic surgeons on speed dial, their pops’ face. Damn if he ain’t ugly.

I know this blog is s’posed to be be all neat and clean and shit, and that I’m supposed to do some political post too, but whateva. I mean weve got a Pompous Ass as the Prime Minister whose head is inserted somewhere where the sun regularly shines, that place gets so much outing. I’ll marry the person who does something and removes the PA from where he is right now.

Formula 1 is all frickked up. Looks like them dead beats governin the sport kno they’re about to die, so they decide to mess with the FOTA’s head. I bet they’re snikkering over all this over a coldie in whatever manor they hold their orgies parties in.

Gotta stop yabberin’. don’t stop readin’ what FK writes coz of me. ignore me. I’m just an ashtrayon a motorbike! 🙂

Bye.

-The Queen ‘O’ Tarts





(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





Railway – More Oil – More Undersea Land

31 05 2009

MUSCAT – Gulf Arab finance ministers have asked Price Waterhouse Coopers to study how the region should share common customs revenues, the last step in implementing a regional customs union, officials said on Saturday.

Whilst this is a long-pending issue (it was decided in principle in 2003), but the load unbalance in terms of incoming ports and goods dissipation due to inland transport means that some formula has to be worked out to maintain who gets how much of the customs earnings. The obvious way is to note the custom levied per item, the final listed destination of the item and then pay that amount to that country annually/whatever. This would not only promote a common interface port, or the biggest ports (UAE, Sohar), but also reduce good-travel-costs within the GCC, due to decreased/no within-GCC customs.

Furthermore,

GCC finance ministers also discussed a common railway grid on Saturday, Hinai said without giving 
further details. One of the proposals presented to the ministers was to extend the GCC railway to the Yemen’s border, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

Gulf Arab states have been considering setting up a joint company to build a railway costing more than $14 billion linking the nations.

The 1,940-kilometre (1,205 mile) railway, which is envisaged to be operational by 2016, would allow diesel-powered trains operating at speeds of up to 200 kilometres an hour to carry passengers and freight between GCC countries, which are in the process of forming a regional economic bloc.

Cool… we shall implement a railway in 2016, which is already about 200 years behind the countries that matter, and to lay it on even more, they’re going to be ‘diesel’ trains! Woohoo!! We’re the richest economic bloc in the world, we’ve got the biggest natural resources reserves ever, we’re getting the world’s most delayed railway project, & we’re running diesel engines in the same area as the world’s greenest planned city (in Abu Dhabi). Nice!

Oman will raise its crude oil production to up to 830,000 barrels per day by the end of this year, oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy said on Saturday.

Nice.. more oil means more revenue right.

Al Rumhy said Opec’s recent decision not to change oil output was a “good one” and crude oil prices at $55-$70 a barrel were “reasonable”.

Nice, Nice. OPEC cuts output, which increases prices. Oman, not being a member of OPEC, boosts production. Since prices are already high, Oman sells oil at higher rates! Yippee!!

Oman has spent heavily on a variety of long-term programmes to enhance oil recovery from aging fields.

The efforts appear to have begun paying off with Omani output rising last year for the first time since 
peaking in 2001. Analysts feel that the quality and price of Oman’s benchmark crude oil would deteriorate as it steps up efforts to raise output from ageing fields.

Yup. Wonder what the next plan is?

And lastly,

MUSCAT — The Sultanate has submitted its request for expanding its continental shelf boundaries beyond the economic zone at the UN Maritime Office.

What? What does that even mean?

Oman wants to preserve its natural resources on the seabed and soil within the continental shelf zone below the neighbouring high seas opposite its shores, said Salim bin Abdullah Al Alwi, head of the Continental Shelf and Maritime Affairs Office at the Foreign Ministry.

It will be be followed by sea seismic surveys to support its right for the demarcation of its continental shelf boundaries.

The move will bring huge economic benefits in terms of exploiting the non-living resources such as minerals and oil.

Accordint to Article 76 of the UN Convention on Maritime Law for 1982, the continental shelf is beneath the deluged land extending 350 nautic miles from the baseline to overseas.

Ahh!

The continental shelf is the physically demarcated rock shelf which is the slope that rises and rises and leaves the water and starts becoming the land of the country. A few hundred miles into the sea, the rocky bed either shelves off (cliffs and such) or its physical thingies change (constitution, slope, rock-type) marking a transition from the continental shelf to the sea-bed.

So this baseline is considered a part of the country’s land for all intents and purposes (let’s put a post office there). The Maritime Law provides for 350 miles beyond this as part of the country itself, thus giving Oman ownership of all the fishes and sand and the goody goody things also, like the oil and the copper and the what-not.

Let’s make an underwater restaurant!

-FK





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





The Right Omanization

24 05 2009

Much better. Instead of forcing young Omanis to be drivers, shopkeepers, security guards and gas-sellers, Omanization in the proper vein is much better, much preferred and actually utilizes the unemployed to fill vacant spots, as opposed to kicking out people already working to create jobs.

14 Omanis have recently completed their pilot training with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia. A very good programme where they were hired by Oman Air, trained and now shall return to rule the skies (and get all the girls) and generally set a good precedent and this shall generate all the proper news articles in the proper papers for the proper viewership.

MUSCAT — Fourteen young Omanis have successfully completed their pilot training with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia. They received their ‘flight wings’ at a ceremony at the institute attended by several high-ranking officials from the Sultanate, Oman Air, their employer, and Australian dignitaries.

Fancy a company-sponsored trip to the land down under? I hear it’s nice a cool there nowadays! 🙂

Speaking on the occasion, RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said this was the first group of Omanis to undertake their commercial pilot training with the institute. “I congratulate the cadets and thank Oman Air. We are delighted to deliver practical training engaging directly with a strong and growing airline and national carrier,” she added.

Of course.. You’re being paid… heavily!

Captain Mohammed Al Ajmi, Fleet Captain Boeing 737, Oman Air Flight Operations, said that the company was “indeed happy and proud to welcome the pilot cadets after their successful training in RMIT. We are sure that these cadets will contribute to the growth of the airline which is on an expansion track.”

Captain Ajmi said he had always placed a “firm and committed stand” on training and seeking tie-ups with the best institutes around the world.

Meanwhile, Oman Air reiterated its commitment to the development and recruitment of Omani nationals. The cadet pilot programme they said requires total dedication and hard work.

Something amiss in the grammar and/or punctuation on the last sentence??

Nevertheless, good! And even better is that this is a recurring programme. Nice.

-FK