Archive for the ‘bla bla bla’ Category

We feel the matter has been adequately dealt with in accordance with policy.

April 15, 2010

Dear Sir/Madam

We are writing to inform you that your child (insert student name here) was caught on Turner Elementary School premises in possession of prohibited items. The item(s) in question were: approx. 60 x bags of heroin_______________.

You will note that approx. 60 x bags of heroin is not allowed on school property without a permission slip or doctor’s note. Please refer to schedule 4(a) of the school’s Prohibited Items and Contraband Policy for further information on what students may or may not bring onto school premises.

We are further concerned that (insert student name here) was seen to distribute approx. 60 x bags of heroin amongst class mates. This constitutes unacceptable behaviour as outlined in schedules 1 – 7 of the school’s Rules and Disciplinary Procedures document.

We would like to arrange a meeting with you, (insert student name here), the headmaster and the District Attorney’s Office at the earliest convenient opportunity to discuss this behaviour with you.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Yours in education,

Turner Elementary School



It’s so hard to get good coverage these days

February 3, 2010

I know that the denizens of the United States are currently facing the prospect of promising their first-born in exchange for back-alley dialysis performed by some guy with a siphon hose, a foot pump and a discarded water cooler, but I feel that these reasonable compromises in the name of free enterprise are nothing on the dire situation that I find myself in with my new health insurance.

This clause in particular puts quite a damper on things:

Health Insurance

Lessons learnt, poolside

October 4, 2009

The old “sneak up behind the guy threatening to push the girl into the pool and push them BOTH into the pool” bit is a lot less fun when you consider that everybody carries a thousand dollars worth of electrical equipment on their person at all times these days.

Things I did tonight instead of writing this blog post

May 26, 2009

1. stayed late at work to attend a staff meeting
2. ate delicious vegan hot dogs with salsa.
3. ate turkey jerkey thus rather defeating the purpose of the above.
4. played Lego Star Wars for about an hour (or two)
5. went to the gym
6. Avoided looking at the pile of marking sitting on my desk.
7. wrote THIS blog post.

Normal programming will resume soon.

This made me chuckle

May 12, 2009

Because I’m very, very tired.

From the label of the bottle of whiteboard cleaner upon my desk:

“Strong” White board Cleaner spray type.

this product is made and refined from natural, eatable sea salt and fresh cocos. Nc harm in human’s skin, chemical-free ingredient is the Most ideal and multi-fuctional cleaning fluid for environment protection. Abilities of anti-rust and resolving dirty part strongly and Rapidly.

Yih Thank

And who hasn’t wanted their dirty part resolved strongly and rapidly at one time or another.

Ten Superman comic plots I’ve thought of, that have probably already been done.

May 6, 2009

1. Superman gets a puppy. The puppy is made of Kryptonite.

2. Lex Luthor injects Superman with nanobots. Which are made of Kryptonite.

3. Lex Luthor puts a lump of Kryptonite in a pillow case and totally goes to town on Superman with it.

4. Superman breaks a fluroescent lightbulb, flooding the room with Krypton gas. He panics momentarily until he realises that actually Krypton gas has no relation to Kryptonite which is totally made up.

5. Lex Luthor sends Clark Kent an anonymous bunch of super-flowers, with a return address. Clark sends a thankyou note to the address, but Lex, knowing Clark’s movements, replaces the mailbox with one made of Kryptonite.

6. Lex Luthor gives Superman some candy. Or Kandy. Because its made of Kryptonite. This gives Superman a Kavity. When he goes to the dentist to have it filled, the dentist is actually Lex Luthor and fills his tooth with Kryptonite.

7. Although deadly in large quantities, Superman realises that a small dose of Kryptonite, cut with a base mineral such as biKarbonate Soda, actually makes him feel ‘kinda funny and cool’. What begins as a recreational flirtation with Kryptonite intoxication (or “greening”) soon becomes an addiction. In no time at all Superman is starting each super-day by smoking unrefined Kryptonite off tin-foil, just to feel ‘normal’. After waking up in an alleyway with a nose bleed and soaked in super-urine (with a vague recollection of destroying Wayne Manor with his heat vision), Superman enrols in a 12 step program. Unfortunately it is run by Lexcorp and the 12th step is Kryptonite.

8. Superman ruthlessly slaughters scores of Crytpozoologists, before realising that the word is spelled with a C and has nothing to do with nefarious schemes to breed a race of super-strong Kryptonite imbued Gorilla warriors. His misdirected murder spree distracts him for long enough for Lex Luthor to breed a race of super-strong Kryptonite imbued Gorilla warriors

9. Superman specifically asks the pizza place not to put any Kryptonite on his pizza. When his pizza arrives, it totally has fucking Kryptonite all over it. The delivery guy tells him to stop being such a pussy and just pick it off.

10. Superman spends an entire comic book sitting in his fortress of solitude, grappling with his deep seated feelings of abandonment for being sent into space by his parents. Then something happens involving Kryptonite.


April 28, 2009

Apologies for the terrible pun thing. I am planning on getting a lot of mileage out of it.

Anywhoo, tomorrow I’m off to Dubai for the weekend, to attend a course on behaviour management. Should be a hoot. There’ll be tales to tell I’m sure. With pictures even.

Dubai has a kind of mystique these days, a tiny, fabulously rich desert kingdom where which is reinventing itself as a cross between Michael Jackson’s Neverland and the world’s largest shopping mall. Those are supposed to be analogies but actually it already has the latter, and it may be going the way of the former.

When I tell people I live in Bahrain, Dubai is often the nearest touchstone.

“Don’t they have like a 3rd of all the cranes in the world there?” Probably

“I heard you can ski in one of the malls” Yep

“Aren’t the building [insert as appropriate] an airconditioned beach/a series of islands that look like a world map/the world’s biggest phallic symbol/a theme park twice the size of Disney World (Dubai Land) etc” Most Certainly. And more besides.

All of this in a country that has practically no natural resources (oil accounts for a mere 6% of GDP and isn’t expected to last more than 20 more years), where the native population is out numbered 20 to 1 by foreign workers, and where not even 30 years ago you would’ve been hard pressed to find a paved road and the tallest constructions were minarets.

How could a place like this possibly exist?

Only briefly, unsustainably and perhaps soon catastropically failurely.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but it turns out that other people have done a much better job than I, so I will turn you over to them:

This guy sums it up pretty well:

Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea, and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai – it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous.[]

The New York times wrote a piece about the mass exodus of expat workers

And the inimitable Johann Hari followed up with some of that  Olde Time Investigative Journalisme.

With this guy providing some valid counterpoints to what’s in danger of becoming fashionable “Dubai Bashing” and Hari’s somewhat hyperbolic style.

So go forth, educate thyself.

All this stuff does make me appreciate that, despite suffering from many of the same foibles as Dubai (wholesale environmental destruction, exploitation of 3rd world labour, restrictions on speech and where I can get a beer) Bahrain at least has a vision for the future that amounts to more than “we’re gonna have the biggest shit”. There is a genuine desire and drive towards weening the country off the rapidly drying oil teat and bringing home the realisation that they won’t always be able to throw money at nameless filipino or sub-continental folks to do all the jobs they don’t like doing. The country has a self-improvement plan on the books, but it remains to be seen whether it will be able to deliver on it.


I didn’t proof read this. Its 11.30pm and I haven’t packed yet.

Going down?

April 26, 2009

Like many people, I find myself, at times, thinking about things. Also stuff.  Surprising I know.

One of the things I have recently spent precious energy on neuralising (converting my body’s stored chemical potential energy into heat, thus increasing the amount of entropy in the universe and hastening our march towards eventual cosmic heat-death in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics) was elevators.

I did the bulk of this thinking whilst standing in the harsh fluroescent non-bience (I invented that word just now) that exists outside my apartment door, that mysterious land of dropped cigarette butts and hushed midnight conversations (with bonus giggling and/or crying),  watching the numbers tick closer and closer to the target floor (mine) and then right past. And then sitting on G for a while. And then going up again. And then rapidly vacillating between the 15th and 16th floor for no apparent reason. This is what the elevators in my building do.

Anyway this got me to thinking that somebody somewhere must be in the business of designing the algorithms that govern elevator movement; when to send a car up, when to send one down, when to introduce that phantom 9 year old kid that pushes all the buttons and then mysteriously disappears just before you get in (leaving only a faintly unpleasant sulphurous odour).

It just so happened that my elevator car’s brownian motion brought it to my floor before I could crack the mystery of elevator behavioural science (eventual conclusion: whoever designed the control software for my building is either incredibly incompetent, or a sadist) but, in one of those funny little coincidences that people like to attribute to various imaginary friends, I happend to stumble upon this article not long after:

Up and Then Down – The lives of elevators.

Which, if you managed to parse those ridiculously convulted sentences and realise that I was talking about elevators, and you happened to be a person who found such things interesting, is a good read.

About elevators.

7 days of this kind of rambling. How exciting for you.

The bank saga continued (concluded?)

March 22, 2009

OR How to expedite dealings with [INSERT BANK NAME] in one easy step.

1. Go into a bank branch and tell them you are closing the account and that you would like them to cancel the credit card applications that have now been pending for four months. They will beg you not to close the account (which you will accede to, if only to avoid the spectacle of making a rotund Bahraini man with braces cry) even when you say that you have arranged for your salary to be deposited into an account with a competing bank. You may assume at this point that, given their insistence that the only thing holding up the credit card issuing was the fact that you had not yet made frequent enough deposits, had not provided sufficient bank statements, pay slips and stool samples and please would you give us one more chance we can change we swear we can, that this would be the last of it and you could move on with your life, free of [INSERT BANK NAME].

Your credit cards (3) will arrive by courier, unannouced, in 8-10 working days.

Two drunken ‘conversations’ I had last night

March 6, 2009

1. With the American Navy guy:

“so you know with American cultural hegemony through movies and rock and roll and McDonalds and shit, you have this huge pool of good will that you could be tapping into but somehow you keep fucking it up”

2. With the Tunisian Microsoft Guy:

“dude, Windows 7 is so much better! Why did they release Vista anyway? What was that about? Are they crazy? Man I love being able to resize windows just by dragging them. That completes me as a human being.”

Sources reveal that at no point did either of these gentlemen get to contribute to the conversation underway. And I was gesticulating. You know how I do.