Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
If anyone knows Speedy Gonzales in this photo.. Please find out why is he always in a hurry?
Images courtesy of Emirates Today's 'You Decide' campaign
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Road Toll: Bring it On!
I am gonna go on a limb here and say something that many of you will hate: I honestly think Road Tolls is actually a good idea.
Okay, before you rollout the big guns, just close your eyes, relax and take a deep breath.
Now, lets see.. Who are you?
If you live in Sharjah, believe me, Road Tolls is the best thing that ever happened to you since the invention of toast bread. Seriously speaking; why did you move to Sharjah anyways? If you live in Sharjah and work there, then Road Tolls will mean squat to you.
However, if you live in Sharjah and work in Dubai, then 99.99999% of the reason you moved there is because of the absurd rent situation in Dubai and you refuse to pay the cost of a studio apartment in Dubai while you can get a spacious sea view 3bedroom one in Sharjah.
You pay less rent in Sharjah but in return you get stuck in traffic for at least 3 hours more every day.
But hey, with Road Tolls, main roads will clear out big time because the ones who can't afford them will chose other alternative roads.
If you can afford to pay Tolls, don’t even think of taking alternative roads. As a matter of fact, if you pay Road Tolls twice a day, 7days a week for a whole year, the difference you will be paying will not even be a fraction of the extra cost you will have to bare if you decide to move back to Dubai.
In this case, HELL YEAH! Bring on those tolls baby! And you suckers in Dubai, you better start looking for bigger and cheaper houses in Sharjah before your landlord double up your rent again this year!
Now, if you belong to the segment of people that don't/can't afford Tolls, but drain your sunny and lancers everyday to work, do this: park your cars, save them for your weekend out with family and start taking the bus.
You will be much better off carpooling (sharing the cost of tolls) or commuting using public transportation. I mean, look at the big picture here. Buses, cabs and public TRANSPORTATION vehicles are exempted from the Tolls. You will end up paying for the fare only.
Since all the other people who don't want to pay Tolls will be taking alternative routes, you won’t have to wake up at 5 am to make it on time for your 8am check in. You 3hr agonizing trip in the bus will now take 30 minutes tops. Why? Roads are clear!
Hah … in your face you 2 to 3 car owning suckers!
And for those rich overpaid snobs who live in Dubai, guess what you lucky sobs... With majority of people car pooling, using public transportation …etc, Dubai streets will end up with less cars traveling on them.
Hence, you can now easily navigate around Road Toll payment points to take alternative roads to avoid paying. But again, you are already filthy rich, so cough it up or start looking for houses in Sharjah.
The main point here is this: Road Tolls are here to stay. Don't whine and whinge about it. Think of creative solutions.
Using public transpiration to commute to work will become the norm. Parking problems will be solved and on the long run, believe it or not, things will be better.
I know many of you will disagree with me.. i just urge you to see the big picture.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Dubai Airport Tunnel
Dubai Sunshine posted a must-see video on YouTube. I would’ve posted here, but I urge you to see it on her blog.
The video is a recent news report captured off Dubai TV. It is about the Airport Tunnel way; a massive road project that saves considerable travel time by allowing traffic to pass by under Dubai Airport's runways, instead of turning all the way around them.
This is a route I take at least once a week. I don't think I will do that anymore...
See why here
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
One of the girls in my team (lets call her C) is our problem-solving-yes-i-can-fix-it coordinator. The girl is like a living dynamo. There isn't a supplier in town that she doesn't know. She speaks three languages and when shit hits the fan and everyone freaks out, she is the only one who is super calm.
Lately, C has been having a problem. You see, she works on regular basis with another team member (who we shall name E) and is a bit more senior than C.
Without getting into too much detail, in almost every project they E and C are in, C comes up with all the wild ideas, does all the dog work and solves all the problems and E claims all the credit and the glory with the big boss.
Further more, big boss is only a few months old and is still a bit dependant on the senior members of his team. In other words, he barely notices C and all the work she does in the background.
Any advice to C?
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Sorry but i have to say it ..
Is it me or are some GITEX exhibitors are way over-doing it this year with their female promoters' skimpy outfits? I wanted to take photos to show you what I mean; but I honestly didn't have the heart to do it.
Just remove all the silver-space-age makeup stuff and you can easily realize that some of these girls are barely 16!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I am tired, sleepy and in serious need for a good soul massage.
It all started early last week when we woke up to find that Baby M (my 9 month old baby girl) had a bit of a temperature. So, I skipped work, took Baby M to her physician and spent the whole day with her at home. The doctor said she wasn’t feeling well because she is teething, hence, her immune system is on the down side.
Baby's nose was also blocked and the doctor prescribed nose drops. So, got the prescription and want to pick up her medication. When I reached home, I discovered that the pharmacist gave me nasal spray for adults, not the prescribed infant one. So, I called the pharmacy, and phone bullied the guy a bit. He quickly admitted his mistake and sent his driver to replace the medicine in an hour.
Two days and two sleep-deprived nights later, Baby M started feeling better and we were looking forward for the upcoming weekend. We had plans to catch up with some old friend, maybe go back to our regular Friday brunch routine and chill out with more friends on Saturday noon.
Around mid-day Thursday, got a call from a couple who wanted to catch up with us. We haven't seen them in a while as well, so we ended up spending the evening in an outdoor coffee shop in Jumeirah, which wasn't bad.
On Friday, our plan to have brunch with friends was foiled by Baby M who decided to spend the night before jumping up and down with both excitement and resistance to sleep, needless to say neither me or her mom got any sleep.
Never the less, we were determined to have our Friday lunch out. After all, we deserve it after the crazy week we had. Also, we bought Baby M a brand new stroller and wanted to see it in action.
So, took the girls and head to have sea food at Sammach in Jumeira. As expected on any late Friday noon, the place was packed and we waited about 30 minutes for a table.
Our name was called and were granted a table. We made our orders and waited in anticipation for the good seafood to arrive. The minute the first appetizer plate reached the table, Baby M threw up and soaked her cute Baby Gap Denim dress and her new stroller.
I used up a complete roll of kitchen towels to dry the stroller and clean up the mess baby M made on the floor, chairs and table. Her mother took her to the bathroom to clean up and change. I spent 20 minutes on the table alone, waiting for my wife and baby to rejoin me, watching our calamari, fried shrimp and Hammour getting colder and avoiding the envois, partially-evil looks from people standing on the side and waiting for their tables.
The girls finally rejoined me for what I was hoping to be an interrupted lunch no more. Five minutes later, a stench started filling air. And no, it wasn’t a fishy smell and it was awkwardly familiar. It didn't take us very long to notice the big, happy smile-of-relief on Baby M's face. Yep, she did it - and i can easily say that the deed deserved an honorable mention in the “poop of the year” awards, if there was any.
Again, Mrs. M and baby M disappeared into the ladies room to freshen up and I, once more, was staring nibbling on cold and barely touched seafood. When the girls came back, Baby M was restless and wanted to play.
We couldn't put her back in her soaked stroller and she hates high-chairs. So, I decided to carry her and walk around the restaurant to give her mother a chance to finish her food. Mrs M abruptly finished, we paid and head home at 5pm marking the end of our weekend Friday.
Next morning, and to try to make up for a semi-screwed weekend, I decided to do Mrs. M fresh breakfast. Scrambled eggs with red cheddar cheese, hash browns with sweet paprika, seasoned grilled sweet onions and cold-cut turkey salad (ran out of sausages) - next to juice and partially grilled brown toast. It was good.
We hung around home, played with Baby M and watched some TV. By 4pm we were hungry again, grilled a few burgers and fries and got ready to go visit my father-in-law in the hospital.
After the visit, we realized the Baby M was indoors for a very long time this week a walk around can be good to her recovery, besides she is feeling better after all. So, we headed to Mall of the Emirates and wondered around for a couple of hours. But Mrs. M wasn’t feeling very well and we decided head home early as well.
To be honest, I didn’t mind going back early. As a matter of fact, I was in a way happy that this weekend is over. Baby M felt better and I was looking forward for an early night sleep. After all, we didn’t sleep at all this week and I do have a busy few days coming up at work.
At around 1:30 am, Mrs. M woke me up telling me she was suffering from severe abdomen pains. Apparently, she threw up about 4 times and I was so knocked out in didn’t hear her when she was in the bathroom. I told her it must me something she ate (though we did eat the same things and I was fine). I told her that now her stomach was empty, she should feel better.
30 minutes later, she was still in pain. I got up, reached for the car keys, wallet and in less then 5 minutes we were on our way to the hospital. We reached the ER entrance of Welcare hospital and they got Mrs. M in.
The doctor said that they have to admit her for the night to keep her under observation, have a few blood tests and Sonar scans – which can’t be done until the Sonar technicians arrive in the morning.
So, I told Mrs. M that I will head back home, change, check on Baby M and make sure her Nanny looks after her in case we are late. And since it was about 4 AM, I changed into work clothes, picked up a few things to Mrs. M, mobile charger, laptop, iPod and my work badge in case I had to leave to work straight from the hospital.
The nurses gave Mrs. M 3 or 4 different shots to ease the cramps and help her sleep. We were admitted in a private room (thank god one was available). I really needed to sleep and there one couch there was a cold leather 2 seater. I was in work cloths, and nurses came in every hour to check on blood pressure, replace serum and administer medication.
I was really tired.
Anyhow, at around 7:30ish in the morning, we were told to get ready for the Sonar session. The session was rescheduled to 10:30. Bare in mind my wife and I had nothing to eat or drink because my wife has to do a Sonar scan and as for I, well, I couldn’t eat or drink while knowing how hungry and thirsty she was.
Anyhow, mother in law came by at around 5 am and left 1 hour later because she had to get back to my father in law who is staying in another hospital. As for Baby M, thank god she woke up late and was in a good mood this morning.
Things at work were going crazy and I was on remote fire fighting mode. Sadly, I had to do it without any proper sleep, food or drink and with a clearly messed up mind.
So, we did the sonar at around 11 and the doctor supervising my wife’s case decided to disappear. By then, Mrs. M was feeling a bit better, though very thirty and hungry because of the Sonar fast. Finally, the nurse came telling us that Mrs. M will have a liquid meal (soup, juice and some plain tea) and mentioned that there was a chance that Mrs. M might spend another night in the hospital.
By then, Mother-in-law picked up Baby M and her nanny, took them to her house and will come back by the hospital. While things at work were going from bad to crazy, Mrs. M told me that she feels a lot better and that I can leave to the office if I want to.
I didn’t really want to leave, as a matter of fact, I didn’t have the energy to stand up, let alone driving all the way from Garhoud all the way to Jabal Ali Area. But I did anyway.
Ironically, the minute I reached the office and while I was looking for a parking lot, I got a call from Mrs. M saying that she was being discharged and whether I will come back home. I told her I will, after a talk to a couple of people in the office.
You see, every dark cloud must have a silver lining. There was a golden opportunity not to be missed here.
What can I do to make sure everyone that matters in the office knows that although I felt like crap, looked like a zombie-work-in-progress, spent the entire night in beside my ill wife in cold hospital room and left my 9 month old daughter alone with her nanny (she wasn’t really, but it added more drama), I chose to come to work. Yes, I am that loyal.
There was one glitch in my master-suck-up plan. The entire management team was in an off site training session outside the office.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Emirates Today plays the Shame Game
A great initiative by Emirates Today. As you can clearly read, by Monday Nov 13th, images of vehicles jumping the Dubai’s red lights will ornament this page.
I say shame them even more and publish the offending moron-on-wheels' names and headshots. No one remembers license plate numbers, but everyone can tell names and faces.
Shame is the name of the game here and this strategy worked like a charm in early 90s with a similar campaign targeting thugs that harassed women in streets and malls.
One question though, does anyone think 1 page is enough?
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Creativity for Dummies: Design sport event logo in 3 easy steps
Friday, November 03, 2006
Real Moments in Real Dubai Restaurants
This is a sample of some of the interesting moments I faced (and still face) while dining in Dubai's renowned restaurants. Nothing is made up, all 100% true.
Me: Excuse me, the chicken you brought me is raw
Hostess: Sorry about that, our chef is new.
(btw, this happened last night)
Me: Hi, we need a table for 4 please
Hostess: We are fully booked sir, I can give you a table now but we will need it back at 9
(conversation took place at 8:30)
Me: Can I have a plain burger please, no cheese
Hostess: We only have cheese burgers, sir
Me: I'd like to have the sample platter please - split it half cheese fries and half buffalo wings
Host: We can't give you half/half. We can only serve one-third/two-thirds only.
Me: Can you make me fresh lemon juice please? (I was catching a cold and needed a fix of Vit C)
Host: Here you go sir, 1 fresh lemon juice (Host gives me a pre-filled plastic cup with yellow liquid)
Me: umm.. can you prepare a new one please? I need it fresh
Host: It is 100% fresh sir, it arrived from the factory only last night
Me: There is a bug in my Salad
Restaurant Manager: I am sorry, but i can't get inside every piece of lattes to check if it was clean or not!
(He does have a point there)
Waiter: Excuse me, you left a tip on the TIP section in the credit card slip
Waiter: We don't get that tip - are you carrying cash?
(since that day, I always pay with credit card, leave tip in cash)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Bad Corolla Day
I left home around 11ish. My hopes of a smooth drive dissolved when I got stuck in a jam that was caused by a Toyota Corolla that rear ended a brand new Porsche Cayenne... Poor Corolla!
Oddly enough, there wasn’t any major Rubbernecking, hence traffic was cleared in 10 minutes.
Few meters after that, I slow for another congestion. 15 minutes of driving at 0.2 KMPH, I noticed another Toyota Corolla (same year model color of the one above) idle in the middle the road and facing traffic.
From the looks of the banged up pick up truck on the side of the road, it seemed that the Corolla was rear ended on the side by the pickup truck. As a result, the Corolla made a 180 swerve in the middle the street and faced the incoming traffic.
The twist wasn’t the fact that second accident was in actually the OPPOSITE direction side of the road where I was (I thought I was a victim of Typical Dubai Rubbernecking behavior)… The real accident was actually on my side of the road. Someone was trying to cross the street was hit by a speeding car.
The guy was lying on the floor surrounded by paramedics and police. The accident was on the road that leads to Garhoud bridge coming from City Centre (opps to CompuMe) – one of the worst roads in Dubai to cross. Leathal and almost impossible to cross.
From the looks of the overall situation, the real Rubbernecker was the Corolla driver on the other side who -most probably- decided to suddenly slow down to see what the hell happened to the guy who was hit and how he was hit..etc, before being rear ended by the pick up driver, who most likely wasn’t paying attention either cause he was rubbernecking himself.
Good week I tell ya ..
First, i finished a book that i recommend each and every one of you to read and buy. Read it 2 or even 3 times if you can. Not many books do that to me, but this one did Influence the way I look at my life, wealth and future security. A must-have in your library.
Also, I discovered the fabulous world of the … (drum roll) .... iPod! My wife bought me the brand new 80 Gig video one in spankin black... and starting Monday this week, I was officially cool.
In work, I tried something new this week as well. I decided to spend at least 2 days working form home, every week. I think it would be an understatement to say that I get more work done in 1 day from home, than a 3 working days in the office.
It simple. No intrusive and random phonecalls diverted form the receptionist, no last minute calls to unscheduled and pointless meetings, no people standing over your head talking and planning their boring weekend... Just plain focus and concentration on getting things done.
I like this new work order. I think I am gonna stick to it for sometime.
Also, i had several but serious discussions on a number of business startups. Three to be precise. One which my wife will look after and its the most promising one. Another which I will be directly involved in with my friend Ali. This one will require major planning and preparation, but we feel very gung ho about it. The last project I discussed requires nothing but financial injection, its a no-brainer and a gurenteed winner.
Also this week I started watching Lost and Family Guy, starting all they way from Season 1. I always wanted to know what the fuss is all about with Lost. And as for Family Guy, I haven't been watching it regularly and ....I simple love that Stuewie charecter.
Oh and for the most important event of the week....
Baby M made her first baby crawl today.... :)