Monday, January 31, 2011

Mark at 2:48AM Blog gets sued by Benihana Kuwait et al

Ooooops, what NOT to do.....  Can anybody say.... DAMAGE CONTROL?

Kuwait restaurant sues blogger for bad review

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2011
KUWAIT CITY // A Kuwaiti blogger said yesterday that the owner of a newly opened Benihana restaurant in Kuwait is suing him for posting an unfavourable review of a meal on his blog.
"I thought it was a bluff, but yesterday a court order was served," said Mark Makhoul, a Lebanese living in Kuwait who runs the popular blog www.248am.com. "They're asking for financial compensation, and asking for my blog to be shut down," he said.
The controversy started in December, after Mr Makhoul had visited the Japanese-style restaurant in the Avenues Mall. He said in a post that service "wasn't too bad for a restaurant that's been open for a few days and the staff were really friendly". He then gave an unfavourable assessment of his meal, and summarised: "Would I go back to Benihana? No, I wouldn't.
"There are two other Japanese restaurants at the Avenues: Wasabi and Maki, and I would prefer either one of those to Benihana."
He posted two videos of the chef cooking and juggling with utensils on a hotplate, something for which the restaurant is known.
The company's general manager in Kuwait, Mike Servo, in a comment posted on Mr Makhou's post, claimed that Benihana's name has been "destroyed and abused" by the blog. He said the blog advised customers to go to other restaurants instead of Benihana "and we believe this is against the law of Kuwait".
Mr Servo said Kuwait's criminal investigation department has been informed of the case, adding on the blog: "BTW [by the way], are you Lebanese?"

"Whatever we said on the blog, we don't want to discuss it any further," he said, adding that any decision to stop legal proceedings would be made by the upper management.
A copy of the court order that was downloaded from Mr Makhoul's blog said the article suspected the quality and safety of the servings. It said the blogger, who works for an advertising agency, had "hidden intents".
"They think it's a conspiracy. It's a very far-fetched argument. I don't think they have a case," Mr Makhoul said.
The restaurant's owner, Abdul Rahman al Mutairi *, said yesterday that the law in Kuwait required both parties to refrain from speaking about the case until a verdict is reached.
Internet users from across the region have sent hundreds of messages of support to Mr Makhoul on Twitter and scores have vented their disgust with the US-headquartered franchise on its Kuwaiti Facebook page.
"Benihana, I think your management just ruined your reputation by suing the most popular blogger in Kuwait," said Osama Shaheen. "You should employ more professional people that understand constructive criticism. I have not tried your service and will never do so, not in Kuwait, not anywhere else."
"Wow," said another commentator, Salman Ager. "You guys need to hire a good agency. Your Kuwait brand is in crisis. What you have started is going to create a firestorm of negative publicity."
"Haven't you seen what's going on in Tunisia and Egypt?" he asked, "You have basically set up the same scenario online. And the odds are in favour of the public."
Mr Makhoul, who is waiting for the trial to begin on March 8, was feeling resilient yesterday. He said: "If they want to go ahead, I'm not going to chicken out. It doesn't just affect me; that's why I want everyone to get involved. If I lose this case it could affect all the bloggers in Kuwait."
He said he hopes the pressure will force the Benihana corporation to demand the Kuwaiti franchise owners drop the case.



* Las Palmas Company  owns a number of international food franchises across Kuwait such as Subway, Charlie’s Grill Subs, Jump Asian Fast Food, Benihana....



For The Man

I am with you through thick and thin, baby.  You know it all without words.

Jennifer Holliday - And I Am Telling You .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Kuwaiti Souq for the Troops

The US service men and women who are stationed in Kuwait often never get off post to see anything about the country, the people, the culture - nada.  At every AUSA (Association of the US Army) event in Kuwait, the service members (SMs) ask if there is anything to buy.  They often want to send things home to their families or just buy souveniers for themselves.  If you have ever been to a PX on the camps here in Kuwait, I can tell  you from personal experience that they are NOT indicative of Kuwait and many are heavily overpriced.

So, at an upcoming event in Kuwait, we are trying to put together a small "souq" area (at ZERO budget and ZERO profit) so that they can see local traditional products and decorations that are indicitive of Kuwait (like bayt shaar, sadu).  We'll be selling Kuwait-ONLY items like spices, traditional dress (gutra, aghal, dishtasha, farwa, abayas, niqab, etc.), jewelry, music CDs, weavings, traditional make-up, books on Kuwait, etc.

We would like to reflect Kuwait in a positive and hospitable manner to the people who are guests in the country.  I KNOW there are Kuwaitis out there who hold the same belief in hospitality as I do - especially during this 20th anniversary year of the Liberation of Kuwait.

We are looking for sponsors.  Cash is the best, but if you can donate decorations (that can be returned to you after the event or raffled off - at your wish).  Also seeking vendors for the stalls.  I have sent requests to the American Women's League for cookie bags to be given to the troops, but I have not had a response.  If there is a group out there who would like to do something similar, please let me know.

ANY proceeds that are left over will be donated to K'sPath on behalf of the Association of the US Army in Kuwait.

If you would like to be a sponsor or make a donation, please contact me at amerab@gmail.com.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Little Red Corvette

I was waiting for my friend, S, today.  We have been planning to go out to dinner and I hate driving very far these days, so we ended up at the restaurants at Bidaa.  While I was waiting for her, I watched a pretty red Corvette drive by with 2 ladies wearing hejab inside.  I thought that was pretty cool and forward-thinking.  Then, I watched as my friend, S, and her friend got out!  AWESOME!  S is fighting off a bad heartache and rented the vette while her car was being serviced.  That is so cool and I am so jealous.

I feel like a fish out of water without a sports car.  I have ALWAYS driven sports cars (except for once back in the 80's when I had a Grand Prix that I had a love affair with). All the sports cars I've had have been manual transmission: I had a Honda CRX, a Formula Firebird, a classic "Smokey and The Bandit" '78 Trans Am with racing slicks, a 300ZX twin turbo, and then a Stealth Twin Turbo.  I sold the Stealth about 4 years ago and ever since, I have felt like I'm missing a limb (or a stick shift...).  I don't feel good.  I don't feel like me.

I want a sports car.  I was thinking about the Camaro, but then I saw that pretty little corvette and my heart went pitty patter.  It HAS to be manual transmission, however.  Too many nancy-boy girlie-men around here driving gorgeous sports cars and then ... the let down.... an automatic gear shift.  Pansies!

I think it is time to do it.  I feel the need for speed again.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Time to think about getting seriously stoned at home

... ha!  Had ya going there, didn't I?  Alas, I don't do the ganja.  I experimented (never inhaled, bien sur) and it made me eat a 2lb bag of M&Ms and then fall asleep, sexually frustrated.  Not good.

I need to relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax. It is either that or bitch-slapping someone in the face (which is a very likely scenario at the moment - I'm feelin it).

I love hot stone massages and I have been pondering the purchase of a really cool massage table I saw at American Line beauty supplies in Salmiya.  Now that I have discovered Pinkies, I think I will go for it.  Lord knows that I have enough room in my apartment.  It might be cool to do spa days at home with the girls. The table could also sub for a grooming table for Desert Dawg (although she does love her doggie massages as well - just not with the hot stones).

I would love to take a professional massage course.  I wonder if I could do it in a month the next time I go home. Anybody know about courses in Virginia?  (I also want to take one of those driving courses where you drive 100 mph in reverse in a Hummer or equivalent and then spin out into a parallel parking space.  Yeah baybee.)

Pinkies Girl told me about places I can purchase hot stone massage kits; they're available online, but holy snap - the shipping prices of shipping rocks (literally) would be astronomical.  F that.  PG told me that perhapsee Al-Nezi (sp?) in Shuwaikh or Jothen may have them.  Anybody know fer sure?   Help a stoner out. tee hee.

(From LWDLIK)
Kuwait's getting stoned too!  Check it out:

Hail Stones Today in Rawdatain Near Jahra, Kuwait  http://www.twitvid.com/HTRJY

50/20 Celebrations Website and Schedule



It just really pisses me off that EVERY YEAR, there is no notification of events in Kuwait (like Hala February) in English.  Everybody bitches about the number of expats outnumbering Kuwaitis (yada) and got a news flash:  most of us only read English.  This is a harsh reality in that we are here in another country and not learning the language; ok for me - much easier to understand spoken Arabic, but learning to read Arabic was not my strong point.  Regardless, (yada yada), I would like to go to some of the events and to do that - ya actually have to KNOW about them in advance.

So, having said that, let me just say, MASHALLAH!  The site listed below has a .pdf format schedule of events, listed chronologically in English.  Thank you, whoever made that possible!  I will post it as a link on my sidebar also as events are going to run through the year.

The below is a re-print from Ladies Who Do Lunch in Kuwait Blog. Thanks, girl, for posting this and bringing it to people's attention.
LWDLIK says:
Seems there was a parade yesterday on Salem Mubarak Street in Salmiya. Sadly there is not always advance info, in English, on these events to share with you. 
Found this today http://www.kuwait-fest.com/english/index.asp which is the first time I've seen an English website of the National Day/February activities. It's an interesting site there is a schedule in PDF however no timings :O( so one should assume fireworks will be in the evening and day events will not start before 10AM.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Funny Misspelling

... and the award goes to....

Wihit Hores Taxi

If you wanna ride, don't ride the Wihit Hores
I said, 'Wihit!'
Wihit hores!



Found at: FilesTube

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Melenzane and Teng Chao

I had the BEST meal the other night at a new (dunno how new, admitedly) Italian restaurant at Bidaa (very close to my house), called Melenzane. (The sign in the front is spelled with letters backward and for someone who is semi-dislexic like me, it really throws you off.)  My friends, L and K, turned me onto it.  I had rissoto with chicken and mushrooms.  K had mushroom ravioli.  Yummmmmmmm.  It is a small place and dark (even though I had lasik now I need reading glasses - also known as "old age") and chic.  I like it. I don't like that the bathroom is upstairs.  I hate that.  You go out for a nice meal wearing high heels and you run the risk of tumbling down dark stairs and making a mockery of yourself.   And yet... The best Italian food I've had in Kuwait.  Most of our Italian restaurants came out of a can; "Ragu restaurants".  This one is the real deal - and reasonably priced.  Oh... when will the day come when you can have a nice glass of chianti with your meal?  Heavy sigh.

Second part of this post:  WTF has happend to Teng Chao at the Holiday Inn in Salmiya???  It it now an Egyptian sheesha cafe?  HORRIBLE.  There are televisions in several corners, blaring soccer matches, and a violin player baring Musak. Chinese - NOT.  Elegant - NOT.  The service was also deplorable, even though the guy was very friendly.  It used to be that you could go there for a nice, elegant business dinner, but not now.  SucksMuch.  The violinist isn't bad, but my idea of a eating a Chinese meal isn't accompanied by "Besame Mucho" on the fiddle. It may just be ME, but.... nah.

J&J, it was SO nice to see you both.  You are two of my very favorite people.  The pianist in the lobby is outstanding, BTW. :)

I had to go to the US Embassy this morning.  They have this COOL new machine. It detects any kind of explosive residue. Does make-up count?  They swab your purse and it then they place the swab in the machine and it has a menu of explosive components that might come up.  It is very cool.  I asked what woudl happen if I was out somewhere - like working on a contract with ammo or something.  He said after 2 tests, if something came up, he would call his supervisor and then Lucy would have some 'splainin to do.  I, bien sur, had nothing to declare.  I didn't see what they swabed on the men.  Wallets?  Dunno.  Maybe cause they don't carry anything (most men except for those guys who carry "man satchels" - which are really purses anyways).

Lovin this weather.  I want to be outside playing.






I don't usually do this, but....
A note to my friend:   I know you are reading this and it must be very upsetting to analyze everything.  I really do respect you and like you a lot (I think you know that).   Just don't read the blog if it hurts you.  I don't want you to be unhappy and I have a very boring life, really.

Stealing Sand


Arab Times Today:
Stealing sand: Police have arrested two Egyptians and an Indian for stealing sand from government land in Wafra, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.  The arrest came when a Kuwaiti man working for the Kuwait Municipality team that is tasked with removing encroachments on government land called the Operations Department of the Ministry of Interior. The suspects have been arrested and their vehicles and equipment have been confiscated.
---
Stealing SAND?  Really?  SAND????  How much sand were they stealing?  To be arrested for stealing sand?  I mean, c'mon youse guys - isn't there enough sand in Kuwait??  Do you think you could just spare a little?
Now, "pounding sand" is quite a different issue....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

US Embassy National Day Event

A year ago, when I BMCed about how I have lived in Kuwait for FOURTEEN YEARS and have never been invited to a national day (4th of July) event at the US Embassy, a happy-go-lucky US embassy representative approached me and told me that I ab-so-lutely would be invited to one the following year (2011)....

Just wanted to remind you (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) that you made a promise.  I base credibility on follow-through.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Bada BING.

I wrote a much longer post (yawn) about the embassy and how - compared to other embassies, the US Embassy tends to be the Official Poster Child for unfriendliness (I included quotes from various sources)... winning hearts and minds NOT... yada...  but ya know, a sistah gets tired of singin the same old song.  So, here is the short, sweet, and simple version.

Shout out for Indigo Shadows and Pinkies

A shout out for two friends who have cool businesses.  One is new, the other has been around for a few years, but obviously I have been living under the Big Rock.

Indigo Shadows, "The fine art of eventology..." is an event planning company started recently by my friend.  She specializes in high-end, quality children's parties.  http://www.indigoshadows-events.com/, or lorie@indigoshadows-events.com.  Name a theme and they'll take care of the rest.  They are working on a project for me at the moment and are extreeeeemely detailed.

Pinkies, Nail Design and Spa has been around for several years.  They specialize in at-home services like mani/pedi, massage, etc.  http://www.pinkiesspa.com/.  I told her that the last time Slapperella and I used an at-home service, the biotches who did our nails gossiped.  They came to my house first and then went to Slaps' and thought it would be appropriate to trash me.  Stupid.  Pinkies don't go there:  their staff is asked to keep the small talk to a minimum and discretion is a must.

So, thar ya go.  These are not paid endorsements - they are friends with businesses that I hope will flourish.  Rock on wi' yo' bad selves!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jazz Night at the Rotana - January 27


January 27 at the Ballroom Area
Charging a very special rate of KWD 12.000 + 15% sc per person
to include buffet dinner and enjoy the band.
It will start at around 8:00pm
Please make your reservation and payment in advance as this is on a first come first serve basis.
Rotana Phone:  2393-1000

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good times....

Going to Rehab Complex in search of DVDs for movie night at home and asking people who speak limited English for the movie, "Little Fockers."
Them:  "HUH?"
Me:  "Little Fockers - with an O.  FOH!  FOH not FUU."
Them: (blush) "What?"
Me: "Little Fockers!  FO-ckers.... You know - Ben Stiller, Robert Deniro..."
Them: (blank stare, deep puff on cigarette).

That was almost as bad as asking DVD dudes for "Sex in the City."
I'm blonde.  They assume My People invented porno.

Good times in Kuwait, baybee, good times.

30 years of service in government prerequisite for citizenship

30 years of service in government prerequisite for citizenship
Al-Watan Daily, Sunday, 23 January 2011, by:  Abdullah Al-Najjar

KUWAIT: Al Watan has learnt that the Executive Apparatus for Illegal Residents will endorse two basic conditions. The first condition stipulates that the candidate is included in the 1965 census or at least proves his presence before this date. The second condition states that the applicant has served a government institution continuously for at least 30 years. Alternative solutions will be reportedly found for those who do not fulfill these two conditions.

The Head of the said executive apparatus Saleh Al-Fadhala has been reportedly conducting regular visits to the previous executive committee for illegal residents in Dhajeej to review files. Besides, he is meeting the newly appointed members of the Executive Apparatus. Al-Fadhala also visits the new officers to be located in Nayef Palace as some maintenance work is still underway. The new officers will be reportedly equipped with state-of-the-art technology to meet all requirements. The official is said to be determined to end this longstanding case by ensuring that entitled applicants obtain citizenship.

-End-

I hope this is true.  I just hope it isn't more hachi and false hope.  What about the Bidoon guys who fought with Kuwait during the Gulf War (20 years ago)?  They should be first in line.  Maybe the Government could make this 20 year anniversary something to really celebrate...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Visit to K's PATH

Yesterday, I went to the K'sPATH (AFL) shelter for the first time since its re-opening.  I wanted to go to the grand re-opening ceremony, but I couldn't make it.

I am SO HAPPY to see it the way it is now - and not covered with soot and devastation the way it was the last time I saw it.  What a relief to see not only the place, but the people look so much better.  Ayesha looked so happy and had her daughter with her (who is gorgeous and is going to grow up and break hearts); Bindy Part Deux!  I'm glad Ayesha is back to herself too; rather than right after the fire when I saw her and looked like a soldier who had seen too many terrible things to speak.  What a tremendous success story it is now!  I think the shelter is much better than before and Ayesha, John, and all the many many volunteers and supporters who have helped it in such a short about of time have to be congratulated.  Their hard work has really paid off.

Anyhoo, I was there for the grooming day, but had a more "selfish" (if you can call it that) motive:  I was there to surrender a dog that The Man had been keeping at his diwaniya/camp.  More than a month ago, he was walking to his house and heard a dog making a terrible noise.  Someone had tied it up behind an electric sub-station with a wire and no food or water.  It had probably been left there to die.

He said that before he "knew" dogs, he might have helped it, but then just let it go; but now, he can't turn his back.  He's been helping dogs for more than a year now and I'm so proud of that.  I think if you can touch one person; just let one animal touch their hearts in a meaningful way, then that person looks at life in a different way.

The Man  fell in love with this (unnamed) white beagle-mixed, large, lanky puppy.  They took strolls together and he taught him how to play catch.  Unfortunately, his diwaniya buddies haven't been converted yet and The Man was afraid for NoName.  So, K'sPATH graciously agreed to take NoName in; even though they currently have around 70 dogs.

So peeps, if you are looking for a puppy, got check out the ones that K'sPATH has.  They've got some great puppies and dogs (cats, a few rabbits, ducklings) right now who need forever homes.  They also have a new shop with all kinds of things for pets; including organic shampoo.  Desert Dawg has allergies and I appreciate it when I can find something that won't give her a rash.

Disclaimer:  And when I say "forever" - I mean for either the rest of your life or the rest of the animal's life; whichever comes first.  I am NOT of the belief that  anyone should take on an animal and then 2 years later when their contract is up, dump them off on someone. You wouldn't do that to an adoptive child; you shouldn't do it to an adoptive pet.  (When I receive pleading e-mails from well-intentioned friends saying "Flana needs to find her cat a home because she's leaving the country", I just want to find Flana and beat the living crap out of her.  But hey - that's just me.)  There is always a way to keep the family together when you have to move.

Ayesha, thank you for agreeing to take in NoName and thank you for also taking in the puppies from the other place we talked about.  I left yesterday feeling the positive energy and all the good news was just wonderful.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tabtabaei urges 1-month salary grant to expats

Usually, I can't stand this guy, but today, he's my buddy.

Tabtabaei urges 1-month salary grant to expats

Published Date: January 20, 2011
By B Izzak, Staff Writer

KUWAIT: Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei yesterday urged private Kuwaiti companies to distribute a month's salary as a grant to their non-Kuwaiti employees on the occasion of national events. Tabtabaei said in a statement that the Amir has ordered the distribution of KD 1,000 to each Kuwaiti citizen on the occasions of the 50th anniversary of the independence, 20th anniversary of the liberation and the fifth anniversary of his ascendance to power. He said that owners of Kuwaiti companies should take the Amir's decision as an example and distribute a grant to expatriates.
- - -
 
Unfortunately, it isn't in the budget of most comanies in Kuwait to do that, but hey, nice thought.

Did CSA get another 6 month extension?

I've heard that CSA just got another 6 month extension.  Has anyone else heard this?  I also heard that ITT is having a hard time hiring on their salary scale.  Hmmmmmm.

Friends of mine who are currently on the CSA contract have sent ITT their resumes and haven't even received an acknowledgement.  No good, baba.

Somebody dish the dirt.

Saudi Arabia Now Forcing News Bloggers to Obtain Licenses, Promote Islam

Have you guys heard about this?  I have seen similar stories from several different sources.  I hope this doesn't make its way to Kuwait.  Are you affected, American Bedu?


Saudi Arabia Now Forcing News Bloggers to Obtain Licenses, Promote Islam

BY Neal Ungerleider
Wed Jan 12, 2011

The Middle Eastern kingdom has just enacted one of the world's most stringent sets of blogging regulations: Non-citizens can't write about news, chat room users are encouraged to register with the government, and everyone needs to be very careful about religion.

Saudi Arabia has enacted stringent new regulations forcing some bloggers to obtain government licenses and to strongarm others into registering. In addition, all Saudi news blogs and electronic news sites will now be strictly licensed, required to “include the call to the religion of Islam” and to strictly abide by Islamic sharia law. The registration and religion requirements are also being coupled with strict restrictions on what topics Saudi bloggers can write on--a development which will essentially give Saudi authorities the right to shut down blogs at their discretion.

More on the story HERE.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Little anecdotal stories thar for ya

A couple of funny thoughts to follow a very serious post below.

A while back, The Man started what appeared to be a serious conversation with me.  He had that serious furrowed brow look on his face, but wait..... It was about the nickname for the name "Richard".
Him:  "Why do they call a penis the same name as a name; Dick?  Isn't that wrong?"
Me:  I think that the nickname came along way before the slang name.
Him: (Still with the serious/perplexed look on his face) "Yeah, okay, but they are still using Dick as a nickname, like 'Dick Cheney."
Me:  Yeah, true, true.
Him:  "What would happen if we started calling people by the Arabic name for penis?  I can't imagine that.  It's so.... ayeb.  Like, if I was to shout out to one of my friends in the diwaniya, 'Yaaaa air!"
(He could still call some of his friends that.  I've met them.  They are.  Sorry, The Man, but you know it's true.)
Me:  (lots of giggles.)  I have no answer for that.  (I know I have wanted to call some people here by that nickname....)

Funny little ditty number deux

One of my female friends (I'll call her Lola, that's her stripper name anyways), Lola, went to work for CSA.  She's Briddish.  Lola had never worked around the US military before, so she knew nothing about the terminology and granted - it is quite a bit different than English - even in the civilian world in the States.  So, when she heard about CSA's "Small Arms Department", she went into a fit of hysterics and imagined a room full of amputated small arms... ha ha.  That's funny. (It really means small weapons.)   So I was telling her about a business associate that I had met recently and mentioned that he's quite a nice person, but that he has very short arms and small hands and it is somewhat disturbing to me.  She said, "Maybe he works in the Small Arms Department."
... okay, so maybe it was funnier in person, but still.
(Now that's all I can think of when I see him, thank you very much, Miss Thang!)

MPs reveal more cases of shocking police torture

The below appeared on the Kuwait Times online page today.  This is publicly accessable.  I'm not writing anything that hasn't already been plastered all over the internet.

Published Date: January 19, 2011
By B Izzak and A Saleh, Staff Writers
Kuwait Times

KUWAIT:  "...    MPs meanwhile highlighted new torture cases in police stations, with one involving a 17-year-old Saudi boy who was brutally tortured and raped for no crime he committed and another elderly Kuwaiti man who was tortured for five days at Salwa police station.

The new revelations made Mislem to wonder "if the police is doing this to Kuwaiti citizens, what would be the case with expatriates", adding that he believes they are subjected to worse torture and mistreatment. He considered the prime minister rejection of the resignation of the interior minister, submitted last Thursday, as "a provocation, and accordingly the grilling has become more necessary than any time before and its filing can take place any moment starting from this minute". Mislem also charged that the torture cases are not individual case but a "methodology by the interior ministry" and expected that more torture cases will be revealed soon.

... Sayyah Al-Rasheedi, who was arrested with him, was also tortured and they removed his nipples with a nail-cutter."

Read the full story HERE

- - - End - - -

Crimes commited by Kuwaiti police men who considered themselves above the law.

Desert Girl says:
Find the torturers.  Hang them. Fry them.  Strip them of their nationality so that no one can benefit from them long after they're worm food. 

Maybe the torture victims were guilty of criminal acts (but who knows now), but they were not deserving of torture.   NO ONE is!

My heart goes out to the families of the victims.  Imagine being a mother and reading about how this happened to your child? In their own country.  You could be driving around, looking at police officers, and wondering if they were somehow involved in torturing your kid.  What a nightmare.

- - - 20 January 2010
Alwatan Daily

KUWAIT: Six suspects in the case of torturing and killing Mohammed Al-Mutairi, who have been identified as Salem Al-Rashed, Abdullah Al-Awadhi, Abdullah Al-Azmi, Ayed Al-Otaibi, Faisal Al-Asfour, and Ahmed Al-Rashidi

(Too bad they didn't use their full names, but this is pretty good for a start.)
Fry em, hang em!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Something to remind me of home

I did something crazy on impulse: I bought a fireplace. That’s right. You read correctly: I bought a fireplace. For Kuwait. It’s going to be holy-shit-that’s-hot soon, and yet, it just reminded me immediately of the family and I got it. Bada BING.

(Sniffle.  I miss you mommy and Caitie and Alex and Wayne and dogs.....)

Otay, so it isn’t an authentic wood-burning fireplace. Actually, let me back up from that even further and say, it doesn’t burn anything. It is more like wall art, but DAYAM, it is good wall art.

I was out on a mission this weekend with a friend and we came across them at Ace Hardware. Who woulda thought? Ace. Fireplaces. They had some that were over the top crazy expensive. This one was around 100KD (which I know , is stupid because I know that money could be put to better use). But I love it. So, in August, when we are all dying from heat, I will be sitting in front of my fake fireplace, with the AC down to sub-zero,  thinking of the "snow" outside (which is really toxic dust).


I know I’m just going to sit there and stare at it. Maybe pretend to roast marshmallows. Maybe get a bearskin rug and get neked in front of it…. The possibilities are endless.


Perhapsee it is because I still have a slight fever? Je ne sais pas.

Dudes came and delivered it and installed it for free. I am very happy with the Ace service. They showed up on time, were courteous, well dressed, and spoke English.

Ya know, if I was Kuwaiti and could buy a home here, I would build one with a fireplace. I don’t care if it only gets cold for 2.5 nanoseconds. There is just something homey about a fireplace.


I’ve got one of those fire pits on my terrace. That is good, but I’m afraid I’m going to burn the place down; especially since I have found fake logs that could torch a good part of Rumaithiya. 



video

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tha Roof, Tha Roof, Tha Roof is on Fire.... Agility Fire



Agility Fire (Re-print from Mark's Blog)

Just found out a huge fire broke out last night at the Agility warehouse. Hopefully no one got hurt since the fire looks huge. I hope my boxes of Coco Puffs are also safe. I took the picture from Bananaq8 where he has a bit more info (but in Arabic). If you work at Agility and have information on this fire or pictures please [Contact Me (Mark)]  Update: Here is a video, the fire is HUGE [YouTube]

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I heard through the former-Agility-employee grapevine this morning that it was the 20K - the largest Agility warehouse which formerly contained food supplies going up to the troops in Iraq.  Heard that there was limited amounts of food and some furniture that burned.  Insurance payout?  Hmmmmm.
 
I'm trying to feel bad for them..... wait.... no, I thought I could do it, but..... nope.... gone.
 
I think about when I worked there in 2005 and all the hopes that people had for the company; what a terrible all-around waste.  Agility was the one company that I worked for in Kuwait that had amazing systems, policies and procedures in place and were handling business like a real global-rate organization.  Unfortunately, they didn't follow their own rules and everyone either knew about the corruption that was going on, or played along turning a blind eye. All of that for greed?  What a shame.

Thanks, Ms. Sparky, for digging up more on the story and posting it.  Thanks also for the shout-out.  As of this afternoon, it was still smouldering.

18 January 2011 update

I can't BELIEVE that none of the local newspapers have anything (at least online) about the fire.  WTF?  Are the editors still invested in Agility in the Kuwait Stock Exchange?  Really?  Seriously?

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Ms. Sparky had this on her website.  It appears that someone is giving the "thumbs-up" sign. 
Freaky, eh?... (don't get me started....)

... somebody pass that bag of marshmallows, will ya?

23 January 2011 Update

I drove by there this weekend.  This was NOT the 20K where the US military food was formerly stored.  20K is still standing and looks fine.  I couldn't see any damage at all from 6th Ring Road.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

K's PATH Shelter Open Day & Charity Grooming Event - Jan 21

On the 21st of January, we open the doors of the K'S PATH Shelter and Sanctuary from 11am to 2pm to our community. You are cordially invited to come spend some time with our animals! Map

Animal Care will be bringing their dog grooming van along with two grooming instructors from the UK. Bring your dogs to be groomed for only 12KD! All proceeds will be donated to the K'S PATH Shelter and Sanctuary. Bring your dog early; it's first come, first serve!


Celebrate, bitches!  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not such a hero?

I have heard a rumour from a large retail chain that the customer satisfaction survey that went around at the end of last year, asking people to vote for their categories of places with great service online, was rigged.  Companies were asked to pay if they wanted to be voted the best.  Has anyone else heard about this?

If true, not only do I find that highly unethical, but it degrades any surveys to follow it. Would I send in my comments again should it be the case?  No F-ing way.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

General Dynamics Job Fair in Kuwait: Jan 15,16,22, 23

For those of you who don't know it, General Dynamics IT won part of the KBOS3 (former CSA) contract. They will be having a job fair (which I haven't seen advertised) for Warehouse Operations, Logistics, Supply & Distribution, SARSS, etc.:

General Dynamics Information Technology is a top-tier IT integrator that provides information technology, systems engineering and professional services to customers in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, federal civil and commercial sectors. With approximately 17,000 professionals worldwide, the company has the customer knowledge, domain expertise and proven performance to manage large-scale, mission-critical IT programs.

General Dynamics Information Technology is Expanding its Talent Base

Job Fair
January 15 - 16  and 22-23, 2011

Noon to 8 p.m.

Hilton Kuwait Resort,  Mangaf, Kuwait


Join a dynamic and growing organization! General Dynamics Information Technology is hosting a Job Fair for funded positions in Kuwait.

- Senior Maintenance and Materiel Managers
- Logistics and Operations Officers
- Certified Lean/Six Sigma/ Quality Control
- Support Division Chief
- Senior Administrative Assistant/Contracts Admin
- Operations Officer
- Logistics Managers
- Stock Control Managers
- Safety/Environmental Manager
- Senior Supply Managers
- Senior Supply Analysts
- Supply Analyst
- Division Deputy
- Safety/Environmental Technician
- Branch Managers
- Lead Technical Inspectors
- Technical Inspectors
- Senior Inspectors
- Supply Supervisors
- Supply Technicians
- Supply Managers
- SARSS Operators
- Storage Supervisors
- CIIIP/HAZMAT Supervisor
- Supply Technicians (HAZMAT)
- Supply Managers (QC)

Some positions will require a DoD clearence. For those positions, candidates must be able to obtain and/or maintain an active Department of Defense Secret level clearance. U.S. Citizenship is required for positions that require a clearance. If you have any questions and/or cannot attend the job fair in person, please email asdjobs@gdit.com and reference job number 177889.

Apply online to www.gdit.com/careers and apply to job number 177889

General Dynamics is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hey you with the pretty face...

Happy 1/11/11 everybody! 

This is my 777th post!  Aint that some shit!?

I love this song.  I think I'm going to make it my theme song for this new year.

Electric Light Orchestra - Mr.Blue Sky .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lost Dog: Rottweiler in Ahmadi


LOST DOG: Dotty was adopted from AFL yesterday (9 January) morning and then lost yesterday evening in the Ahmadi Area off the 304. She is a 1 year-old long-haired Rottweiler. She is very sweet natured. A 100KD reward will be given. Please call 67001622 with any information.

AFL asked me to post and I always feel honored when they get in touch for any reason. This is a good one.    Sometimes doggies going to a new destination just get confused and scared.  I hope they find her and she is safe.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Kuwaiti earns first red card of Asian Cup

Seriously???




Kuwaiti earns first red card of Asian Cup

Kuwait Times
Published Date: January 09, 2011
DOHA: Kuwaiti defender Mesaed Nada became the first player at the 15th edition of the Asian Cup to be sent off yesterday after an ugly foul on China's Yang Xu. In only the second game of the tournament, Nada saw red in the 36th minute for losing his cool during a fierce chase for the ball. As Yang and Nada fell to the ground, the Kuwaiti lashed out with his left foot, catching the Chinese painfully in the groin.  (Fellas, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it some unwritten boy code that y'alls don't kick each other in the nads??  With cleats???)


Australian referee Benjamin Williams had no hesitation in sending him back to the dressing room and the tearful (yep - ya done phucked up) Nada hid his face in his shirt as he left the playing arena. Yang was stretchered off for treatment (frozen peas?), but returned soon after as China went on to win the Group A game 2-0. The tournament, featuring the top 16 teams from the region, runs until Jan 29. - AFP

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I think I'm dying

I hate being sick.  This stuff is all up in my chest and I have zero energy.  Walking to the refrigerator to get an OJ refill takes its toll.  I have to go get nebulized and couldn't stand my own stank, so finally took a bath and washed my hair.  Standing in the shower would have been too much damn work.  This sucks.

I got to use my new purple hair dryer.  The day I was leaving to travel to the States, my beloved Parlux 3200 bit the dust (okay, after 10 years).  It had a good run.  I drove as fast as I could to Jothen and bought a new one. I couldn't NOT have a hair dryer when I got back.  So wrong.   Hair dryer deaths must take place at similar time intervals:  The Romanian's blew up as well.

Back to my story (I'm on medication and I will digress.  Try to stay with me.)

Desert Dawg is taking care of me.  She hasn't left my side for the past few days.  I couldn't ask for a better nurse.

The Man is super-sick also.  We got hit at the same time, so I really have no excuse for blaming him for not coming to my rescue with chicken soup (although irrationally I can still blame him, can't I?).  The Romanian did that yesterday - soup with bread and a slice of chocolate cake.  Anyways, he sounds like he's worse off than I am poor thang.  I am living off the OJ his family dropped off for me - among other wonderful groceries - so I would have food when I got back (he was out of town).  That was SO nice of them and totally unexpected by really really really appreciated - especially now when I'm at my most pathetic.

I'm having weird fever dreams about plane crashes (218 souls on board) on the beach (I was safe inside a purple bunker) and getting stuck in a 40-storey tower and not being able to find my blue and white clutch purse...  Why can't I ever have good dreams?  I don't get it.

GTG get "dressed up" to go to get nebulized.  The Romanian is taking me, bless her heart (in a good way).  Getting dressed will take me about 30 minutes at my current speed..... slow mo.  Maybe I'll just throw on my abaya....

Speaking of which, Slapperella related a funny story about her abaya.  I knew I had created a monster when I bought one for her - she wears it all the time now and was recently at her co-op.  She was walking either in/out and a man stopped her and asked her where she was from (I catch an attitude and most likely I would have told him to F off - in a nice way of course).  She stopped and said, "Scotland".  He says, "Are you married to a Kuwaiti?"  She said, "No."  He said, "Then why are you wearing the abaya?"  She replied that she just couldn't be arsed to change out of her pajamas.  Dude, "Huh?"  She said, "Where are you from?"  Dude: "Egypt."  Slaps,  "Are you married to a Westerner?"  Dude, "No."  Slaps, "Then why are you wearing Western clothes?" and walked away.  She said a shopkeeper had overheard the whole thing and as she said, "Wuz pissin himself laughin."  Tee hee.

Oh one more thang before I close out and go to put on clothes....

My kittens are missing.  I returned from the States and they were gone: all three of them.  Dewie, Louey, and the new one, Moo.  My landlady's maid had been bringing them food while I was away (yes she did - there was evidence), but they are no where to be found now. Petunia came back around as did Limpy.  They both sat there for a while after I put their food down for them, stared at me, and then started conversations in cat-language.  It was as if they expected me to understand.  This went on for a long time with a lot of ears-back and tail-twitching.  Clearly, they were angry I had gone away.  I hope the babies are okay. I miss them and Desert Dawg keeps searching for them on the terrace.

2011 so far: The Flu

I had a very nice trip.  I was in a vegetative state the entire trip where I just relaxed with the family and didn't call anyone. I don't know how people put up with me.  Seriously.  I didn't even get around to sending out Christmas cards this year - which is quite unlike me.  In fact one of the guys at work asked me to bring his Christmas cards to post in the States and I totally forgot them in Kuwait.  I feel really bad about that.  Bobarino did that to me once and I was really upset with him, but it was an honest mistake, so what to do, baba?

My eyes are doing really well and I decided to treat myself to a little Botox to complete the deer-in-the-headlights look that I was going for.  Didn't really work but my forehead is tight.

It was a wonderful trip and a special shout out to my sister who was amazingly kind and generous as always.

I walked right by the signs at CVS that said, "Flu shot available here".  Thought about it for a nanosecond, then disregarded.  Also decided not to buy more Nyquil.  Stupid mistakes.

So, my trip back on United was fine and I got 2 seats all to myself.  I felt fine - no worries.  Went to work, all good.  Then got sick as a dawg with the flu.

Oh.my.God.  This is a nasteh flu.  You'll notice the time of this posting. That is because after FIVE attempts at going to sleep; downing Nyquil and Night Nurse and 2 Tylenol PMs - I still can't go to sleep because I'm coughing like a mofo.  I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to sleep in a sitting position.  This sucks.  I got hit bigtime with a fever and the whole shabang.

Went to International Clinic and got bumped out of the line waiting to check in by two big-butt women in abayas.  Sometimes when you are sick and you are coughing, moments like that serve a purpose.  I hate self-important people like that.  The level of arrogance is staggering sometimes.  What makes matters worse is when receptionists (almost ALWAYS at IC) look through you or don't make eye contact and take people like that in line when clearly you are first.  (Cough, cough, hack, hack.)

Anyhoo, back to our story:  Got all kinds of meds and have to be nebulized 2 times a day for the next 3 days.  That sucks.  Now I have to go back to IC to do that twice a day.  RRRRR.  Well, I haven't been sick in a loooong time and I guess it is time to pay my dues.

Funny pics from the States

 They had to create a category for it.
 Look at the steel balls on that guy!