Showing posts from January, 2010

Residual Self Image

Residule Self Image
Originally uploaded by Kevin.Haroun Back in Taif after a quick trip to Jeddah the other day. Got my motorcycle insurance in order. I can go down and get the bike next weekend. Which should allow for some more interesting photos on the weekends.

My theme for today's photo is "residual self-image", that is, how you imagine yourself. So, the clothes, props and even background of this photo are part of that theme. T-shirt and blazer (my daily look in Japan), jeans that fit decently, and my hiking boots. I should say my biking boots, as this is what they are worn for, with that black spot on the left boot where the gear shift has rubbed.

And a cigar, naturally.

Anyone else up for doing a photo in this theme? It was a fun exercise.

Tuesday Morning

I'm at work getting ready for class. Four classes today. The semester is winding down, and while the cadets are easily distracted they are at least pretty manageable at this point. I attribute it to the great work I did early in the semester bending them to my will and demonstrating that getting out of line was not worth the effort. At least, I like to think so.

The end of the semester is very demoralizing for the D level students, and me as well as a result. After doing great work all semester and learning all sorts of stuff, they are given tests they can't pass, or even reasonably do well on.

This has to do with the military's obsession with a test called the "ALCPT". This means something like "American Language Competency Placement Test" or something like that. It is used by the Defense Language Institute (of the US military) to place incoming students in classes. Great. Unfortunately, the Saudi's use it as a measuring bar for promotion, placement …

Time Threw a Prayer to Me

Early evening, a little past seven. Ash has gone out on errands and I'll likely get to bed early tonight. I got my exercise in today - 3km of rowing and two rounds of walking around the compound. I walked with two of my co-workers, who set a pretty good pace. I'll need to wear real shoes next time.

Dinner was grilled cheese sandwich and a salad followed by a bowl of cereal. Trying to get my eating onto a reasonable schedule and reasonable amount. Not making a good go of it yet, but I am eating regular breakfasts at the mess hall, and that's been good. I'm sure it's bad for me, eggs and beef bacon, but what the level. The coffee isn't bad at least.

This morning's music was nothing special. Can't even recall now what I played. But right now I'm listening to Seal's "Love's Divine". When I first really heard this song I was living in Osaka. I was on lunch break from the senior high school I worked at. It had a lot of impact at the mome…

Passing the Buck

The best news of the day is that my cell phone boosting antenna is finally mounted properly. After talking to the guy who has all the bits to get it mounted a couple three times and getting no results, I went to the person sure to have the wastah to get a worker to do something on this compound - my houseboy.

I explained the problem to my houseboy. At first, he wasn't sure what was needed. So he went to my office, I explained where and how I wanted it mounted, and how the antenna should work, and what cell phone company I was using. He promised to get on it.

When I came home the next day, he was near my house and came over and explained that the job wasn't done, but that the other worker was committed to get it done, and it should be all finished tomorrow.

When I came home today, (tomorrow from then) it was done. The antenna gets me a solid two bars of signal (okay, pathetic, but not as bad as the one bar I got before). Importantly, connectivity is improved, and it spends more t…

Funny Money

After a salad and grilled shrimp for dinner, I went to the commissary to buy groceries. After finding they didn't have my cereal or any pop-tarts, I grabbed a magazine and some ice-cream (note: I did get 5km of rowing in today).

"Sorry, sir. This is fake." The shopkeeper turns the riyal note around and hands it back to me. I look at it confused as he points out the missing seal, cunningly replace with a grey blotch. "Where did you get this riyal?" I explain it was from my company. I'll have to take it back to them. He agrees. "You know how I know this fake riyal?" I look back up at him. "Three times. I have riyal like this." If they were all SR500 notes like mine, which they likely were, he's had to pay out about a month's base pay each time this happened. I tuck the note away and will have to deal with it tomorrow. At least it provides fodder for a daily photo. Three hundred sixty two of those remaining.

TV today - Dr. Who Season…

January Second Miscellany

Another short piece, just to keep writing. Today was a regular work day, a Saturday. I had to teach four classes, all review for the test happening tomorrow. I'm glad I did this, as I also recalled I need to make a new slide show for work. One praising the recently returned Prince and proclaiming how thankful we are he is alive and well. This will be for the TV monitors mounted in the hallways. These things have been the bane of my life - either the computer connected to them is on the fritz, or the computer works and I have to make sure something interesting is posted. The last two items I created or started to create were rejected. Shortly after that the computer's video card gave up the ghost, so I left it that way. That was tolerated for a time, but now it is back, and now I have to make another PowerPoint for it. At least I can put my masters classes to work.

Internet is on the blink today as well. My "good" connection refusing to connect to the MMO's I like …

New Year's Day 2010

I'm doing the Flickr 365 this year. At least, starting it off this time. One self portrait a day for a year. Not easy to do, and people get pretty desperate for good ideas as time goes by. I plan to update FB with the day's photo as well. The kick off is pretty tame - an extreme close up. Edgy.

Ash has finally moved to Portugal for school. So this is a way of keeping in better contact. We chat on Skype and stuff each day, but being on my own always makes me write better. So I'll do more writing as well. Because it's daily, and about self, expect a fair amount of trivia.

And on trivia, I thought I'd share the first music I listened to today, and the first music to wake me up.

First song of the day: Beat It - The Unseen - a punk cover of Michael Jackson's classic. Courtesy the "Genius" setting.

First song to get my toes tapping and ready to dance: Deliver Me - Sarah Brightman Also courtesy of iTunes. Something I love about random play. It digs up stuff yo…