Thursday, December 29, 2005

The 2nd Annual Brass Crescet Awards 2005

(Via Avari/Nameh)

Once more Brass Crescent and AltMuslim bring us a chance to explore and elevate the Muslim Blogosphere. Nominations are now being accepted for the Second Annual Brass Crescent Awards, recognizing Muslim excellence in the blogosphere:

The Awards will take place in two phases. First, the nominations phase, where all of you nominate your favorite blogs for each of the categories below. Then, we will have a Finalists' round of voting, to distill the list. Finally, we will have the final voting round.

What is also new this year is that we also would like to solicit your opinion on a new category. In addition to your initial nominations, please also suggest a Category for a Brass Crescent Award that you would like to see. We will add the most popular suggested Category to the Finalist round and invite nominations at that stage.

Here are the revised categories for this year's Awards:

BEST MIDDLE-EAST/ASIAN BLOGGER - The Islamsphere is truly a global phennomenon. In Iraq, despite the chaos and uncertainty, there is a sea change of free speech and expression, the vanguard of which are blogs. There are also bloggers in India, in Pakistan, in Jordan, and most other countries that host muslims, all of whom have their own perspectives on faith, culture, and politics.

BEST GROUP BLOG - which multiple group blog in the Islamsphere has the best diversity of writers and the most interesting debate on Muslim issues?

Which blog is a true diamond in the rough, one that everyone should be reading but who most just haven't heard of (yet) ?

BEST THINKER - Who is the most stimulating, insightful, and philosophically wise among us? This category is intended to highlight a blogger who may not post daily, but when they do post, they really make an impact.

BEST FEMALE BLOG - The woman's voice in Islam is equal to the man's, and in the Islamsphere we seek to make sure the female perspective is highlighted and given its rightful due. Which muslim woman's blog has done the most to explore the role that women play within Islam and society?

BEST POST OR SERIES - Which single post or group of posts in the Islamsphere was the most original and important, above all the others?

BEST NON-MUSLIM BLOG - Which blog writen by a non-muslim is most respectful of Islam and seeks genuine dialog with muslims?

BEST BLOG - the most indispensable, muslim-authored blog there is. Period.

Note that except for the last two categories, any blog is eligible for any category, including blogs authored by non-Muslims. In defining the Islamsphere, we are not relying solely on adherence to the faith, but an affinity for parts of the diverse cultural fabric that Islam embraces and is embraced by worldwide. Please also note that neither nor City of Brass may be nominated for any category.

Please leave some descriptive text about why you nominated a blog, rather than just leave the URL. Also, please note that we can't really accept a nomination for a blog unless you specify a category.

Movie Trailer: X-Men 3

The teaser trailer for X-Men 3 has been released. You can check out other updates of the movie on it's official website.

I really like the X-Men Movies and Cartoons. I just can't wait for the movie to come out. The best thing I like about the X-Men movies is the way Wolverine's claws come out. Wolverine is one cool comic-book character! My favourite comic-book character is Spiderman and Wolverine is the only other character that is cool as Spiderman. Although I've never read a Spiderman or a X-Men comic-book. Woo-hoo yeah Wolverine Rocks! Oh yeah, they also released pictures of some more new characters in the upcomming movie.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Life Update: 11 December 2005

Seems like, I finally found the time to write about my findings to date in ‘the land down under’. Since, I don’t have enough time to recollect and write in a coherent manner, I’m going to write however it comes out of my mind. I thought about writing separate individual emails to everybody then I was like, ah screw it. I’ll just write one email and post/email it to everyone.

Considering the two-day long journey, it turned out to be very pleasant and hassle free flight. If anyone of you decided to book an International flight then I would highly recommend you fly with New Zealand Airways.

I arrived in Melbourne on one of the very rare days of warm weather. As it also turns out that during summer-time the weather here in southeast Australia (Melbourne) is exactly like Mobile in the winter. Some day’s it gets as cold as it gets in Mobile and this is just during the summer. From what I have been told, it gets even colder here during the winter than it is in Mobile during winter-time.

Melbourne is a huge city. It’s like Chicago without the traffic, New York without the bitterness and the smell of urine ;-), Mobile without the Rednecks, Jeddah without the Saudi’s. Anyway, you get the idea. According to the in-flight tourism promotional video, Melbourne was rated the number one living place in the world by…..I forget who rated it but, from my point of view, they weren’t kidding.

The best thing I like here is the existence of a well established public transportation infrastructure. I go where I please now. But, school is all I go to....for now. There is another thing I noticed here while riding on the Tram/Train/Bus. Unlike in Mobile or in anywhere USA, the Aussies don’t give you the stare that gives you the feeling that you’re not welcome or the look that an exotic creature just washed up on their shores. Here the Aussies are the exotic ones because there are more Orientals, Africans, and Desis than there are Aussie Caucasians and it is so freakin sweet. Yay! I’m not in the minority anymore, finally!

These are the simple differences here I’ve noticed up till now, they call:
  1. French Fries = Chips
  2. Convenient Store = Milk Bar (Yes, I’ll have that on the rocks barkeep and pour it in my slipper George!)
  3. Flip Flops = Thongs (Just bought a pair for myself the other day. ;-)
  4. Have a nice day = Cheers! (Huh?)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Life Update: November 22, 2005

  • Moved/Transferred to Melbourne, Australia. Just arrived yesterday.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Play List: November 11, 2005

  1. Ali Azmat - Dil Ne Dil Se Kaha
  2. Ali Azmat - Mein

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Watched Movie List: October 27, 2005

  1. The Longest Yard (1.9/5.0)
  2. Hostage (2.0/5.0)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Watched Movie List: October 23, 2005

  1. Disney's "The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow" (2.5/5.0)
  2. Flightplan (2.7/5.0)
  3. A History Of Violence (2.1/5.0)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Rant: October 17, 2005

  1. I had a very long and vivid nightmare last night. It had me scared and running through the whole night. When I woke up this morning, I was very exhausted, mentally drained, and all shook up. Whenever I dream, I never seem to recall anything of what I had dreamt as soon as I wake up. But, this time the nightmare was clear and literary very creative. If some how I manage to write it down into a book then I think it might make the best seller list, that's how creative and horrifying my last night's dream was. It will make Stephen King look like a wimp, as if he is not one already. When I woke up, I couldn't believe the level of creativity and originality of it. Then a few minutes later it struck me that it was probably inspired by a "Night Visions" episode(A View Through The Window) I had seen a few months earlier. Wow! Last night was some trip!
  2. I downloaded season 4 of Smallville, the whole 22 episodes. I've been watching two or three episodes everyday for the past week and I haven't even got down to episode 15 yet.
  3. There is a new WB show that is beginning to grow on me --Supernatural. It has a nice premise but the creators could do a whole lot better with it. I mean the third episode was so lame!
  4. There are a couple of shows that I watch punctually, which are House MD, Lost, Smallville, and Supernatural. While the rest of the shows on TV are crap that I don't care for.
  5. Some how I feel that the makers of Lost are just trying to milk the show by stretching one episode into three. Seems to me that Lost is a kind of show that should have not exceeded one season. They should have ended the show in the first season.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Help The Victims Of The South-Asian Earthquake

An Earthquake of a 7.5 magnitude struck the northern part of South-Asia. Thousands died instantly, the current death toll is 40,000 dead and rising. The people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, and India need your help. Go to the 'Network for Good' website and please donate to your preferred charity organization with open hearts.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Watched Movie List: October 10, 2005

  1. Mangal Panday (3.5/5.0)
  2. Kung Fu Hustle (4.6/5.0)

Friday, October 7, 2005

Saudi Arabia Blocks Blogger!

I just found this out from blogger Sinn Reaper in Saudi Arabia that has been blocked on their so called national ISP of Saudi Arabia. This means that no one can access any of the blogs on from within Saudi Arabia.

The Royals and the Fundamentalist of Saudi Arabia are only delaying the inevitable --the fall of the "House of Saud".

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Rant: October 5, 2005

  1. Ramadan is here. The first three fasts are the hardest. After three days, your body gets used to the routine. It's like giving up smoking, the first three days are the hardest then after that your good.
  2. This blogger plugin for MS Word is useless. What is the point of it if you can't upload pictures with it?
  3. Yesterday I went to relieve myself in the library restroom. I got in the stall and locked the door. After I was done, tried to unlock the door and the handle came off. But the door was still locked. I tried pushing and it didn't work. Frustrated, I kicked the door two times lightly. Not realizing my own strength, the third time I kicked, it broke the door off from the hinges and fell down on the restroom floor. No one else was there to see it so, I just walked out without telling anyone. That door had it coming anyway.
  4. I feel mentally drain now a days.
  5. I have to study and CLEP a course by the end of this month and I haven't even started studying for it.
  6. I have to read a book called "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and The Theft of Human Rights" by Thom Hartman and write a five paged book report on it by the end of this month. I haven't even finished reading half of the book yet. The author is some big shot I guess and has his own syndicated liberal radio talk show on Sirius.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan Mubarak!

Monday, October 3, 2005

Play List: October 3, 2005

  1. Rob Thomas - This Is How A Heart Breaks

To Podcast Or Not To Podcast

I hardly have time to blog now days and most of the things on my mind that I want to say never end up in textual form. It might be because I lack the skill to convert complex thought into written form or it may be that my first language is not English --the only language I know how to read or write in. You’d think for someone who scored the highest points in his high school English (CBSE)exam should not have such a problem, but I do. By the way, I scored an 80/100. Thought I throw in that detail just for the sake of gloating.

So, I’ve been thinking seriously about starting my own podcast. I have a few concerns or rather limitations with podcasting.

  1. Language: The language that I dream and swear in entirely is not either English or Urdu. It’s actually a hybrid of English, Urdu, and also in various dialects of the two. I can’t talk entirely in one language for more than 10 or 15 minutes, I get all stressed and begin to stutter. So, I’m thinking of podcasting in my everyday spoken language, which is a mix of both. Those who understand English and Urdu will be able to understand my podcast and henceforth be the default audience. And those who understand only English, lets hope I unconsciously make a transition to English entirely.
  2. Sound: I have come to realize that I talk too much from the nasal cavity and I can’t help it. So, that is how I will sound and so bare with me.
  3. Technical: Because of the one microphone, I only have the technical capability to have just one speaker and that is me. I wonder how other podcasters solved this problem without spending any money.
  4. Format: I’m not sure what kind of a format to go with. I’ll start with some freestyle and hope it develops into some kind of a consistent structured format. Another thing is that I can’t seem to keep the flow in a monologue. Only in a dialogue I’m able to maintain the flow in a conversation. Since, it’s going to be only me on the only one microphone so, the idea of bringing another speaker to have a dialogue is technically impossible at this point.
  5. Web host: I can’t seem to find a web host that will host my podcast files without a heavy charge. If some podcaster knows how to get around this problem then please let me know. In the mean time, I’m thinking of hosting my podcasting files on my PC and allow people to download them using a BitTorrent software like Azureus.

So, there you have it folks! May be I'll transcribe my podcasts completely in English on this blog.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Life Update: September 26, 2005

  1. Cleaned out my closet after two years. I can't believe the crap I've collected over the years.
  2. Got a new FujiFilm Digital Camera and replaced the Kodak one. Haven't found the time to read its manual yet.
  3. I don't find African-Americans "repulsive" anymore.
  4. I still can't understand why Azhar Usman's name is mentioned every now and then? The guy is a loser and definitely not funny.
  5. Gained 4 pounds in the last month, even after all the precautions and self-induced starvation.
  6. Noticed a vein sticking out on my right arm and also around the wrist. That never happened before.
  7. I think I finally got myself to calm my mind down and focus, while reading.
  8. I am so sick and tired of eating home cooked chicken meal and I can't seem to find a permanent alternative to it. I really miss Al-Baik chicken, Shawerma, and Motubbuque. Will I ever get to taste them again?
  9. If Pepsi wasn't injurious to health then I'd drink it in place of water.
  10. I don't despise Bush anymore. I just wish that every sorry S.O.B who voted for him dies a very slow and painfull death.
  11. I'm giving a serious thought to selling out and becoming a heartless corporate stooge . Because I can't stand being broke anymore.
  12. Just realized that the google search box on my blog is useless.
  13. Can't seem to find time to write and finish my Katrina Ordeal post. Damn!
  14. The show Family Guy and American Dad, seemed to have lost their charm.
  15. House M.D. is a great show on Fox. Couldn't believe the lead actor is British.

Watched Movie List: September 26, 2005

  • The Upside Of Anger (0.7/5.0)
  • Kicking And Screaming (3.6/5.0)
  • Man With A Screaming Brain (0.0/5.0)
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2.4/5.0)
  • Koi Mil Gaya (1.1/5.0)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Hurricane Katrina Ordeal: Part I (Updated Version)


No sooner did I took a sigh of relief from Hurricane Dennis for almost wreaking havoc over Redneckville Mobile, Alabama and then along came another one(Hurricane Katrina) just within a month. We prepared for Katrina just like how we also planned for Dennis. We decided to ride out the hurricane at a friend's second floor apartment in case Redneckville got severely flooded, which later on seemed to be a good idea. These "friends" of ours live in a two bedroom apartment along with their parents visiting from "the old country".

I'm very well acquainted with his Dad because he was my Urdu teacher in high school. He always seemed calm, collected, and very gentleman like. But, when it came to his subject, he was extremely strict . Whenever it was in-class reading day, each one of us had to standup in class and read the material out loud in front of the whole class. If anyone made a mistake then he would scold us with great fury and say some very self-esteem shattering things to you in the process. Sadly, I never was good at reading and writing in Urdu and therefore, always fell victim to his fury. When I met him after five years, he talked to me like he was conversing with his peer. It felt weird because I am used to being talked down to by him and he wasn't at all nasty. May be it's because I'm older now and therefore talk with a bit mature tone or else it could be that he's got a little old too and therefore doesn't have the stamina to yell or shout down upon me anymore. You ask why I mention this short profile on him? I'll explain later on why in the post.

Day 01: Sunday August 28, 2005

On Sunday evening, we all gathered at this "friend's" apartment. Let me elaborate on "We" here. "We" consists of:

  • This friend, his sibling, and his Mom and Dad. [(Dad & Mom)->Friend->Friend's Sister]
  • Me and two of my siblings.
  • A friend of ours, his wife, and his infant kid.
  • A friend of his sister's and also her brother. [Friend->Friend's Sister->Sister's Friend]

We all sat around the living room, talked about how this sh** is going to go down(hurricane preparation) and what to do when the sh** hits the fan(emergency scenario). :-) We had a meal and then watched a very crappy-ass bollywood film till 3:00 a.m. Since, I didn't pack before leaving, We had to go back to our apartment to get some necessaries like clothes, batteries, flash light, and tooth brush. When we got back to our apartment we thought since, the hurricane won't hit us until 11:00 a.m. lets catch up on some 'Zs' and then we'll headed back to hurricane HQ before 9:00 a.m. Yesterday(Saturday), the weather channel predicted that Katrina had a Northwest path which, clearly looked like it was going to miss Redneckville by 20-30 miles. Even if Katrina moved 10 or 20 towards the east then Redneckville would have clearly been in the red zone(destruction area) as opposed to the yellow zone(less destruction area). Just before I went to bed, I checked out the weather channel one last time before the power out, the current hurricane model showed that Katrina after all was going to make a Northeast cut clearly pushing Redneckville into the red zone. And now we also had to chock up plans for the "when sh** hits the fan" scenario too.

Day 02: Monday August 29, 2005

At 7:00 a.m. I woke up and looked outside the window. The weather outside was very calm and normal and then I went back to sleep. I was awoken at 9:30 a.m. by howling winds and the constant beeping of my answering machine resetting over and over again because of the power going out and back on again. We picked up our bags and headed for hurricane HQ. On our way back, there were so many fallen leaves everywhere, I had never seen such a sight before! Even some tree branches had already fallen on the roads by that time, we had to maneuver our car around them carefully to get across. We got back and found out that they had lost power at HQ. So, now we sat around talking to each other and having tea. Then suddenly I started to get warm and within an hour everybody started to sweat. I realized that the temperature was 89°F. At first, the heat didn't bother me, but a few hours without the AC, the heat became a little unbearable. By 2:00 p.m. we hoped to feel some serious winds to pick up that would rip the roofs off peoples' homes and uproot some trees close to our HQ, but nothing of that sort happened thankfully. Finally, the winds died down, darkness fell, and we lit up the candles. When night time came, no one could fall asleep in the unbearable heat.

I can't exactly understand why it is so hard for me to endure high temperatures around 90°F anymore. Because back in my Malgudi Saudi Arabian days, I have gone to school and played Football/Soccer in the scorching heat of 45°C(113°F) and it didn't used to bother me that much back then. I think it's because I'm not used to that kind of hot environment anymore. I remember once a heat wave of 48°C(118.7°F) broke all past records. I went to Juma prayer on that Friday. It was so freakin hot that as soon as I walked out of the building, the hot air hit me in the face like a brick wall. The sweat on the skin evaporated within fraction of a second. Whenever the wind blew, it burned the eyes and cracked open the lips. It was horrible! I swear you could have cooked a full course meal on that asphalt, breakfast, lunch, dinner and all.

So then, one of us suggested we play Pictionary to take our minds of the heat and so we played Pictionary with just one candle. We could barely see the drawing board in the darkness. I think about 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. we ended the game. Some people are just plain losers and they get soar after they lose. You think for a bunch of losers they should have got used to the very real, frequent, and probable scenario of losing, but the haven't and are even more competitive. You should have listened to their taunts. It's only a stupid game you morons, deal with it!

Then somebody suggested we tell ghost/Djinn stories around the campfire candle light. Everyone seemed to have a story to tell about how someone saw something lurking in the shadows and what not? But, no one actually experienced it themselves. Everything was hearsay or through a person of 3 to 4 degrees of separation. Some of those story sounded much like a ghost story from a Hollywood movie, I couldn't believe some of them held such unfounded nonsense about the supernatural world. You should have heard the crap they said back there. I was like, are you guys even vaguely familiar to the Islamic teachings? Damn you stupid idiots!

I think around 4 or 5 a.m. we set all our sleeping bags and blankets on the living-room floor and tried to go to sleep. Since, my back is not used to sleeping on the floor so, I crawled on to the couch and some how fell asleep.

Help The Victims of Hurricane Katrina

I know it's a bit late to post this now, but the people of the Gulf Coast need your help. As much as I hate every gun totting, war mongering, southern barbarian. Even then I wouldn't want this disaster to happen to them or anyone else. Because I'm tired of hating, I'm too tired to hate anything, I can hate no more! So, help the hurricane Katrina victims by donating money, food, supplies, blood, and volunteering to the American Red Cross.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Rare Islamic Pictures

A friend of mine e-mailed me some information(pictures) related to Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H.) and the Ka'bah. I'm not sure about the authenticity of the pictures of the Prophet's things. But, the pictures related to the Ka'bah are structural diagrams exhibiting all it's various dimensions. So, I just thought I post all the pictures on my photo blog(Freedom Shock Photoblog).

The picture of the Prophet's clothes surprised me the most. I didn't know any personal artifact of the Prophet had survived, I thought all his personal items were destroyed. Geuss I was wrong.

I always wondered what is inside the Ka'bah and now I know, well not exactly, but I have some idea now. This brings up an interesting point. Why hasn't anyone made a documentary about the Ka'bah or even why isn't there a video made that shows the insides if the Ka'bah?. I think I have a sneaky suspicion why there isn't one and the reason might be the isolationist views of the Saudi Royal Family. Someone really should do something about those oppressive idiots(Royals).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Watched Movie List: August 24, 2005

  1. Pahelli (1.5/5.0)
  2. Eurotrip (3.0/5.0)
  3. Two Brothers (2.5/5.0)
  4. Hoffa (4.0/5.0)
  5. Quiz Show (4.0/5.0)

Inside the Actor's Studio Questionnaire

These 10 questions originally came from a French series, "Bouillon de Culture" hosted by Bernard Pivot. It is probably more familiar to many as the questions James Lipton asks at the end of "Inside the Actor's Studio". So, the following is my answers to those questions. :-)

  1. What is your favorite word?
    • Wallahi (By God!).
  2. What is your least favorite word?
    • Work.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    • Great Power and Influence.
  4. What turns you off?
    • White People(devils) who think their better than me.
  5. What is your favorite curse word?
    • Somebitch! :-)
  6. What sound or noise do you love?
    • Bag Pipes.
  7. What sound or noise do you hate?
    • A southern accent.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    • Artist(writer, novelist, poet, scholar, 3D artist, inventor etc).
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
    • A penniless college student --I know it's not actually a profession, but it sure feels like one.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
    • Open the gates of heaven! And let the rivers wash away the immoral remnants of his soul! Assemble the maidens(Hur) and let them gratify his every desire! Open the gates of hell! And let the fires burn the scrolls of his misdeeds. Amass the Angels and let them grant his every request! And let the Angels engrave his merits in stone! Embrace him with arms wide open! For he is surely one of the believers. Reunite him with his loved ones! For he is finally home. Shower him with eternal bliss! For he has finally arrived. My servant has arrived, my servant has arrived.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lightning Strike

This afternoon a severe thunder storm brewed up right over my house that lasted less than an hour. The lightning strikes were so close that there wasn't even a second's lag between the flashes and thunder. Since, it was cracking directly above the house, the thunder was so loud that it felt as if Aliens were attacking just like in "War of the Worlds".

One lightning strike hit so hard that it knocked out the power. I grew a little concerned and opened the window shutter to look out. As I was looking up at the sky, I noticed this bright flash come down in a linear form and touch the tip of the telephone pole right outside my house. And before my brain could even take the time to analyze this visual input, there was this loud boom that disoriented my senses. I was like "damn! What the hell was that?! ". There was this constant beeping sound in my ears right afterwards, which lasted for few seconds.

Then I realized that I had experienced a very rare event. I had seen lightning strike at a very close proximity. The lightning struck just a few yards away from the very window I was looking out. I clearly saw it fall from the sky and touch the earth. It confirmed one thing though, that thunder is LOUD! No wonder we're able to hear thunder from miles away whenever lightning strikes. If it had struck any closer then who knows, it might have even shattered the window glass.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Take My Quiz

I've recently noticed this quizing your friends website posted on some blogs. So, I went there and also created a Quiz about me! Take my Quiz! and then Check out the Scoreboard! And see how well do you really know me.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Watched Movie List: August 4, 2005

I have watched some movies uptil now and some of them I don't think are worth a review. So, I'm just going to list and rate them over here now:
  1. 'D' (3.0/5.0)
  2. Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (4.7/5.0)
  3. Batman Begins (4.0/5.0)
  4. Bad News Bears (3.5/5.0)
  5. Hitch (3.0/5.0)
  6. The Aviator (3.0/5.0)
  7. Hide and Seek (2.3/5.0)
  8. Alone in the Dark (0.0/5.0)
  9. The Jacket (0.5/5.0)
  10. Be Cool (2.5/5.0)
  11. Madagascar (3.5/5.0)
  12. Bewitched (3.9/5.0)
  13. Sin City (3.2/5.0)
  14. White Noise (0.0/5.0)
  15. The Machinist (3.0/5.0)
  16. Boogeyman (0.2/5.0)
  17. Life Aquatic (3.3/5.0)
  18. Assault on Precinct 13 (3.5/5.0)
  19. Merchant of Venice (4.5/5.0)
  20. National Treasure (3.7/5.0)
  21. Phantom of the Opera (2.0/5.0)
  22. Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events (4.0/5.0)
  23. Assasination of Richard Nixon (2.7/5.0)
  24. Meet the Fockers (2.7/5.0)
  25. Primer (1.3/5.0)
  26. Suspect Zero (2.0/5.0)
  27. The Woodsman (1.5/5.0)
  28. Sideways (1.1/5.0)
  29. Final Cut (0.3/5.0)
  30. Finding Neverland (3.9/5.0)
  31. The Incredibles (3.7/5.0)
  32. Exorcist: The Beginning (2.3/5.0)
  33. Flight of the Pheonix (2.7/5.0)
  34. Cube Zero (2.1/5.0)
  35. Motorcycle Diaries (4.1/5.0)
  36. Control (3.5/5.0)
  37. Shark Tale (3.3/5.0)
  38. The Grudge (0.0/5.0)
  39. Vanity Fair (2.5/5.0)
  40. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (0.1/5.0)

Play List: August 4, 2005

These are the latest songs I've been listening to recently over and over again since the past 3 days:

  1. Crossfade - Cold
  2. Gwen Stefani - Cool

My Blogger Avatar's Driver License

I copied the template of my Alabama driver license and made my blogger Avatar's license with it. ;-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Idea: Post All Ideas

From now on I will post all my ideas in text as well as in picture form on this blog. Regardless how dumb and stupid some of them might be.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Game Trailer: Killzone

I came across this Video Game trailer on GameSpy (via It's called 'Killzone' and may come out on PS3 sometime in 2006. If the whole contents of the preview is real-time game-play then "DAMN THAT IS AWESOME!". Watch the whole trailer in Hi-res(640 x 480) on or Right-Click to download to your PC. It was only a matter of time that someone would come up with a better game like 'Half-Life 2' that is so much close to the real-world.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rant: Incoherent Thought

Education->Job->Money->Power->Freedom->Independence->World Domination.

Gordon Freeman's Alabama Driver's License

I had some time on my hands, so I took a picture of somebody's Alabama Driver's License and doctored it to make it look like Gordon Freeman's Alabama Driver's License. Even though 'Black Mesa' is in New Mexico, the New Mexico Driver's License had too much overlays, therefore was very difficult to mess with, so I tried it with Alabama. The first license picture is from planet Half-Life and the second picture is from Half-Life 2's concept art.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Rant: Something Beautiful

I came across these quotes from two famous historical Indian figures, Nehru and Gandhi. The two quotes are so similar that I got confused between the two and also to who said what to whom. The quotes goes like this.

John F. Kennedy: "What do you think of our Peace Corps?"
Jawaharlal Nehru: "A good idea, privileged young Americans could learn a lot from the poor villagers of South Asia."

An English Reporter: "What do you think of Western Civilization, Mr. Gandhi."
Mohandas Gandhi: "I think it would be a very good idea."

Good, I got that cleared out. Although, I pretty much doubt the quote from Gandhi because I could not find the name of the reporter that asked that question anywhere on the Internet or any authentic source.

If some reporter had asked me that question then I would have replied with one of these answers:

  1. "How could something so beautiful ever be so ugly?"
  2. "How could something so beautiful spurt out so much evil?"
  3. "How could something so marvelous cause so much death and destruction?"

Rant: Defective Hardware

The month of June began and I thought I now finally had the time to do something constructive, or at least what I wanted to do in a long time. Just when I thought I could afford to pick-up a serious hobby like photography, my digital camera broke down in someway. Damn! What the hell am I going do now? I really hate it when good essential equipment breaks down and there is nothing anyone could do about it except buy a new one. I have 2 broken laptops and who knows what's wrong with them.

I bought the Kodak EasyShare CX7300 (3.2 MP) digital Camera for around a $100 about 6 months ago. The first 4 months after purchase, it worked flawlessly. Now, for some reason it drains the batteries within minutes and new batteries doesn't exactly fix the problem. Although, there is a 1 year warranty on it, but I threw away the receipt and therefore have no proof of purchase anymore in order for a refund.

I went online to see whether I'm the only one who has this problem and it turned out that there are many more people who also had the very same battery related flaw. It seems to me that Kodak sold a product with a major hardware defect and suspiciously on purpose. Some consumer rights group should sue these bastards. Damn it! Where else am I going to get a digital camera? Awe screw it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Whatever Happened To Cleveland Jr.?

In the "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire" episode of "Family Guy", Cleveland's marriage falls apart because of Loretta's infidelity. Eventually, Loretta kicks Cleveland out of the house and Cleveland moves in with Peter. Throughout the whole episode there was no mention of their kid Cleveland Jr. I thought maybe there wasn't enough time to write him in the script for that episode. But, even in the "Brian the Bachelor" episode, where Peter tries to get Cleveland on "The Bachelorette", there was no mention of Cleveland Jr. in that episode either. It's like the Family Guy writers just forgot all about little Cleveland Jr. WTF Man!? They just can't leave that kind of loose end like that. Hey, Family Guy crew... "Whatever Happened To Cleveland Jr.?". At least send him to his Grandparents or something.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hurricane "Dennis"

Hurricane Dennis came so close to Mobile, Alabama and diverted towards east and then back towards west again as soon as it went out of range. It seemed as if it was divine intervention. Hurricane Dennis hardly touched Mobile, which turned out to be a good thing.

I was under the impression that I would either leave town or take refuge in a local storm shelter before the hurricane got to Mobile just like last year with 'Ivan', where I left for St. Louis. But, it turned out that the two idiots I live with had a third option in mind and didn't bother to tell me about it until it was too late. Sometime within the last 24 hours before the hurricane struck, they thought to themselves "Why go anywhere at all? Lets just ride this 145mph(Category-4) baby out on a second-floor, redneck built, wooden, shaky, cardboard covered sorry excuse for an apartment!".

I was sure that if we had not left town by midnight then surely we'll be going to a storm shelter by Sunday morning. On the day of the hurricane, we just sat around watching the weather channel all day, waiting with the thought of impending doom, well I was at least. I told them if it came to the worst then I have first preference on the closet. It had been a long time since I prayed to God to spare my life in such an ordeal, thanks Guys! Never again, never again.

Even I take serious calculated risks now and then, in case they backfire, there are always plan Bs and Cs to switch too unlike this 'Wizard of Oz' predicament. No one has time to implement plan Bs or Cs in that hurricane situation. Anyway, I hope a thing like this doesn't happen in the future.

Looks like another storm is brewing up called "Emily" in the Atlantic. The weather channel is predicting that it will also become into a hurricane, lets see where it hits this time.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

7/7: The New 9/11

7/7 --another date the western world will never let me forget. Oh God not again! Please let it be the IRA, please let it be the Irish this time. I'm glad this didn't happen on '7/31'--my birthday, otherwise they would have made me regret the very day I was born. ;)

Lets all hope the Brits don't go down that same road like the Americans did and say stupid things like "They attacked us because they hate our freedom", "They hate us because they're jealous of our freedom", or any other nonsense like it. I wonder, would today's incident mean that 'French Fries' will now be officially renamed to 'Freedom Fries' all over England?

Well at least CNN didn't show any unrelated footage of Palestinians celebrating this time.

They're saying it's the worst attack on London since WWII. That's what Americans had said similar to after 9/11, you know the worst attack since Pearl Harbor and all.

You know the weird thing about this attack is that the Brits were expecting it for about 2 years now and still they could not prevent it. Even with all the hi-tech security cams installed all over London and Al-Qaida still managed to bomb London. I can only imagine the impact of this attack on British sense of security.

Just imagine the state of helplessness if the Al-Qaida bombers called in and gave the time and place of the attack a week before they carried it out. Now that would have shattered any ounce of the nation's sense of safety and security.

Anyway, I feel I should also condemn this attack before these "infidels" start to question my freedom and existence.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Movie Review: War of the Worlds (4.7/5.0)

Tom Cruise in Paramount Pictures' War of the Worlds

I finally got the chance to go and watch ‘War of the Worlds’. Before I go in to details of this movie review, let me try to sum it up in just one word first. Kids can you say A-W-E-S-O-M-E? From the part of the thunderstorm and up to the capsizing of the barge, I was literally at the edge of my seat.

The movie is based on H.G. Wells' Sci-Fi book ‘The War of the Worlds’ first published in 1898. H.G. Wells also wrote such famous works like ‘The Time Machine (1895)’ and ‘The Invisible Man (1897)’ etc, which later on also were brought to the big screen not only once but twice. The whole plot of the original ‘War of the Worlds’ was that Martians invade earth and try to annihilate the whole human race in order for them to make way for their own species.

In the latest movie, Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is a blue-collar average divorced Joe. His X-wife (Miranda Otto) leaves their two children Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and Rachel (Dakota Fanning) with Ray for the weekend, so she could go visit her parents. The same day there are reports of severe isolated lightning storms around the world. One such storm strikes in Ray’s town of residence unleashing a giant alien tripod from underground, exterminating every human in its path with its vaporizing ray gun. The rest of the movie is all about Ray trying to escape the alien onslaught along with his children.

The alien tripod attack sequence is the best part of the movie. The action is so intense that it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole alien attack. The sound was so good that it made it feel like the theater itself was under attack. Whenever the alien tripods approached, they made this loud eerie sound; it sent shivers down my spine every time. The tripod reminded me of the alien tripod from Half-Life 2.

I would rank this number 2 on my favorite Spielberg movie list right after ‘Jurassic Park’. I really was looking forward to watching another movie like ‘Jurassic Park’ because that was the movie made by my favorite writing (Michael Crichton) and directing (Steven Spielberg) geniuses. I thought ‘Minority Report’ was going to turn out great, but it sucked. When the trailer ‘War of the Worlds’ came out, I was so hoping that it doesn’t turn out to be another disappointment like ‘AI’ and ‘Minority Report’.

The story had some significant holes. The part about the father-son relationship between Ray and his son was poorly written. I’m used to the unrealistic and fake reaction to fear by Americans in movies. But, I didn’t get Ray’s son’s bullshit behavior at all. I mean what the hell was he saying? It seemed like laziness on the writer’s part. They didn’t pay much screen time to explain about the red veins growing all over the place either.

Overall, I would give this movie a rating of 4.7/5.0 for the sensational action sequences.

Movie Trivia: The actor who plays Mary Ann's (Miranda Otto) father (Gene Barry) also played the protagonist Dr. Clayton Forrester in the 1953 version of the War of the Worlds.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Natural High

I just noticed something. My writing is better whenever I'm tired or worn out. It's like my thoughts flow out like honey. I think the mellowness and the lucidity brought out by the sleeplessness makes it that way. This is why I was never able to write a paper right after I wake up in the morning. Because of the high metabolism I guess.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Rant: Possesed CD Writer Drive

My CD W/R is gone whack. It keeps going in and out and stops on it's own then starts all over again. CLICKITTY CLACK, RACKATTY RACK RACKATTY RACK... ARGH! Make it stop! Make it stop! Find a happy place, find a happy place. It's getting on my nerves. Correction....It is on my nerves. This is sooooooo anoying!

Rant: What Is The Deal With Drowning?

I just finished watching "The Perfect Storm" movie again for the fourth time. At the start of the movie, it said the movie is based on a true story. But, at the end of the movie the whole crew of the ship drowned and died in the storm. So, I ask you. Who survived to tell the tale from the perspective of the doomed seamen?

Speaking of drowning, I thought about the number of times I almost accidentally drowned, it comes around to at least 8 times and all in my attempts to learn how to swim. Each time I was drowning, there has always been someone to pull me out of the water. I can still recall the panic that kicks in as soon as the mind realizes the state of complete helplessness and inevitability. No matter how much breath of air I'm holding in, as soon as panic strikes it's always a reflex action to exhale and then immediately inhale, which fills the lungs with water. The disorientation caused by the water filled lungs impairs the thought process. I mean the brain somehow forgets to paddle in sync and to a specific direction. But, the last time I was drowning, I some how managed to stay calm even with the very little breath I had and paddled to safety. And oh yes, I still can't swim.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I've Awakened The Warrior Within

It took me 1 to 4 hours of game-play each day for 2 weeks to finish Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. On some levels I had to look into it's game guide that I download in some foreign language to help me figure out what to do next. Although, I couldn't understand a word it was written in, but it had ample number of screenshots, which turned out to be enough of help.

The Game is Awesome! Although the game plotline is not like as Matrix good, but it was ok. Actually the Game-play and the state-of-the-art graphics overwhelmed all of the game's inadequacies. I really liked the new free-style combat system the designers added. But, the thing/feature that gave me a rush was when every time I made the prince run sideways on the walls.

The Prince in the Warrior Within is more rugged/bad-ass looking than from the past versions. Don't you think he looks more Shitte in this sequal of the game? ;)

Completing the game, all the videos got unlocked. I was a little surprised to find out that the game designers were mostly French-Canadians. The last game I played designed by Canadians was Need For Speed 3: Hot Pursuit. I think Canadian game designers really know how to make good games. Keep up the good work eh!

At the end of the game, I was reading the credits. When the part about the voice talent rolled on, I noticed only one familiar name from the list. It was Monica Bellucci as the voice of Kaileena (Empress of Time). The rest of the cast was unfamiliar to me.

I just found out that UbiSoft is working on Prince of Persia 3 and released a E3 trailor on their website.

And on an unrelated note: My blog got mentioned on Sepia Mutiny on their "Kitsch Idol" post. Now why would any respected blogger mention such a lame blog like mine on their blog? Anyway, thanks for the honor Sepia Mutiny.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Saudi Arabia's King Fahd Hospitalized

By ABDULLAH AL-SHIHRI, Associated Press Writer

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - King Fahd, whose efforts to strengthen ties between
Saudi Arabia — the world's largest oil exporter — and the United States provoked
the wrath of Islamic militants, was hospitalized Friday, apparently suffering
from pneumonia.

Fahd's half brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, has been Saudi
Arabia's de facto ruler since Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke in 1995.
Abdullah is expected to become king should Fahd die.

Fahd's hospitalization triggered reports that an emergency had been declared
in the kingdom. Officials said on condition of anonymity that an alert had been
declared and that military leaves had been canceled or at least discouraged.
However, this was firmly denied by the Interior Ministry.

"This is absolutely not true," ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said.
"There's no canceling of leaves and no state of emergency or anything." [Full Story]

It can't be long now.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Movie Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (1.5/5.0)

Before I begin this review, I want to get something off my chest and out of my system. What the Sith was that all about? I mean did you get a load of that Sith? That was some crazy-ass Sith right there man! Ok, I think now I've got all of it out of my system. Well, most of it at least.

There were a lot of flashy lights that gave me a seizure. Basically I thought it was crap. The movie lacked drama. You know what? I'm bored. I don't think I want to review this piece of crap. I didn't like the last two episodes, I don't know why I went and saw the third. Probably because the whole country was nuts about it and I succumbed to peer pressure and that's why I saw the stinking movie. It was a whole lot better than the last two episode, but a piece of crap nonetheless.

I give it a 1.5/5.0 rating for the pre-release hype.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

New Pictures...

I was up all night and had nothing important to do so I took these pictures at 6:30 AM in the morning. A few pictures turned out to be good. If anyone wants to see my whole artwork collection then go to

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Another Very Close Call

Yesterday I went to the bank to cash a check. I heard a car speed up towards me as I was walking towards the building from the parking lot. As a reflex action I look to my left and I saw this redneck woman in a Kia steering towards me. In sort of skip I jump out of the way just in time. I even felt the side-view mirror of the car touch me as it sped by. I gain my balance and look towards the car to see if she was completely blind or did it on purpose. She just sped away and didn't even give that apologetic look back. If I didn't know any better, I think she aimed to kill me. I can't believe it, that was the first deliberate attempt on my life!

That wasn't the first time anyone had almost ran me over with their car. The last time I almost got run over was a couple of months ago on my college campus. Before I tell this tale let me tell you that the whole campus is a 15-25mph zone. In a crowded and high traffic pedestrian crossing, this kid in a white car doing at least 50mph almost ran me over. I literally had to jump out of the way like Max Payne. There were at least 10 witnesses to this incident. After I had landed on the sidewalk two people came up and asked me if I was alright. One of them said he saw the whole thing and said that guy was going way above the speed limit and should have stopped like everyone else. I asked around if anyone knew that guy? But, no one didn't seem to know. Then I went to the campus police and reported it, but it was of no use because they needed at least a license plate of the vehicle or whether I knew who the driver was.

People say in a near death experience your whole life flashes before your eyes. But, I saw nothing except a speeding car and then my reflex action kick in to get out of it's way.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Praise The Lord, I Did It!

Finally, I was able redesigned my blog template to be resolution independent and with another side-bar. It took me 5 hours of trial and error, and 13 lessons of Dreamweaver MX 2004 tutorials to make it happen. Although it needs a bit tweaking, but the hard part is over. At last my confidence is restored! Now, bow down to me all you puny mortals. :-)

Lo and behold. Look at what I have created! *Castaway reference*

Monday, May 16, 2005

Movie Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (3.9/5.0)

Last Wednesday, I watched "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy". This movie is based on a book which is based on a BBC radio show written by Douglas Adams. I heard from the fans of the book that you'll enjoy watching the movie even more if you have read the book already. I should have read the book before I went and have seen the movie. Because the book is written in a way like Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", where there are deep statements and ideas the author is trying to convey.

You need time to think about what was just said. While watching the movie you start thinking about what the characters had said and the story moves on and you missed some things that way. You can download the audio-book from TorrentSpy.

The movie was a bit drag only to be punctuated by a few moments of extremely hilarious gut-bursting incidents. I think those few funny parts in the move made it overall a very good movie. Even if you haven't read the book, I recommend watching this movie.

Overall I rate this movie 3.9/5.0.

Movie Review: Kingdom of Heaven (3.0/5.0)

I watched Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven" last Friday. I have to say that it turned out to be more "Fair and Balanced" than I expected. When I saw it's trailer three or four weeks before the movie release, I thought it was going to be just another cheap attempt by a Hollywood director to profit from the present American paranoia. A sort of fuel for the US war machine so to speak.

As a matter of fact, the movie was more like a documentary than a piece of entertainment. Come to think of it, after watching the movie I felt as if it missed something significant. A true hero! Yes that's right, a hero with substance. I've read the crusade history and I could just not recall any character by the name 'Balian' from it. I mean who was that guy? I would have seen Balian (Bloom) as a hero only if his intentions to go to Jerusalem were noble to begin with and the enemy was truly evil. I think the movie should have been told from Saladin's perspective. Because he was the conquering hero. He was the one who didn't not avenge the massacre of Muslims in the same barbaric way as the Christian crusaders. But, Ridley Scott's primary audience are right-wing nut-jobs, so they didn't

I was really glad to know that the filmmakers didn't portray Saladin as a hot-headed blood-thirsty Arab. Anyway, how could they? Saladin is the only person recognized in history by almost all historians as the most merciful and civilized Muslim ruler. No one tops prophet Muhammad (P. B. U. H), but there is too much dissent to his historical achievements.

Orlando Bloom was such a stiff in this movie. It's like the director knew how much of a stiff Orland is and that is why he had Orlando Bloom's character to have so few lines.

The movie is good and I would recommend watching it. Overall I would give it a 3.0/5.0 rating.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Rant: I've Gone Over To The Dark Side

Living in a race conscious country such as America has had a immense negative impact on me. Before I came to America, I was color blind and held a profound belief that all men were equal before God. But, it's not the case anymore. Now I find African-Americans a bit repulsive. I know it's stupid to hold that attitude based on some of their behavior. Anyway I'm going off topic.

I am always awed at the creative racial slurs that come from people around here particularly from Whites. It seems to me that Whites have this natural ability to be very creative racists, a quality that seems to be passed on from one generation to another, although it's scientifically not possible. The Whites come up with such racial slurs that seems to be derived from a very distinctive quality of that certain race. Like for example: Coon, Beaner, Rag head, Camel Jockey, and many more.

I live in an apartment complex with a swimming pool. I'm one of those people who doesn't like to be in the pool with strangers. Last Thursday I felt like taking a swim and when I got close to the swimming pool I noticed that it wasn't empty. There were some White folks already in the pool. In my frustration, I murmured something so profoundly racist. After I had said it, I couldn't believe my brain was capable of coming up with something of this caliber. Unconsciously I had said "God Damn those STD infected pork-eating bastards!".

I had fought so hard to stay a decent human being in this land of freedom and vice. Now I have succumbed to the dark-side and become a racist, not just any racist at that, but a very creative one.

On a related topic. Whenever I go swimming, this thought always crosses my mind. Since, it's a public pool and some of it's ceramic tiles are rough and one could get a few cuts or bruises by it. I know I always do. Suppose if a HIV infected person got into the pool and got a cut in the water, would that contaminate the whole pool water? If so then would I get infected if I accidentally cut myself in the HIV contaminated pool?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My Music Work

I was going through my past artwork and I came across these music files that I either extracted or remixed. So, I thought why not publish them on my blog? The links below are all ed2k links. You need eMule or eDonkey to download these files. If the link doesn't work then copy the link shortcut and paste it into the eMule program.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tunak Tunak Tun (Flash)

Daler Mahendi - Tunak Tunak Tun (Flash Music Video). It's a bit funny with the flash animation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Exam Phase

I haven't been able to post anymore because exams have come and read y'all after the exams! Until then post any comments on this post.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Rant: An Open Plea

Can anyone out there do me a big favor? I don't care who you are, but for God's sake please grant me this simple wish. Can anyone redesign my blog template and make it resolution independent and add another sidebar to the left side. I do it myself, but I am so damn tired of looking at code that I can't even bare to look at one single line of code in any language. My whole career involves programming and software development and I'm about to shoot myself if I ever see another line of code. Is it just me who feels this way or are there some people who feel the same way I do.

I used to be fluent on every programming language. Other people like me will tell the same story, that learning the first programming is always the hardest. After that your on a roll and on your own. The first programming language I learned was C++ in high school. After I got a whiff of the power of Visual Basic 6.0, I immediately got down to read the book on it while still in high school. I played around with VB and designed so many applications that VB became like a second language to me. After VB I got on to MS SQL and MS Access. By the time I got into college, I started to learn Java and DHTML. I finished learning Java in just 6 hours. By now I had read four books on VB, three books on C++, and HTML in just two days. My reading span had stretched to 12 hours without a break of more than five minutes. By the end of my freshman year I had acquired almost all computer knowledge and a long list of applications and then finally I burnt out. Even to this day I can't read a book for more the 15 minutes. It's like my mind just wanders out after five minutes of reading. I don't have that stamina anymore. And worst of all, I can no longer stomach the design interface of anything on a computer anymore. I can now safely and confidently say that I am the grandfather of all computer knowledge.

Voter Info Leaked Through CDs

May Nahhas, Arab News

JEDDAH, 20 April 2005 - With the last round of the Kingdom's landmark municipal elections only hours away, a voters' list containing names of what is believed to be the entire electorate in Jeddah region has been leaked to candidates through compact disks.

Some people are trading in CDs that contain classified information about the voters such as their names and cell phone numbers. Each CD is sold at SR5,000 and some of the candidates are reportedly buying them to call voters for their support, according to Al-Eqtisadiah, a sister publication of Arab News. [Full Story]
All I can say to this is "Bring on the guillotines and off with their heads!" :-)

Iraqi Lawmakers Demand Apology From U.S.

By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi lawmakers adjourned in protest Tuesday and demanded
an apology after a Shiite legislator linked to a radical anti-American cleric tearfully said he was handcuffed and humiliated at a U.S. checkpoint. Two American soldiers were killed in a car bomb attack. [Full Story]
Source: Yahoo News

Demanded it like a true Democracy if I might add! America, your days as a puppet master are over thanks to that retard in the whitehouse. :-)

Monday, April 18, 2005

A Self Witnessed Miracle

This weekend's mishap reminds me of the only time I was in a car accident.

I remember it clearly. I was about 5 or 6 years old. My younger brother, sister, and I were in the front seat of the car all held by our mother. I know it wasn't smart, but in the early 80s there were no traffic laws for toddlers that they were supposed to be buckled up in the backseat in Saudi Arabia.

My dad was driving the car and conversing with my mom. At some point my mother let go of me and held my brother and sister one in each hand. A car almost ran into us when my dad hit the brakes just in time, which flung my head right into the wind-shield that made a huge web like crack in the wind-shield. By some miracle that must have been ordained by the Almighty, I wasn't hurt. Not even a scratch and I didn't even cry or scream in pain. I didn't even feel like something had hit me.

My dad pulled over and my mom checked for any visible marks on my head and asked me if I was hurt or not, and I said no! She asked me over and over again whether I was hurt or not, and each time I replied no! Even I couldn't understand why I wasn't hurt? The look on my dad's face, he was in complete shock. He couldn't believe his eyes, I was more intact than the wind-shield. Later on that evening he joked about it, he said to me "You broke my wind-shield?", like I had misbehaved and done something wrong (keep in mind I was around 5 at the time).

Slippery When Wet

Oh my God what the hell have I done to myself now?! This is definitely going to leave a mark.

About an hour ago, I was making a snack (Ramen Soup) in the kitchen. I finished pouring it in the bowl and made my way out of the kitchen. The bowl's contents were really hot and had a fork in it.

I don't even remember exactly how it all went down. The kitchen floor was a little wet I guess. As I was almost at the door, I began to slip and lose my balance. Next moment I know, I'm lying face down on the kitchen floor with this tremendous amount of pain on the left side of my face, and I see hot Ramen soup splattered all over the kitchen floor with my right hand on it.

I got the wind knocked out of me. First I tried to gather my senses during which I figure out that the pain on my face is not the burn from the hot soup. Then I feel this extreme burning sensation on my right hand only to discover it was lying on top of hot soup. I thought I should get up fast and put it in cold water before it leaves burn stains. As I tried to get up and get to the kitchen sink to wash my hand, I notice that my left knee was hurt bad too and I couldn't get it to move. At this point I don't even realize the severity of the accident. All I had in mind was to get my hand in cold water pronto.

As I sat on the kitchen floor waiting to regain my strength, I notice that the pain at the upper left side of my face was increasing at an exponential rate. I put my left hand on my eye brow and left cheek bone in order to press on it to ease the pain, it didn't help, instead it hurt more. I took the hand off my face only to discover the horror that it was covered all in blood. I looked around to find out how much of my blood was splashed around. I saw a couple of drops on my T-Shirt and a couple on my Jeans.

By now I thought I had a deep cut on my cheek. I got up, tore a paper towel set on the kitchen counter and put it over my wound or wherever I thought it was. Shaken but not stirred :-), I get up, wash the blood off my hands and walk over to a mirror to see how bad I was cut. I see that my cheek was all red like someone had hit it with a club and then there is this long deep cut on my eye brow and it was bleeding profusely. I washed the wound some more and stuck a Band-Aid on it. I go to the couch, sit, and try to relax. I try to recall what had happened and figure out what had hit my face so hard. Was it the kitchen counter, the floor, or the fork? Whatever it was it sure hurts like hell.

Still to this point I'm not sure what caused the deep cut, but I'm certain that it was the floor that hit my face hard because I vaguely remember my face hitting the floor real hard and that's why my cheek bone area is all red and blue.

First thing next morning, I'll go to Student Health Services and make sure nothing is broken from the inside. It doesn't feel like that it's serious or else I wouldn't be sitting here writing this, but I'll have it looked at it nonetheless. It's been over an hour since this mishap, and my eye brow and cheek are all swollen. I don't remember having a headache before this incident, I think I'll have that checked out too. Thank God(Allah) nothing serious happened. The fork might have poked me in the eye or something.

I can see it now, tomorrow every guy on the street will ask about the face. Oh, oh it's leaking blood, time to change the bandage.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Predicting Iraq's Future

From the looks of the present situation in Iraq, my crystal ball shows that it looks like the calm before the storm even though there is so much violence and killing in Iraq. I predict that after things go from really chaotic to a little calm then a brutal civil war will breakout between Sunni's and Shiite's.

Public services like sanitation, electricity, and police, etc will employ some potential insurgents and keep them occupied. The Iraqi people will eventually realize that an employed Iraqi is a happy Iraqi. But, jobs in the private sector aren't the only jobs. What about the civil jobs? Of course they will realize the importance of the jobs in the public sector.

Iraqi's will come to learn that most of those jobs in the public sector will go only to those people of the same race (or in this case religion) of the elected official in the government, be it Sunni or Shiite. Both groups will try to grab for power in the government. Those political groups will play dirty politics as a result leading the whole nation into chaos all over again. We all know what happened the last time someone in Iraq was cut out of the political pie. I hope I'm wrong about this whole prediction for the Iraq's sake.

Some people might wonder, how will the coalition forces handle these predicted events? My answer to the question, how the coalition forces will handle this future situation is all nothing but irrelevant. Simple, if the coalition forces are still present in Iraq they'll be caught in between a brutal, long, and bloody civil war, if not then they'll be safe. They might take up a side, usually to the side that has got the most control and access to the oil fields.

Speaking of oil, what is happening to all the oil in Iraq? None of the news networks have been covering anything about the oil in Iraq. Who's getting it. Is anyone even extracting it? Isn't anyone buying or selling it? CNN, if your reading this then answer me damn it! Ah you good for nothing poor excuse for a new network.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Rant: Christian Rhetoric etc

I am so sick of watching Christian channels on cable. Its the same low budget contradictory nonsense over and over again. I'm not a particular fan of atheists but, I just can't bare to watch atheists and Christians bicker on issues that clearly seems me that both of them are wrong on. I don't even believe that queers should be allowed to live in society let alone have the legal right to marriage. But, when Christians throwing this lame statement "Its Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" at these queer advocates as an argument that's when I feel like puking. I mean its bad enough to here those queer activist say something half-ass to support their cause, where these Christians come along and say the stupidest thing and try to pass them off as intelligent counter arguments. Enough is enough. Moreover, Dude what's the deal with the "700 club"? What's the deal with the evangelical rhetoric in this country?

Sometimes when I watch Larry King Live on CNN, that show looks so tabloid like for a show on such a reputable news network. Why hasn't Ted Turner fired that old geezer wrapped in oversized suspenders?

From the look of the corporate culture in American firms, I can't help but notice it's parallelism to a cult culture. Does anyone else notice this or is it just me?

There are two more weeks for the semester to end and I am already burnt out. Now a days I look back 4 or 5 years ago and wonder. How did I ever get into the computer field? What was I thinking? It's not like I found it hard, boring, or over my head. I think it's just that programming and computers became my life in other words I got sucked in to the illusion the it would have solved my major problems. But, by the time reality sank in, I lost interest. Now, I can't even stomach the sight of any code or programming interface.

On a related topic, I have tried so hard and long to make my PC work as a web hosting server, and it won't just budge. I have setup the IIS and FTP services, but it keeps crashing every few months. I spend 80% of my time fixing and trouble shooting my web server than designing my own complex web applications. It's been 2 years since I started to work on this digital masterpiece. But, I have made no real progress. What a waste!

Codename: Gordon

Codename: Gordon is a 2D side scrolling fan project based on the Half Life universe and programmed in Flash. In this fast, flash-based plat former, you assume the role of Gordon Freeman and travel through six chapters inspired by the environment in Half Life 2. All the familiar weapons and enemies are present: crowbars, pistols, grenades, the SMG, a manipulator gun, headcrabs, zombies, the infamous G-man... the game even includes a fully functional buggy.

The game's controls resemble a 3D shooter. You use the keys to move and the mouse to aim (similar to Abuse), there are medic and HEV recharge stations and even the weapon selection boxes feel as if you're playing the real 3D game. Furthermore, it also features a high score system with network support and a bunch of funny secrets.

Gabe Newell, in an interview with HomeLAN, said that the original plan was to release Codename: Gordon on April 1st (April Fool's Day) with a message saying, "Due to tremendous pressure from the gaming community to ship Half-Life 2, we looked long and hard at the game to see if there was anything we could cut that would let us ship sooner. It looked like if we cut the third dimension, we'd be all set, so after five years in development, Valve and Nuclearvision proudly present Half-Life 2D." Yeah Right!

Released: May 18, 2004
Published By: Valve
Developed By: Nuclear Vision
Platform: Windows
Genre: Action
Perspective: Platform, Side-Scrolling
Non-Sport: Shooter

Interview with the Designers

Download: Codename: Gordon (ed2k link)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Song: This Is Your Life

This is a cool song that I've been listening to currently.

By Switchfoot

yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
yesterday is a promise that you've broken
don't close your eyes, don't close your eyes
this is your life and today is all you've got now
yeah, and today is all you'll ever have
don't close your eyes
don't close your eyes

this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
when the world was younger and you had everything to lose

yesterday is a kid in the corner
yesterday is dead and over

this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
when the world was younger and you had everything to lose

don't close your eyes
don't close your eyes
don't close your eyes
don't close your eyes

this is your life are you who you want to be
this is your life are you who you want to be

this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, is it everything you dreamed it would be
when the world was younger and you had everything to lose

and you had everything to lose

Song: Meant To Live

By Switchfoot

Fumbling his confidence
And wondering why the world has passed him by
Hoping that he's meant for more than arguments
And failed attempts to fly, fly

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside

Dreaming about Providence
And whether mice or men have second tries
Maybe we've been livin with our eyes half open
Maybe we're bent and broken, broken

We want more than this world's got to offer
We want more than this world's got to offer
We want more than the wars of our fathers
And everything inside screams for second life, yeah

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live
We were meant to live

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Hackers Add Web, Chat to PSP Video Game Player

Tue Apr 5, 3:08 PM ET
By Ben Berkowitz

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sony Corp (SNE.N).'s (6758.T) new PlayStation Portable is turning into a great tool for Web browsing, comics reading and online chat -- and it also happens to play video games, movies and music, if you prefer that sort of thing.

The $249 PSP handheld video game player went on sale in the United States on March 24, and it took very little time before techies added the kinds of functions to the PSP that Sony did not include -- and may never have intended. One man needed only 24 hours to get a working client for Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, an older messaging platform.
"I was on IRC, and someone mentioned how cool it would be to use their PSP on Wi-Fi at Starbucks to talk to people over IRC. I said, 'I can do that', so I began working on it immediately," said Robert Balousek, creator of PSPIRC (, in an email interview. [Full Story]

Monday, April 4, 2005

Rant: TV America Sucks

The TV really sucks in the US. I thought coming to America would have given me access to a broad range of choices for information. Bullocks! I am more isolated from global news than when I was living in Jeddah. All the major news networks like CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox, and MSNBC have the same irrelevant news stories on 24/7. When I was living in Jeddah, I got up-to-date news via CNN International from around the world. I saw so many documentaries about every subject on CNN and BBC. CNN and BBC are the ones who opened my eyes to the world.

Only Fox News is the one news network which actually dedicates 80 seconds to news around the world in their "Around the World in 80 Seconds" section. Oh chee thanks Fox for those measly 80 seconds! I really hate Fox News channel.

How ironic. Living in such an isolated society like Saudi Arabia, I knew more about the world than the country itself. Now that I'm outside the country, thanks to 9/11 I get more news about Saudi Arabia than I get about the world.

CNN International is way better than CNN National. Judging by the TV in America, the outside world does not exists. Now I can understand why Americans think that the world revolves around the them.

Once an American asked me how people celebrated Christmas in Saudi Arabia. I told her they don't because there aren't enough Christians to celebrate and she couldn't even imagine the thought of a place where Christmas was not observed. And I couldn't believe that it was so hard for her to imagine that?

On a very unrelated note. For those Americans who have never been to Saudi Arabia and cry like baby that the Abaya/Burka restricts the freedoms of women or is a very barbaric practice, let me tell you something. For someone who was born and raised in that country, I have heard the women bitch about a lot of things, but I have never ever heard them complain about the Abaya/Burka hindering their freedoms. They complain about how they can't drive, can't go to places, their children, husbands, money, no jobs, unemployment rate, economy, dresses, how much they're fat, broken nail, and what not. But, never the Abaya!

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Rant: Allergy Season

This allergy season has really taken a toll on me. My eyes are red, chest is itchy, nose is runny if not stuffy from the pollen. I have taken so much medication in these past two weeks. Some of that medication makes me so drowsy that it made me stay semiconscious most of the day. I am taking Nyquil, Benadryl, and Zyrtec for allergy symptoms. When your nose is clogged most of the time, it is very hard to get a good night's sleep. On an average, I wake up 20 to 30 times a night because of the lack of oxygen. Because of these sleepless nights, my life has become a living hell.

Went to Supercuts the other day and shaved my head. Pollen gets stuck in my hair and that probably causes the allergic reaction. I noticed my hairline has receded too much since my last head shaving. It seems to me that my allergies get worse every year.

Went to Walgreens to buy medicine. The Zyrtec and some Tetracyclene pills came to cost around $91.00. Great! That just gave me another reason to hate the pharmaceutical companies and the Bush Administration.