Wednesday, June 28, 2006

wikipedia is blocked in saudi arabia, in the words of chris rock "what kind of ignorant a** sh*t is that?" Why would you block wikipedia ? why? why? why ?
I wonder if my blog will get blocked because I'm complaining about them blocking about stuff. That would be like catch 22. They would say change your blog, and I would say I need to access it to change it and they would say change it and we will let you access it. Sounds just like something they would say too....
Anywho brazil is through to the next round, not very convincing but they still got through. I hope they crush the french in the next round. I have had some bad experiences with people from france... and praying for Brazil to win will be my way of getting back at them ... Muwahahaha.
Haven't been to the gym in 2 days so today Im going to do 3 days worth of sweating. If I don't write again for a long time its because I broke my hands at the gym today. I bought a pair of swrimming trunks so on thursday I plan to go swimming. Other then that it was my brothers bday to day so happy bday bro. Hope you'r next 18 years are better then the last 18. I mean lets face it, who would want to run around in there own crap (dipers) puke on themselves and have me for an elder brother. Hopefully the elder brother thing won't change but other things will.
Which brings me to the next random thought have you noticed how diapers can be called pampers? tissue paper can be called kleenex ? coke for softdrink ? sharpie for a marker? weird huh... I wonder if I'm missing stuff in that list. If you have any more please feel free to leave a comment. alright back to perling.

Monday, June 26, 2006

higher standards

So I have been trying to figure out why I have such a hard time making new friends in saudi arabia, I think it comes down to one thing basically. I am very choosy about who I talk to and who I don't talk to. An example to illustrate the problem, my brother goes to the same gym as me, infact I have been going there for about 2 months longer then him. In 1 month he makes 5 friends in the gym while I don't know a single person at there. I think I know what it is, at IIT I had such great friends and people to hangout with that now I automatically assume no one will live upto those standards. Darn you IIT for spoiling me with great friends. Have I become an elitist? When I got to Chicago everyone there was like me, trying to fit in and find new friends. That was the great thing about the freshman floor and part of the reason I always choose to be an ra for freshman. We all went through the same things, shared the same sense of humor, saw the same movies.. it's hard to find replacements who share all those things with you. So maybe it's not elitism but rather a cultural thing. I would like to sit down with someone and watch family guy and not have to explain why Stewie hates his mother, or why marge has blue hair. Is that asking too much ? I want someone who would understand why Chicago Bulls will be the only team I will support in basketball no matter how many times they loose in the playoffs. well enough of my self pity back to porgramming in perl and figuring out why it won't see my directory properly.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pilgrimage to makkah

So I never wrote about this but about 3 weeks ago me, my bro & sis went to Makkah for Umrah (short pilgrimage) My parents were supposed to join us but their flight information, for lack of a better explanation, got mixed up.
We took the bus, I prefer riding by bus since I have had enough of planes. I have spent about 12 hours on a flight once and I don't think I will ever miss anything about sitting on the tarmac for an hour with a kid crying his lungs out sitting next to me. So about the pilgrimage.
We got to Makkah no problems, it was a fairly decent trip my sis sat besides me and my bro sat a few seats up. (He was supposed to sit right in front of us but he moved to accommodate another family, such a gentleman) The trip was uneventful and I bought a national geographic with details about the world cup and Mormon life. Interesting stuff. Eventually half way through the 8-9 hour trip I took out my gmat book and started reading up on the gmat exam I plan to take for my MBA. With about 2 hours left I finally got serious about the pilgrimage and started reading a book on the proper procedure for Umrah.
Here are some facts about pilgrimage. The bus stops at a place called Meeqat and we get of there to make the intention for pilgrimage and offer prayers before we begin the actual pilgrimage. We also shower and change into an Ihram. An Ihram, for a guy, consists of two pieces of white cloth. It has to be absolutely plain. No stitching or design of any kind is permitted. It's a weird experience once you shower and put that on, you are transformed, you now have none of you fancy clothes or ways to distinguish yourself from other people. All the individuality that modern culture so stresses on vanishes. One of the first lessons you must learn here is that all are equal in the eyes of god and that no one is better then another person because of color, race, sex, creed or nationality. We then offered a prayer of intention and Fajr(early morning) prayers.
With all this done we returned to the bus which, much to my relief, was still there. I have this weird paranoia of being left behind by a bus. Must stem from some deep psychological problems but that’s besides the point.
So we got on the bus and everyone starts chanting:

"Here I am, O Allah, at Thy service. Here I am, Thou art without partner, here I am. All Praise and blessings are thine, and Dominion! Thou art without partner!"

it sounds a lot better in Arabic of course. Eventually everyone in the bus is repeating this saying this loudly and we reach our designated hotel. We drop of our things get a quick bite to eat and start Umrah in the Haram ,the holy mosque. The mosque consists of 2 levels and a third level that is opened only in Ramadan ,the month of fasting, and Hajj. The first steps consist of going around the Kabah, the big black box you all have seen in pictures. We consider it to be the house of god, no not literally. We make seven rounds of it and at the end of each round we say " god grant us in this world the very best and in the afterlife the very best and save us from hell fire". The best part about this prayer is that I feel I am praying for the whole world since the word us is used and no one every specified what us exactly stands for. I take it to mean for all of humanity. I always make a short prayer for peace all over the world when I pray and did so during the Umrah as well. I usually try remember my friends, family, relatives the poor and the rich of the world when I pray, this time was no exception. Any who the next step was going up and down safaa & marwah 7 times. I will post on the significance of this in another post hopefully. But we finally get done and I go to get my head shaved & my bro gets a fancy cut. We are supposed to get our hair cut after completing umrah but before we remove our ihrams. My sis just takes a scissor and cuts a piece of her herself. She doesn’t really trust me or Saad, my younger bro, with a scissor. Hey, what’s the worst that can happen ? I mean it's wasn't like she drooled on my shoulder all the way from Riyadh to Makkah and I wanted revenge. Actually she did drool on my shoulder.....
alright so long story short we spent the next two days in Makkah praying and eating , there being plenty of time for both in makkah. We took the long trip back, I was sick but happy for the next week. Apparently walking around in the hot sun for four hours with no hair on your head and eating ice cream can make you sick, who would've thunk it? alright that’s enough for now back to "work"

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


So after parent bashing in my last post, here is a gushy mooshy one about parents.
Dad & mom have always been the glue in my & my siblings life. They keep us held together, when they are gone who will keep tabs on everyone and make sure we actually have a family life? I mean they had the same thing while their parents were around they had a place where the entire family would gather. Now its like everyone for themselves which is what it will eventually come down to for all of us. It will be a very sad and lonely day when their generation passes on as all generations eventually do.
So work has been looking up a bit though I hate having to deal with nepotism. In Saudi Arabia its mostly who you know and not what you know. To hell with qualifications and ability, if you are related to me you get the job. All this resentment stems from my current predicament.
I was told to use a specific software company, the company just happened to be related to my boss's family. The contact person can't communicate in english. (in any meaningful way atleast) Here is sample, I had asked if they had a standard software requirement specification elicitation document.
what do you you mean if we have any requirement specifications for the system??
If yes No... Just UNIX or any BSD system with web server (ie apatche) and php core installation for unix...avaiable at...
God help me, I'm supposed to explain software requirement specification to them now. Here is a link to site I will probably use.
Its a good site and it more or less follows pressman's software engineering 5th edition.
enough ranting, back to work.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Havent posted in a long time again, work has gotten to the point where I want to shoot myself, and no it isnt because Im very busy its because I dont really have anything to do right now. I have been talking to this guy on face book about religion, he is one of those atheists folks. He also happens to be a philosophy major. Presonally I feel philosophy is a waste of time and anyone who takes it as a major has
1.No talent in science, math or anything that helps make the world a better place.
2.A tendency to talk too much
3.A high probability of being a raging drunkard by the time he is 30.
The best thing philosophy has ever given us was the idea the watchowski brothers took from Descartes for Matrix 1. The whole, what if someone is tricking the mind idea.
Anywho, work is pretty boring, social life is non existant ( I am in saudi arabia after all), my soccer team in the fantasy league is doing alright (93rd %tile) and I havent blogged in a while. So whats up with my life ? Im frustrated at my parents, can't wait to get out of saudi arabia and can't wait to reclaim my life in ny. Not that it was much of a life. I really like the idea of living alone, no hastles to deal with not family problems. Everyone around me seems to be obsessed with marriage. I mean there are worse things then getting married and I would pick it over being boiled alive in tar, but it would be a difficult decision. I mean you want the right balance of things. Someone who has looks, (not miss universe but something that is atleast attractive and wont scare you when you wake up in the morning), likes the same things you like, is easy to get along with, has a personality ... and when your parents get involved everything usually goes to hell anyways. I mean do you want your parents to choose who you will live the rest of your life with ? I mean I dont even like my mom's choice of kitchen cutlery... Should I let her choose my life partner? Maybe I should pretend to be gay... but then again I would be a very very bad gay person. With the exception of Matthew Walker gays are supposed to be clean and care about their looks. Willie walker was probably as messy as any straigth guy can get. eh, this blog is all over the place. oh well more to follow later I guess.