Saturday, October 18, 2008

Riyadh Road Runners

I recently went on a run with the Riyadh Road Runners in a compound near the King Khaled Internation airport. The run was a simple 10k fare and marked my first race in Saudi Arabia. It also marked a low point in my pride as a runner. I found out, through first hand experiences, at the race that I don't know the first thing about running with others. I tried to run too fast and then got dehydrated and decided to drink way too much water which made me slower and slower till I had to walk the last kilometer or so. Still, everybody cheered so much and so enthusiasticaly when I crossed the finish line that I thought I might as well have come in 1st, and not 2nd last of the whole group. I finished the 10k in about an hour and a few minutes which was not a personal best, though I have no doubt I could have done alot worse. I have compiled a list of things I'm going to try for my next run with the group so that I don't embarass myself, and these are things I know but have to learn to practice.
  • Start at the back of the group.
  • Don't try to keep up with the group, go by your own pace.
  • Drink at ever station, stay well hydrated the day before the race.
  • Stay upright.
  • Get a new list of songs for my Ipod.

I should also mention that despite my horrid performance I was very happy to have found a group of genuinely good people to run with. Everyone I met was very laid back and easy to get along with. I definitely think Riyadh has more to offer than meets the eye, but you have to look hard to find it. This group of runners was well motivated and organized, the run was a blast and they even have a marathon planned for early next year. I'm definitely going to try to run that marathon! I have volunteered to help them maintain and upgrade their website, the organizer was happy to have my help so hopefully I can do something good for 'em.

In other news, My brother in law has gone to Oman on a business trip so my sister will be staying with me for a couple of days. She is expecting soon and we will inshallah, translates to "god willing", have a new baby to welcome to my extended family.


Monday, October 13, 2008


I need to buy my wife an anniversary / eid gift. You might think that buying one gift for two occasions was a very trifty decision on my part but rest assured it will not cheap, specially in Saudi Arabia. As a matter of fact I have decided to buy her a laptop, depending on how things go I might even buy my brother the same one. Finding a good laptop is no easy decision. I went through all of the regular sites like cnet and pcworld and came up with a list of 5 laptops that I think I should be able to afford without burning a hole in my wallet. Here is the list
  1. Gateway T-6836 $649
  2. Dell Inspiron 1525 $649 - available at Jarir bookstore
  3. DELL XPS M1210 Notebook $599
  4. DELL Inspiron 1720 $750
  5. Dell Inspiron 1420 $599
  6. HP Pavilion dv2915nr $699

Now, the order of preference is there but I seriously doubt that I will be able to find a Gateway computer here. I remember a time when gateway was a joke, I wouldn't even consider using one if it was given to me as a gift but they have done a really good job at re inventing them selves. There is something to be said about brand re-invention. Apple did it, Motorola needs it and Gateway is doing it. The dell Inspiron is available at a local store but I don't know what the price of it will be, I know the price on the Dell website and if I have to pay about $200 more I will be fine with it, but if they charge me $1000 for something that's worth $649 I will probably have to re evaluate my options. I will update this posting when I get the price from Jarir.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Axis of Evil

There was once an "Axis Of Evil", it's member countries were to be feared for their evil plans and agendas with which the hoped to sow the seeds of destruction and chaos across the world. The three countries that made up that axis were Iran, Iraq & North Korea. President Bush took over Iraq so now they are the un begotten 51st state. You can't call them a member of the axis of evil any more than you can call the USA a member of that axis, no evil doers there to be sure.
So that left us with two members in the Axis of evil, Iran and N. Korea. I was fine with that, as you probably know the original Axis powers were Germany and Italy. You can have an axis between two points because then the axis would be the point through which those two points would rotate and I was happy, for a while... Things started getting weird when the United States decided to take N. Korea off the list, so now we will be left with one country in the Axis of evil. I want to be the first one to coin the term, point of evil. Since that is what Iran is now. It is the singular point of all evil. Iraq and N. Korea haven gotten rid of their evil doers and replacing them with good doers. Sure we have Syria, Libya and Cuba but they are already called the "Rogue States" and you might be hoping that we might be able to get Belarus, Zimbabwe or Myanmar to join the axis but they also have clique called the outposts of tyranny. So with all this said and done, what remains is that the Axis of evil is now a lonely club with only one member. What we needs is a better class of evil doing countries: Those that won't give up their evil doing ways so quickly or easily. I saw the Dark Knight and was all in favor of having the Joker set up a new country, or take over an existing one like Iceland, which I hear might be up for sale very soon, and join the club but then Heath Ledger had to go overdose him self and leave me without any really good evil doers. Other good oxymorons include "Make haste slowly" and "Military Intelligence".
Well, while I bemoan the loss of the axis of evil we should be grateful that we still have the final four, the fantastic four and other such groups and entities that hold true to their names and functions. Of course you could watch the Axis of evil comedy tour and while it is enjoyable, I don't necessarily find it as funny as some of the other comedy shows out there, They do have this half Korean half Vitecong guy who speaks really good Arabic and is a real riot, but besides him the rest are alright.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The end of the great depression

So how did the great depression end? Most people understand how it started with the oversupply of money and cheap credit that led to an unsustainable credit driven boom. But how did it end? The short answer is WW2. So if we truly go into a world wide depression how will we come out of it? WW3? It's a scary thought...