Where is the aeroplane?

Sometimes, it’s not enough to know when the plane has landed or taken off. You just want to SEE the thing–even if it’s in icon form.
So, until we have real-time satellite visual tracking available to us, we have this:
You simply put in your flight number and voilà, you have something that looks like this:

is it a plane?

While I wait for my beautiful wife to get here, the little icon on this map isn’t moving nearly fast enough! But I am SO glad that I can see it moving!

Hope your day goes well,

World cup final!…and psychic animals

Not exactly an inspiring game, but it got a lot more fun as the first half came to a close. The winning goal for Spain was well-deserved, as they were clearly the better team throughout the game–and the fact that at least 4 Spanish players had a touch to set up the goal was a great illustration of how Spain had played.

Meanwhile, on a level of at least as much attention as the Cup game itself (at least in America and Germany) was that Paul the Octopus was right, again! This means he has a better record (7 wins-0 losses) than the Spanish team (6wins-1loss) in this World Cup. So, kudos, my cephalopodic friend! Other animals have tried to grab the headlines, but been somewhat less successfull:  Harry, the Ozzie Crocodile, Mani, the Indian parrot, a Malaysian parakeet named Meena, a Dutch Chimp named Pino in an Estonian zoo, and even Jabulani–named ominously the same as the soccerball used for S. Africa’s World Cup matches– another octopus. I find it unsurprising that there are people who would listen to the predictions of various animals, and equally funny that there are people who are willing to believe in some supernatural being governing all their worldly (and post-worldly) doings but find it odd that one should believe in a cephalopod’s powers! On the other hand, while multiple sources have reported that PETA asked for Paul the Octopus to be released into the wild following his string of victories, I haven’t been able to locate anything on their website to that effect. I’m thinking throwing an animal raised in captivity out into the wild is somewhat less than wise.

We were lucky on base to have a couple of similarly sized rooms, because both got filled up! I hear from the workers here that this is by far the most interest they have ever seen in soccer. I knew the other football is growing in the USA. Here’s the room I was at:
Hope you had a fun place to watch the game at–where did you watch?


Goooal! AFN scores the World Cup!!

Proving that newspapers do in fact report good news sometimes, this morning’s Stars and Stripes paper reported: “Just hours before the start of the world’s largest sporting event, American Forces Network secured the broadcasting rights to the 2010 World Cup.” For many soldiers and support personnel working at US bases, this was a matter of great worry– as only few places have access to ESPN. Soccer fans had consigned themselves to having to try and find an online stream, or the really lucky few to find a TV set with ESPN. Even the day before the world’s biggest sporting event, people at cafeterias on US bases found themselves staring at the Stanley Cup replays and some random baseball matches. No, not even in America does anyone REALLY care about the Stanley cup. Fine– except maybe about 7 people!

Meanwhile, further down the article on realizes why this was a big issue. Reports the Stars and Stripes: “The process to obtain the broadcast rights involved 34 international television licensees and sub-licensees in 28 territories, who waived their territorial exclusivity, the AFN release said.”

So here we are–ready. Here in Kuwait this means the games will be on at the big TVs where we can all gather to watch, and maybe– just maybe– all the excitement draws in a few new converts to the beautiful game!


World Cup is coming! Google's special "next page" icon

So there’ll be a lot of searching of World Cup related terms on Google. Yes, I’m writing two consecutive posts having to do with Google, but hey, if they’re doing things right… !

As I was looking for a printable version of the official World Cup Schedule (pdf), I realized that for related searches, the bottom of the Google page looks like this:

Also, if you want a schedule that is in your timezone, on the FIFA website, they have a place where you can click and it converts the time into your zone. Unfortunately, the schedule is not printable with those times!
Meanwhile, here’s a place where you can check current World Cup scores and game results.
Not to be missed also is the work this guy put in to create a World Cup Excel template which generates all the right matches coming up, depending on the results  you put in. Definitely fun for tracking the madness!

4 years in the waiting and it’s coming soon! Hopefully you’ll find some fun places to watch from!


I want to be a gladiator! The "Spartacus" workout

Ok, not really.  Unless it was just a themed workout. So to all my people that want to get in shape:I just did this workout today and it is a.freaking.mazing.
This is the actual workout that the stars of Spartacus (which I haven’t watched so can’t comment on) use. And well, if I could look just a bit like Peter Mensah, it wouldn’t be a bad thing (also, see video on MH website below):

Here is the link to their site, which has a lot of great info to look through. But nicer still, you can get a printable version so you can take along to the gym. Start off with smaller/ no weights so you can get through all of the steps. Use longer breaks in the beginning if you need.  The smallest weights will feel like boulders in your hands before you’re done one set, so start off with lighter weights/ no weights and work your way up. Same with the breaks, if you can’t manage just 15 seconds inbetween sets, then lengthen that a bit, but remember: this is a circuit workout, intended to be done at high intensity with minimal rest. So anything more than 30 seconds of break and you’re starting to defeat the point. Also to note when you’re starting off, is that if you just can’t get through a full minute, just hold the position for the rest of the minute until its time to move to the next set. So really, if you look at this and think “oh I have to work out for a month before I can even start this!”, don’t. Because you can start this at your level–just you have to make sure to work through it consistently.

Although the workout is posted in Men’s Health magazine, I think women could benefit from this as well. You just want to keep your weights to a minimum so you don’t bulk up. Or I’m sure there are other already modified /tried / tested circuit workouts offered in women’s health magazines!

Try this.  Let me know how you like it!



Dream, heaven, friends and family

In Orwell’s Animal Farm, he talks about Sugarcandy Mountain– where “it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges.”  I can’t imagine what more an animal might want–and really, so what if they had to wait ’till they were dead?
I feel that many people live through looking forward to heaven. Virginia was just pointing out the fantastic line by Modest Mouse: “You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste death?” along the same lines the other day. I suppose that is the whole purpose of the idea of heaven– so that we can trudge through life’s discombobulating events in hopes of linseed cake on the hedges someday. Even if it happens after what we know of life has gone, and at a time that we have no way of knowing exists!
I had a lovely dream this morning that got me thinking about all this: I was out on my friend Basant’s Gixxer (below) and it was early on a beautiful morning. I came a random guy parking his ’79-’80 Toyota Cressida coupe (they didn’t actually make any!) and I went over to talk to him. Turns out it was his boyfriend’s car and the boyfriend comes out so excited that someone was interested! So we talk about cars for a bit, I tell him my dad used to have one in Saudi, and then I go back home. Home was Virginia and my place, but not acutally like any place we’ve been– but our parents were over and Abbu had started a cd of some old Bangla music. I knew my friends from Maryland were over but Virginia or Jason or none of the rest of them would be up yet! Just as I was pulling up, Basant arrived on a different sportbike with another friend and asked if I wanted to go for a half hour ride. Rabab said something about having to go to a dawat, Raiyan said he wanted to go kick a ball around, and Abbu said to make sure not to be late;  I put my gear on, jumped on the gixxer and revved it a couple of times. That thing sounds brilliant with the pipes it’s got on it. Unfortunately, then I woke up!
While I would have liked to have had a motorcycle ride at least in my dream, it was really fantastic. It made me think about how much I love the people that I have in my life, and really all I need is some good weather to go with that.
This all made me think about how hard people work for their afterlife, often at the cost of ignoring this one. I think Sartre had it entirely right when he said “hell is other people,” but more importantly–and with a big thank you to all my people!– heaven is also other people.

CECT KA08 menu button malfunction reset

I will be posting a full review of my phone soon, but I wanted to address  a specific glitch that seems to plague at least a few other owners of the CECT KA08.

If your menu button does not bring up the applications menu, this might help you return to normal functionality.  Does it beep when pressed, and take the phone out of sleep mode, but still not bring up apps?  It should also function properly when the “home” page is used, so you can see missed calls, read received SMS, look at Calendar entries already scheduled, etc.  This has happened to several people after enabling “fly mode” or “flight mode,” it seems.

****I have found this out on my own, and do not claim ANY inside information from CECT or any of its affiliates, and have received no technical assistance or information from the aforementioned company.  You try this at your own risk;  I have done this procedure on my phone and it worked perfectly.  It even kept my files that I had uploaded onto Images and Music directory.  Again, try it at your own risk.  If you were like me, you’re staring at a phone that doesn’t do much of anything anyway! ****

What you have to do is reset to factory defaults; the tricky bit is how to get to the screen where you can do that, without a functioning Menu button.

1.  Take off the rear battery cover (simply slide towards the top of the phone).
2. Take out battery and sim card(s).
3. Put battery back in (without sim card(s))
4. (*Read Step 4 and 5 before performing step 4) Turn phone on, making sure not to touch anything until the initialization is complete (when complete, the home screen will show).
5.  After the home screen has appeared, but BEFORE it can lock itself, press the Menu button once, and only once.
(If you press it a second time, take battery back out and repeat from step 3)
6. When you press the Menu button the first time, the Application menu should show up as it should.  If this does not happen, you can try pressing the button again, but be careful to press it only once at a time, because a second click will lock it up again. Obviously, if that doesn’t work, try taking the battery out and repeating from Step 3)
If all has gone well, at this point,
a. Go to Settings>[01]Dual SIM Setup>Click on your preferred SIM setting (doesn’t matter as long as it’s not Flight Mode)
b. Go to Settings> [08]Restore Factory Settings
It will ask you to enter a PIN;  the possible codes are:
“1122, 3344, 1234, 5678 or even 0000” –from here. It depends on the manufacture date/exact model.
7. When it comes back to the home screen, you can take out the battery, put your sim(s) back in, and restart.
You should have a normally functioning phone again.

Hope this works for you!  (Let me know!)

Good luck, and good day,