Saturday, October 28, 2006

Putting News First

well my friend editor casey is shipping out to afghanistan today, he is carying body armour and a tactical helmet (by the way the clip on the bottom left is to clip your helmet to when not wearing it).

having said that there is a large amount kicking around the office, i wish i hadnt bothered carying mine.

well the things we do to bring you news.

here is a cautionary tale folks, there was a debauched haloween/fancy dress party at one of the aji singles blocks last night that i didnt go to last night.

there were reports drifing in this morning that a camera guy hadnt urned up for work, who had attended the party everyone reported seeing him leave the party very drunk. he was dressed as the incredible hulk.

an arabic guy rang round the hospitals and police stations and found he had been arested for being drunk in is ofcourse saturday the arabic equivelent of sunday here so he will not be bailed or have external affairs visit him till sunday morning.

its quite a schadenfreude moment really, imagine waking up dressed as the incredible hulk in a police cell in qatar posibly being deported.
the canteen had pie for dinner - mmmm pie breakfast a rather good if small chicken and mushroom job so good i had to go and get a second one- i got all mrscruff sentimental, mmmmm pie.
day 4 in the AJi News room (saturday), its like some kind of diy masterplan here today with ladders and maintenecne men aplenty, there are putting up a 2inch ridge around the circumfrence of the newsroom (its a double height room, with a balcony at mesonine level- to the outside of which theyre attaching this strip), quite why i dont know.

ive also found the radio4 podcast mmmmm radio4 mp3 goodness. im getting my saturday 'from our own corespondant' fix, its a shame im not at home with a cafitier of coffee and a craussant but what can you do.

Everyone should be back at work tomorow after eid so i can a get my cheque and get it to my bank pick up my cards and cheque book.
Then i can go shopping, whoop! also External affairs & others are back so my RP & Drivinglicence may get back on track.

the asian games are on track, although its a monumental task till doha gets there, for thiose who want to know where i live see red blob (bottom left) and work blue square (tv roundabout top middle right)

Friday, October 27, 2006

so its another day in paradise, well at least the newsroom, another quiet night lastnight, there are a few of us doing them so im a little more happy, had a few good email conversations with some great friends, so im bouyed up, 12hrs arnt so bad once you get into the flow, not thinking about them till at least 1/2 way through, then its just 6hrs, i also brought the papers in today so i have both the gulf times & the penisular to read.
on other notes im warming up to buying a mac mini to run the TV as a media center for all those essential downloads, and intermerweb things like radio 4!, as there (and i found this out yesterday when i switched the sat box to tv) are really only 3 english language channels, one is BBC world, and as im making news anyway i think its unlikely im going to watch that channel, and 2 others based out of dubai, one showing american 'classic drama & comedy' shiver and one showing american movies ;-(so instead of springing the 600rials a month, im going to max out on DSL & web it up.
3 days and counting till im 26. god when did i get old.

thanks to Mia for the picture - its doing the rounds here at the studio with much mirth as the newsroom has a resident stray cat.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

helloo kids, not much happening, got home at about 1.10am local, went to bed, got up showered listened to a podcast on internet/Ip law, got a cab in and im here again. i was right things wew suspiciously quiet yesterday 2 departments crashed wholesale thismorning.
other than that the 4 satelite & fiber feeds i have done in the last day have gone well, as in they turned up with the right packages (despite a request for a nonexistant clip that london had requested and subsequently complained about not receiving) all fun and games eh.
eid is nearly over, however weekend is upon us, sunday everyone gets back to work which means i can get my residency permit application back on track & means i can get my driving licence and get a car.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

now this shift is starting to drag, a month and a half without 12hr shifts really changes your perspective on work, now im back in the swing and my life aches already. plus the canteen has shut already, so it looks like im going to have to scource something to eat from somewhere else, i wonder if pizza express deliver here as Smackky D's do?

if anyone wants to buy me a birthday present you could get me a copy of this hint hint ;-)

a huge, encylopedic tome on the novel ways that the technology and social movements are being used to make the world a better place, from the grass roots up. WorldChanging is based on the excellent blog of the same name, and is thematically organized with sections on "Stuff," "Shelter," "Cities," "Community," "Business," "Politics" and "Planet," each broken into a series of quickly digestable essays on subjects like "Healing polluted land," "Green marketing" foreword by Al Gore and an introduction by Bruce Sterling, and contributed to by Cory Doctrow.

well let me apologies for not posting for 4 days, its clearly not that i have died or been abducted into the white slave trade, but simply that im not at work and they havnt wired my villa up for a phone line/broadband yet.

let me give you a brief rundown on the last few days, left work on Friday with alex and another fellow colleague at 10.30pm, and met 7 or so colleagues for iftah at the hotel intercontinental at the north end of the cornice, its next to Aladdin land (think an Arabic themed Disneyland and youve got it), the intercontintal had a massive tent setup on the beach to seat what must have been 500 people, with a truly epic buffet, lots of locals in formal dress (white headdress rather than the red), and acts performing to entertain the crowd, some interesting musical acts, however they had whirling dervishes (or is that dervi?) which were truly magnificent, i suggest if you ever get the chance to see some of them, do. Food was great, very kebab and rice heavy but the sweets were excelent, everything from baklavah to crem brule, the table was truly heaving with sweet delights. shisha pipes were evident, every table must have had at least one, there were 3 at our table of 10. seems to be a regular thing - the photo of the shisha & beverages menu i find amusing.

Saturday: quiet day had a swim and a work out, chatted to jonno for a while, trying to kick start this compound party into a happening. we had cloud for the first time, (not dark grey london cloud) a few whisps of white fluffy stuff, so i decided to hike to the hyatt mall (the second closest to the compound but still a 20min walk) to scope it out. its a lot more finished than the velaggio which is being built as we speak (the one with the care four), nice walk down the middle of the unfinished highway (that is quite strange one side of the road has traffic driving at 60/70 and im walking down the middle of the other side of the freeway) which is being finished by indian and philipino engineers with heavy grading equipment. the mall is far more mallish than villagio, lots of glass. the thing that surprised me is the number of shops i recognised - they have a early learning center, a body shop and a clares accessories. pretty much home from home, also the first time ive seen merchandise for the asian games, as much as i need a 7foot stuffed orrix branded with asian games logos i felt i can do without for the timebeing. anyway back to the mall, there is a Japanese pounds shop where everything is 6rials - needless to say i spent 100rials on cool Japanese stuff like a broom, and dustpan, and 4 Japanese stoneware mugs, and bathroom cleaner, a dissapointing apron and now my washing powder looks like its from 10mins into the future and it only cost 6rials and it says (and its the only thing on the box) easy simple life since 1997 (which seems to sum up my lifes ambitions completely since the age of 17) i also hit the Giant stores, which is a cross between asda and happy shopper, slightly disappointing layout but the vegetables are indeed better than at carre four, it does however seem to have a better selection of household goods (think pans and plates, tvs and computing accessories) and frozen veg (when i found it) than carre four, however dried, fresh and canned goods were dissapointing, i still cant find good cheese, its all plastic shrink rapped processed and pasteurized crap, not quite as bad as cheeze in a can but close. got a new blue cab for 3.75 rials home (about 55p) then watched the latest series 3 episodes of battle star courtesy of a friend whom i lent firefly to.

Sunday: quiet day, went for a run and did a 10k cycle on the exercise machine, wached a few 'evaluation only' movies including the sentinel (Kifer southerland & Michael douglas) - passable presidential assination movie, think a cross between all the presidents men and 24 and youve got the plot. Stick it, which i dont know what to think about it, its a movie about gymnastics, with a touch of strictly ballroom about it, not the greatest film ever made but easy on the eyes, implausible beginning, disappointed by the ending, quite good middle. and watched some shit adam sandler movie with a remote control in it, fell asleep during it.

Monday; discovered that i can get the bbc world service via satelite tv so im a happy bunny, nowhere near as good as radio4 but is better than anything else i have. its got a strange, a bit to corporate for me, not 'English' enough - think bbc world/international vs bbc4 similar content radically different presentation.

Tuesday: quiet day but went to doha’s premier new nightclub- if you can call a bad Pilipino coverband playing eagles covers, and a student union atmosphere, with ¾ of the punters philipino men. Still they had beer!