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Archive for December, 2012

Off to the Airport

December 28th, 2012 at 06:21 am

The flight for DD2 and her husband is running about 30 minutes late. Otherwise, we'd already be on our way to the airport.

We got some new blackout curtains in the living room. We were hoping to have a "grand unveiling" to show them the view from our apartment. Wouldn't you know it that tonight appears to be the worst weather in Dubai this year? I hope the haze clears, though I'm not expecting the wind to die down. It has a few hours to go, because Dubai customs and immigration are very slow.

We're planning to arrive at the airport in plenty of time to get them. They plan to stay about 10 days. We have lots of plans for them, but they'll get to choose which things to do or not.

Attack the f*m* spammer

December 26th, 2012 at 08:54 pm

You all know the forum spammer I'm talking about. I went to the site, and grabbed the contact email address.

I suggest we all go to as many newsletter and other signup sites we can find, and put this email address in to receive all the newsletters, etc., that we can. Let's flood his inbox with legitimate email to force him to wade through it just like he makes us pass over his forum spam.


I might even do a web search to find more forums to sign this guy up to.

Does anyone have any other ideas to get this guy to stop spamming us, or at least make his life more difficult for doing it?

New car, new me

December 22nd, 2012 at 06:59 pm

After nearly a year at the new job, we were finally given "our" car. For the last 51+ weeks, we've been driving a rental Toyota Camry. Now, this isn't a bad car, unless you're 6'4" tall, which I am. This means my knees were in the dash for the last 11+ months.

Thursday of last week, we picked up a new Nissan Armada. Gas over here is a little less than $2.00 per gallon, so being a V8 isn't that much of a drawback.

Thursday was also the last day of work before my Christmas vacation. Except I have to go in today to meet with a prospective new customer. We get to pitch him on using us as his one-stop shop for upgrades. As we've done this for others, we have a great chance of doing this for him, as well.

The "new me" is that I've started exercising regularly, so I'm down about 8 lbs (3.5 kg). I'm at 205 (93 kg). As noted, I'm over 6' tall, so that's very close to my target weight. I was getting a bit soft in the middle, and my legs weren't able to get me going like they used to.

I read an article where folks over 50 have a new test. The object is to start from a standing position, then sit on the floor, then stand again, all without help from the floor or using your hands. That means "no hands on knees," or any "kneeling as you stand up." The object is to go from standing to seated to standing without using any other body parts.

You lose one point for every "help" you give yourself. Eight or higher is good. Three or lower is bad. I've been doing this every night for about ten days. I've gotten ten all but three times. Not bad for a guy over 50, but my goal is to keep this at 10. You also lose half a point if you struggle too much, even if you don't touch anything.

The point of this is that the researchers found that folks who scored less than 3 had like an 80% mortality rate over the 6 years of the study. I think it was three; don't quote me on it, though. The explanation was that those who are overweight are more prone to diabetes and similar problems and those who lack the lower body strength and coordination don't get enough exercise/activity. I don't think this addresses smokers directly.

Time to get ready for work... I hope your vacations are better than mine, in this respect. DD2 gets here with her husband in five more days. We're really looking forward to their visit, even though it puts at least another month on the home payoff. Sometimes you just have to get off the rice and beans, and forget about the lions chasing you. We've set aside a considerable amount of blow money for this Christmas, starting with the plane tickets.

I had gone to Bath and Body Works to get some candles for DW, but they didn't have the correct scent in stock. I gave them my cell number and told them to call me when they were in. I was driving with the car pool, including DW, and my phone rang. I don't take calls while driving most of the time, so I handed my phone to DW, who answered. It was B&BW, telling me the candles are in. So much for that surprise. She doesn't know about the others, though, so at least not all of Xmas presents are known.

I Smell a Scam

December 18th, 2012 at 05:48 am

I was speaking to a man who works in our shop. He is from Ghana. He has been in correspondence with someone in the US who claims she is interested in meeting him and wants him to come visit. I've warned him about the "romance scams," but he's wanting to know how to get to the US.

I have told him NOT to send "her" money for any reason whatsoever. I fear this is one of those "Russian Bride" scams reversed. The phone numbers he showed me belong to a restaurant and a cell phone in Alabama. I am tempted to call them and speak with the person myself, but if it is not a scam, I really shouldn't be getting involved.

The man has only come to me asking how to get a visa to the US. I've looked it up. The only thing I can find is that a Ghana citizen must go to the US consulate in Ghana (Accra), but that's not feasible as the man lives in Dubai. I am fairly certain he can do all the paperwork from the consulate here in Dubai, but maybe not. I'll be calling them tomorrow to follow up on that.

Net searches have turned up nothing on her name in Alabama, and the only information on the phone numbers are what I have related above.

What next step would you take in this position?

Suck it up

December 2nd, 2012 at 07:50 am

I just read a post by a guy who is complaining about having to work long hours, his wife is sick, his daughter can't afford a school trip, and he's tired of working long hours. Well, that prompted me to write this post.

I started my working career in the US military. The military works long hours. I used to deploy to far off places, and I've been in tight situations. I didn't see my wife or kids for months at a time, sometimes. Yes, it was hard, but someone has to do these things to keep America free. If the folks still in the military were not there, the rest of us would maybe actually appreciate them in more than words. But that's not the point of my post.

Everyone always has it better than someone else. I have an old military buddy who had over 10 years of hard times. Mostly, they were his own fault, but that's not the point. He finally got his stuff back together. Within a year, he was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.

Are you better off than him?

So, the OP of the offending post thinks life is hard and everyone's out to get him. I've worked thirty years to get to where I am. I live on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai (look it up online). It's like a resort. I still put in about 50 to 70 hours per week. I love what I do, and my retirement - if I ever actually retire - will be comfortable, to say the least.

I had hard times. I had tons of debt. I had medical bills. I had people close to me die without warning.

Yet, I survived. I love my life.

I don't care if I seem to be bragging. I've worked my butt off to get where I'm at, and I'm "living the dream." I only wish I had smartened up sooner and stopped borrowing sooner.

Anyone else reading this, you can be a lot worse off than you are. Count your blessings and flip off the evil that besets your life. It happens to everyone. If you keep working, you can make yourself and your family comfortable, too. Hard work is always rewarded, eventually.

But if you have a pissy attitude, don't expect anyone else to be there for you. You make your life what it is, and you have to live with what you make.