Calculation Day


Sabah Al Khaire lads (Good morning lads)

Bit on the cold side at home I hear. Hopefully wood fires burning, electric blankets & hot water bottles serviced keeping you all snug & cozy. The weather in central Saudi Arabia is a delight for fair skinned Irish lads with lilly white skin who hate heat & direct sunlight. Its akin to decent Irish Summer weather at the mo with jackets required morning & evening. Nice.

Street art – Empty water bottle & cigarette butt

IMG_3621Mar

Dubai on the other hand is experience the usual seasonal foggy mornings:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/thick-fog-set-to-continue-forecasters-warn-1.1136817?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=&utm_term=%26269500

Received another conversion attempt lads. An early morning attack this time. Landed down to the hotel lobby circa 7am to be greeted by young apprentice Imam (Muslim priest), who is attending the Imam College across the street. He was watching the prayer channel from Mecca at the time as usual, and upon seeing MB turned up the volume to head splitting level, in hope that higher volume was more likely to force the message into the brain of MB.

“Come listen to the Quran” he said, or words to that effect as he has minimal English. “You are giving me very large headache my young friend” said MB who felt the early stages of a migrane coming on. “Muslim beautiful, you must become” he replied with a beautiful Muslim smile, as I waited for the Indian lad at the coffee bar to land out my cappuccino (mafi sugar). “Muslim beautiful, Yahudi (Jew) beautiful & Christian beautiful” replied MB who was starting to enjoy the crack at this stage and was toying with the beautiful Muslim. Young lad was now obviously bit confused as he had obviously not previously considered the possibility that anyone other than Muslims could be beautiful and threw his eyes skyward, looking to Allah for inspiration. Before Allah could bestow some clever ideas MB got in again quick. “Have you ever travelled outside of Saudi my friend” said MB knowing he hadn’t, “you might get some new ideas”.

Construction waste – a study of green & brown

IMG_3623Mar

His level of English was insufficient to understand MBs question so he asked young Egyptian male receptionist to translate. Upon hearing the question Egyptian lad was too afraid to translate it correctly, and even with my limited Arabic I knew he translated as “are you good Muslim?”. The spineless Egyptian smiled a spineless smile and looked at MB thinking he was off the hook. “No BS please young Egyptian lad” said MB, feeling like wanting to break spineless Egyptian’s nose. “Have you ever travelled outside Saudi” said spineless Egyptian, fearing for his nose, to beautiful Muslim, but was still and will always remain, too fearful to ask about the possibility of new ideas entering beautiful Muslims brain should he ever see the wider world. “La (no)” said beautiful Muslim. “Inshallah you will” said MB. “Inshallah” replied beautiful Muslim, as he pondered the thought, trying to calculate how his future might go. MBs coffee arrived, MB sipped, the caffein kicked in, beautiful Muslim refocused on TV screen, headache symptoms receded and all was well with the world. Beautiful world!

Bitumen container

IMG_3624Mar

This week’s theme lads is all about calculation. Friend who has very sharp brain recently informed MB that they had just had “calculation day“. A day full of calculations, from college activities to other aspects of their daily life. And suggested it would make good topic for the blog. Bit like the book Ulysses lads, a day in the life sort of thing. My mind focused on the thought lads and within 15 mins my brain was so tired from ‘calculation’ thoughts, I had to take rest in my bed. When you think about it lads almost everything we do in life has some calculation involved. What time to get up in the morning? What time to leave the house to get to work on time? Or to get the kids to school on time? And so on and so on.

I suggest you do not think too much about it lads, as you will only exhaust your brains and need to lie down. So just crack on with life lads, but be aware that calculations are lurking everywhere and its only when the calculations go awry that life takes a turn for the worst. Get the calculations correct lads and the world will be truly beautiful for you & yours. Inshallah!

Plastic & rubble

IMG_3625Mar

This weeks pics are mainly from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I am not impressed with the disrespect that many many Saudi give their country. So the photos reflect. They are all shot on residential or commercial area streets. Everyone seems to throw food wrapping or papers out their car windows, or dump their rubbish on any available open space. Construction companies are the worst culprits. I do not know why the authorities do not crack down on such behaviour.

Back to the more traditional HX this week lads (that you all love), after the more photographic efforts of late. Paid extra dollars to the Yankee Website to enable colour and other features, so you will be even more mesmerized in the coming weeks & months.

As usual lads – if you think any friends would enjoy the HX just send on details, and welcome contributions from any & all.

1,000m long x 200m wide open area, filled to capacity by construction waste, dumped illegally to save cost of dumping in registered tip

IMG_3626Mar

 

Onwards:

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HX Music (Dedicated to friend KB, who moved family to Australia last year)

Let there be music lads. Irish icon Christy Moore, from many years back. From 2004 reunion concert I think. Told you previously that I was lucky enough to see a Planxty concert as a young lad. Will always remember. Copied the following from one of the comments on YouTube. The guy is not far wrong.

I’ve seen the Stones,Clapton,Ferry,Elton John, the Police, the Boomtown Rats, Ian Dury, George Michael, Squeeze, Dire Straits, Paul Young, Southside Johnny, Genesis, Neil Finn (Crowded House), the Pogues, the Dubliners, Mary Black, Christy on his own, and many others. But the Planxty concerts, I first saw them in 79 , have a magical, ethereal, almost mystical aspect to them. The only other concerts that have come close, in my experience – but a totally different experience, are Springsteen’s.

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Tyre & rubble – a study
IMG_3628Mar
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Good luck to Crosser RM
Another HX Crosser has moved to Australia. Working in Freemantle as a mine site paramedic. Seems also to like big trucks:
RM down under in Freemantle, Australia – Good luck RM!
RMMar
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Chocolate
Was amazed to see 5 Americano companies in the top 10 of the Chocolate World Cup lads. Had previously thought that the mega greasy burger & extra large fries with super size cola to go, was extent of yankee cuisine. As a dedicated and serious chocoholic I now look on the USA with new respect.
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Coffee mug
IMG_3629Mar
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Mali
The French have sent troops to Mali in recent weeks lads, allegedly to quell troublesome militants and assist the Government. I read today that that are now trying to control the Mali army who executed 30 inhabitants of first city they liberated, on the street, in summary justice style. So all is not well for sure. Some calculations have seemingly gone wrong and the French could have landed themselves in another Vietnam. Remember they started that one lads!
Anyway, Crosser SS is not a fan of the French invasion and blogs himself on the topic. Many like SS (and I do not say I agree with them for Mali seems a complicated situation to put it mildly) are blogging against the infidel/Crusader invasion. They are using past mistakes of France to add to their argument, like the following pic, which is famous shot from the French war in Algeria many moons ago:
From the French/Algeria war
Algeria
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From SS:
……anyway mali will be another iraq or afghanistan. rapists cannot guide the world now the time is changing (refers to current legal case against French man in India)
they took all the african money when they ruled. again when they are on the verge of becoming begger they want to invade for either oil or gold
can you convey this to french …..
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Another piece from conservative Yankee website the Huffington Post refers:
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Open space in front of apartment block
IMG_3630Mar
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UAE Football Team
We won the Cup last week lads and we are over the football moon. The players are also extremely happy and have mega smiles on their faces as the rulers, and the missus of Sheikh Mo in particular give out the goodies (the ‘1st wife’ as she is referred to, as there is another one at least):

Dubai: Shaikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, Wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has donated Dh25 million to the UAE national football team for their achievements.

The sons of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, Shaikh Rashid and Shaikh Saeed, have provided Dh12 million for the team and more donations and rewards are expected, with companies and businessmen coming forward with cash prizes and cars.

Striker Ahmad Khalil has already been given a new Range Rover for scoring the winning goal against Kuwait in the semi-final.

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Coffee & Pepsi to go, with plastic
IMG_3632Mar
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Is winning all that counts?
Great story that I recently came across on Fb and shared:
Is winning all that counts? Are you absolutely sure about that?Very little has been said about this…..On December 2, Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.
Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first. Ivan Fernandez Anaya, a Basque runner of 24 years who is considered an athlete with a big future (champion of Spain of 5,000 meters in promise category two years ago) said after the test:
“But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well.”He said at the beginning: unfortunately, very little has been said of the gesture. And it’s a shame. In my opinion, it would be nice to explain to children, so they do not think that sport is only what they see on TV: violent kicks in abundance, posh statements, fingers in the eyes of the enemy …
Tyre trouble
IMG_3633Mar
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Kissing In Dubai
How many times have I warned you about kissing MB in Dubai ladies? How many times? Indian lad and his babe did not heed my warning. Or maybe it was CPR. Now in jail and will later be deported:

Dubai: A couple have been jailed for one year for kissing in public despite the man claiming he gave his female friend CPR when she suffered an asthma attack.

The 28-year-old Indian man claims he was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when he kissed his asthmatic 25-year-old Filipina girlfriend in a lifeguard tower where an Emirati woman said she saw them cuddling and kissing.

The Dubai Misdemeanour Court convicted the defendants of committing a lewd act in public.

They were also fined Dh1,000 each for consuming alcohol.

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Palm leaves & fruit juice cocktail
IMG_3636Mar
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Louvre Museum & other stuff
Maybe I mentioned this one to you previously lads. UAE will shortly have a Louvre Museum. For 1st 10 years they will have exhibits from the Louvre in France. And gradually build up their own contents:
From the Irish Independent:
And Dubai has 20% of the World’s tallest towers:

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Graffiti & rubbish sculpture

IMG_3637Mar

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Snoring 

23% of Saudi couples are now affected by snoring lads. It’s even affecting our “intimacy“. If any of you can come up with cure I am sure the Rulers will reward you, as well as UAE footballers at least! Ideas please lads:

Manama: Around 23 per cent of couples in Saudi Arabia sleep in separate bedrooms due to the snoring of at least one spouse, a study indicates.

According to the unofficial study, several of the spouses have, however, complained that the issue had affected their intimacy and even their relations with the larger family, local news site Sabq reported on Wednesday.

“I was forced to file for divorce from my husband because of his snoring,” a woman was quoted as saying by Sabq. “My husband refuses to see a doctor because he does not believe he has a problem and attributes his snoring to being exhausted from work. My family has flatly rejected my complaints, arguing that I was interested in trivial and frivolous matters and causing problems and apologised to my husband for thinking about filing for divorce,” she said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/controversy-on-separate-rooms-for-snoring-couples-in-saudi-arabia-1.1129765 utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=&utm_term=%26267545

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Oil drum with bottle

IMG_3638Mar

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Afghanistan

I wish to extend my good wishes  to young (21 year old) Crosser PRO who comes from the HX area at home and who will shortly be stationed in Afghanistan by his British army employers. PRO played football for MB only few short years ago as 14, 15 & 16 year old. Now, in the mere blink of an eye it seems, PRO will enter an altogether different world. I can not help but still think of him as the young smiling kid who played right full for me on the team. I can not think of him as young adult soldier. Make sure you calculate well young PRO. Important.

Recent email from him surprised me I must admit. He and others in his squad were disappointed to miss the February selection and will now await the March posting. I might previously have thought, had I considered it, that any young lad would not look forward to a tour of duty in such a location. The opposite is the case it seems. Strange to my way of thinking, but such is the way of the world.

Stay safe young PRO, respect the locals & their customs, and we are praying for your safe return. Salam.

PRO is now part of a very long line of Afghan history. The rulers and army top brass condition the squaddies to obey the orders, not to question why, but merely do or die. Take a look at one of my favourite pieces of TV ever. A great anti war piece. Sad that the BBC have now cut the final scene where you see the boys getting shot close up. Added greatly to the message. But still very much worth viewing: From Black Adder – Final episode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fssPqRWx9U0

And even Poetry is abused to condition the mind:
 
When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
And go to your God like a soldier…………….Rudyard Kipling (From The Young British Soldier)
 
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Riyadh open space landscaping
IMG_3640Mar
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DH – The Reluctant Emigrant
Thanks to DH for her weekly efforts. Amusing as usual:
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Streetscape
IMG_3663Mar
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Get the calculation correct!
But if you get the calculations correct lads then life can be sweet!
IMG_5315Mar
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HX Photo – From 1939
Need some help from HX based Crossers. Can you please show the below photo to elderly relatives to try to identify any of the men in the photo. They were a digging crew who worked at the Lough Gur lake in 1939. Names if poss to MB. Thanks.
Lough Gur Diggers
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Salam lads
That’s it for another week lads. Stay safe. Calculate well!
MB
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