Tuesday, April 28, 2009


We have a 5-a-side inter-departmental football competition coming up at the end of May. Our Department has signed up for it and I have put my name in the hat for selection. Given that I'm one of the youngest in the Department I'd be fairly confident of making the squad. If not then, lets just say there will be trouble.

A few practice sessions have been arranged also. The first one on a balmy Saturday afternoon. I went down to were it was being held and when I got there, I was ever so slightly scared and frankly, disappointed. The place where we were to play wasn't all lovely green grass. In fact, there was no grass to speak of. Indeed, there wasn't even concrete or anything that you could class as a hard surface to play on. It was basically a beach, enclosed by a perimeter fence with 2 goal frames at either end. Sand. Not hard sand, soft sand. Kids were playing on it before we were and they were in there bare feet. Amongst the sand was stones and the odd bit of glass.

Now call me crazy but I had just thought that there would be semi-decent places to play football here. It never even occurred to me that it would be sand. But then why wouldn't it have been. The whole place is a desert!

Sadly, we played on it. It was awful. Forget trying to play any kind a passing game and forget about running with the ball as all it does is get stuck in the surface and in your feet. It's not fit for the purpose.

The 2nd practice session was arranged for another place. This time, I was hoping that the surface would be slightly better but I knew that would be unlikely. This 2nd place was equally as bad if not worse. Instead of it being completely soft and beach like as the previous place, it was soft in places yet was compacted sand in others. Where the pitch was soft sand, it was lower than the compacted stuff. Again, passing was impossible particularly if you wanted to pass the ball from the soft stuff to the hard stuff or vice versa. Even for someone of as limited ability as I, it was truly awful. Not only that you could run with the ball. In fact, I made the decision to not even go near the soft areas. What would be point? You could do a lot of damage if you were running from hard to soft stuff. In the end, I pretty much gave up.

As much as I enjoying playing football, the crapness of the surfact really does detract from its enjoyment. I can't be bothered with it. I'll go and practice but I know that I'm not giving anything like 100%. Come game day though....

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Panic stations!
Run for the hills!
Stockpile tins and water!
The end of the world is nigh!

So, swine flu.
I'm very concerned.
Not by it but by the coverage of it and the ensuing mass hysteria that it seems to generate.
Of course, I'm upset by the deaths. No question of that.
But if you read the news, then we really are in the s*it. And I'm not convinced we are.

Now, according to the official statistics around 150 people have died from it. Well, if you do simple maths you can work out how much of the worlds population have died. I tell you what, it really isn't a big percentage at all. Yet, that is inversely proportional to the amount of coverage that it seems to be getting.

I'm sure it will all blow over. If it doesn't and it really does become serious then I shall print a full, humble apology unless of course that I have caught it in which case you'll be getting minute-by-minute coverage of it from my isolation unit in the nearby hospital - that's assuming that they have wifi.

Friday, April 24, 2009


And that was the lot of them. 'Them' being all the visitors that have come and gone this month. It started off with the ladies and ended with the folks. I hope they all enjoyed themselves. From my point of view, it was great. I ended up going to places that I hadn't been before which is always a good thing. The Buffet was perhaps one of the highlights though I'm not sure my waistline would necessarily agree with that. Needless to say, May will see a return to the gym in order to burn it all off and get 'healthy' for Summer even though it's summer all the time here.


SO, Obama has released Bush-era memos relating to the use of torture.

I think it's simply confirmation of what we knew all along; that is was widely employed whether in the form of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, standing in a single position for an absurdly long time et al. Regardless of the technique, torture is torture no matter how 'justified' it is. It is never justified however.

Cheney has come out and said to the effect that they did employ torture but then look at the results of it and the information it garnered. He is even urging Obama to release those memo's as well. The chump. So, the ends justified the means did it, you knobhead. Well that makes it all 'alright' then. So if I was to run someone over and kill them but then I saved the planet by eliminating someone that was leaving their apartment lights on at night and therefore stopped the wastage - that's alright and acceptable. Clearly.

Bush and his cronies 'suspended' their involvement in the Geneva convention also. How apt.

The thing is, they were all at it. They all knew what was going on even the 'righteous' DR. Rice as she is now known. From the President to the Secretary of State to the Attorney General. In fact, the Attorney General was asked to find a way of making waterboarding etc legal. Haha. What a joke. Talk about bending the rules to make them fit. What a joke.

It's illegal and no amount of ducking and diving can get round them. The lot of them are essentially war criminals. They knew what was going on, they signed such techniques off and stood back and let them happen. Didn't the Nazi's do something similiar and did the Nuremberg trials happen or was I mistaken? Get the lot of them arreted and extradited to the Hague. Now. There is enough evidence against them.

And while you are at it, 'spare' a thought for our wondereous leaders who where either blissfully aware and therefore incompetant or in the loop and by definition complicit in it. Yes, that's you ex PM and you current PM. Which is it? Incompentant or complicit? Let the jury decide.

And let's not get involved in all this diplomatic immunity nonsense. Arrest them. Nothing will happen though and little Bushy boy can continue doing what priviledged knobheads like him do all day long.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


An update, they cried!

Mr. pf is no longer on holiday.

The trip to San Fran didn't exactly start all that well and that was mostly to do with the company I work for - trust them to sabotage things. Actually, it was the seating arrangements on my 16 hour flight that caused concern. The last row on the plane. Not only the last row, but not even a window or an aisle seat. A middle seat. Let's just say, I was not impressed. The flight though was largely uneventful. I do dislike people standing around next to emergency exits however. It makes me nervous.

My first day and a half in San Fran were good. The sun was out, the skies were blue and the air clear unlike a certain Dubai. I mostly spent the time walking around and taking pictures. I say 'walking around' but what I meant was 'struggling to get up stupidly steep streets'. Whose idea was it to build a city on the side of a bloody mountain?!

The remainder of the time in San Fran was fantastic. That may have had something to do with the company. We visited the Modern Art museum which was something of a let down in all honesty, though they did have a couple of Freda Kalho's, the Elizabeth Taylor Warhol and the 'Love' original that Rage against the Machine bastardised for their album cover. Not that I'm criticising them for doing it; I actually like what they did.

The next day saw us off to Alcatraz. I think I had mixed feelings over going there. I mean, it's a prison and not some disney-esque attraction. It was good to get an insight into how tough it must have been to live there particularly if the fog came down. The cells were something of a shock. No doors, only bars. No privacy of note. It was though worthwhile to visit. A trip to Coit Tower was next, followed by China Town and a trip on a cable car! In the evening we got all dressed up and went to see Wicked. Really enjoyed it!

And then the real reason for going - to 'taste' wine. Or should that be to scoff as much free wine as possible?! We went up to Napa Valley and visited a number of wineries. The first was owned by Chandon. They essentially produce Champagne but clearly its not called that. We had 4 tastings there. 4 'champagnes' by 10.30am. I could certainly feel them that's for sure. I found it surprising that I could actually taste the difference between them. I need more practice however. The second winery was arguably the best in terms of tasting. 6 different wines were sampled and again, it is surprising that each had a very distinctive taste. Some I liked, some though were ot to my liking. The 3rd winery was nice - wine and popcorn - classy! And the final one was the Andretti winery - yeah, the bloke that drove Formula 1! Again, some nice wines from there. All followed up by a trip on a ferry back to San Fran. It was such a good day out. Highly recommended but you can take your own company because you ain't taking mine!

The final day. Hmm. Let's just say I didn't really want to come back to Dubai. The flight was a bit of a blur with trying to recount every single minute of the trip. Needless to say, my camera was on hand also. Somehow I managed to not watch any movies for the entire 15 hours back. Madness.

Wonderful though.