Friday, October 30, 2009


I have this USB stick which I keep a host of stuff on. Technically, it should be all be work related as work were so very kind to provide it. In reality, it does have some work related stuff on it but it also has a chunk of other stuff on it like movies, music and photos. The usual. There is definitely not anything dodgy or bad.

The USB has a capacity of 8GB. Big enough. I tried to save a couple of things to it but found that it was full which was disappointing. I decided to try and make space on it as I've just been adding and adding to it without really thinking too much about the size. I did that and took about a GB off; more than enough space for what I needed.

I then go to put the stuff I really wanted onto it but again I found that I couldn't. The new files weren't that big and there appeared no reason why they shouldn't go on. I checked the properties to find that it was still full. How come? I'd just deleted 1 GB from it. It couldn't be full. No way. I checked the files that were on it. They all opened fine without busting my computer.

Depressed, I have come to the conclusion that this USB is done. Time for a new one. The stuff that is on it had better be OK otherwise there will be trouble. It just goes to show how dependent we are on these kinds of things. It's a bit of a wake up call to be perfectly honest. I guess music and movies can be replaced. Photos though can't and that's a problem.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


There are some weeks that you simply will to finish. The hours, and minutes until you can go home and not think about work for 2 whole days. This was the week that was. It was horrible. The previous week was relatively horrible as well.

Too much to do. Not enough time. Not enough willpower. Too much to think about. Not enough sleep. Not enough energy.

'All' I was doing was Testing. In the morning, in the afternoon. Giving the same test to blokes. Mostly Indian and Pakistani blokes with 'taches. I've nothing against 'taches per se but it's not what I want to see on a daily basis. Seemingly in those countries it's a sign of manliness. It's their culture and who am I to knock it. I just give the tests. And mark them. And get fairly bored and depressed by having to sit through them and also by having to go and find them and bring them to the classroom as they mostly seem incapable of finding the classroom that I use.

I should fail them simply not not finding the classroom. That though, would be unprofessional. Honest.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Finally, my Christmas holidays have been confirmed. Quality. The 'beauty' of the job I have means that I'm not bound by term dates and I can essentially take holidays as and when I like, within reason. I tend to take a week here and there and that has mostly been the case since I came to Dubai. It just breaks the year up having a week to look forward to every 2 or 3 months, rather than waiting 5 or 6 months for something longer than a week. It's all a far cry from those Korean days of 2 weeks a year. Total. One week in the summer and one week in the winter. How on earth did I manage with that? Then on the flip side, teaching at University allowed essentially 2 months off in the winter and a similar amount off in the summer. Excessive, it could be argued. It was nice initially but with most other people not being off, it become a bit dull.

Back to the present however. Christmas holidays will be starting prompting at 3.30pm on Sunday 20th December when I clock out of the office. I will fly back to Scotland the following morning. I then return to Dubai on Monday 4th Jan. and go back to the office the following morning. When I say 'morning', I mean about 6 hours after I land; I get in around midnight and back to the airport, to the office for 7am. Ouch. I suspect that day might be a bit of a 'hide behind the desk, clearing my E-mails kind of day'. I'm a man. I can cope with it. Maybe so but a lot of whether or not I can cope with it will depend on the class of seat I'm in on my way back. The ticket I've got is my annual ticket which the company gives me each year. I don't pay for it but it allows me to fly Business if room is available. If not, it's turn right as you enter the plane. Hmm.

Note to self: Get a winter jacket, gloves and scarf.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So much for my 'threat' to get to 1000 posts by the turn of the new decade. I have my doubts that it will happen. Perhaps that is a 'good' thing?!

I guess it's a combination of being really busy with work and consequently not having the energy or desire to say a whole lot. I could say a lot about work being busy and that I would like to get out on time for once but that wouldn't be what the public want to hear. Like they want to hear anything.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Double sessions of giving people English tests is not my idea of 'teaching heaven'. It is necessary and I accept that but there is only so much you can take. And 2 sessions daily. Ugh. Not only that but the people scheduled to turn up do not turn up. I can't be bothered with all that in the slightest. Why should I go to all the trouble of organising 'stuff' only for these blokes to not bother coming. It does my nut. It's not as if I have nothing better to do with my time. 4 more days of it to go.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Sometimes there are days in which you just want to switch everything off and hide under the duvet and not come out until the following week. Today is one such day. A busy working week ahead sadly. I wish I could wake up in November.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Had the boys from the office round at the apartment. We often meet at my place every few months or so. They are all married and tend not to get out that much. They all seem to enjoy themselves which is the main thing. We always cook something up as well. This time, we cooked up sausages for starters, then we had some fantastic Indian style soup, then spicy chicken with intermittent booze in the form of beer, vodka and other 'stuff'. The beauty of it is that come midnight, they all have to go home to their wives and before they do we all have a big clean up and take the rubbish out. It's fantastic. I might do it more often just so the apartment gets cleaned more often!

I suspect that will be the last time I have them over this year. In the meantime, I'll have to restock the alcohol as we can't buy it here. Instead, I tend to stop off at duty free when I return from my travels. It's an ideal but it's the only thing I can do - that or apply for a liquor licence in order to buy beer at one of the 3 or so outlets that sell it in Dubai. In any case, I tend not to drink in the house anyway. Only when I'm out. I'd rather have a coffee or something in the house. Good god, middle agedness has kicked in.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Another European 'adventure' and another kick in at the hands of a, eh, famous Romanian team that isn't the other 'famous' Romanian team that I can't quite remember.

Yes, it's another exciting edition of 'let's see another Scottish football team get humbled in Europe by an unknown'.

Rangers 1-Random Team 4.

It really isn't looking good at all. If Scottish teams continue down this path there will be no Champions League places up for grabs soon. It's depressing. Celtic have Hamburg on Thursday. Another defeat would be unacceptable.

It could be worse however. We could be Liverpool. Watch out for flying beach balls.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I had set up a meeting at work with a couple of people from Recruitment. The reason for the meeting was that I need to give them a standardised English Language Test that they can use when screening potential new recruits. Often the potential new recruits are not native English speakers. We can't just hire someone who has no English as everything is in English in Aviation. I'd say, in the past there has been a number of examples of new recruits having poor English which is certainly a problem that we are left to deal with after the event.

If we can screen the potential new recruits we can be relatively confident that their English will be OK.

I was due to meet an HR co-ordinator, her Boss and my Boss was also due to attend. All of them had accepted the invite - those of you who know Outlook will know how to do this!

My Boss and I went and were sitting waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Neither of the other 2 arrived. No messages from them and their phones went unanswered. I was not impressed at all. I looked like it knobhead and my Boss not best pleased. Seemingly this is not an 'unusual' occurrence however. The people I'm now dealing with are known to be, how can I put it, inconsistent shall we say, particularly the HR Boss who it is alleged does what she wants and will only take 'suggestions' from her VP.

Perhaps I have a rose-tinged view of how things 'work' and ideals but there have been a number of incidents in which it's been shown that people just don't give a damn about things. I could understand somewhat if it was people at the bottom but quite clearly it's people who are in relatively senior positions. I really do question the point in it all. What is the point of working your ass off and making sure your area is functioning properly when you come across people who just aren't pulling there weight yet are pulling in a small fortune as a salary. I find it all highly unpalatable. Perhaps culture plays a part but I don't necessarily see why that should 'account' for anything. It's a very demotivating state of affairs.

Monday, October 19, 2009


And that was the visit. A week that went super duper fast. Much faster than any normal week. /sigh/.

photos are here

At least I think the photos are there.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Sunday 18th October.
Visit over.
Drop at the Airport.
Have coffee.
Walk to the gate.
That's all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Next VII

Saturday 17th October.
Early start.
Wild Wadi.
Big water slide.
Irish Village for dinner.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Next VI

Friday 16th October.
Pool and sunbathing.
City Centre.
Get ready.
Left Bank for Cocktails.
Media Rotana for buffet.
Home late.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Next V

Thursday 15th October.
Pool /for some/. Drive to collect paintings /for others/.
Desert Tour.
Belly dancing.
Dinner /massive/.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Next IV

Wednesday 14th October.
Heritage Village.
JamJar for painting.
Irish Village.
Movies - The Ugly Truth - very funny but crude.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Next III

Tuesday 13th October.
Jumeira Mosque.
Jumeira Beach Park.
Festival City.
Irish Village.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Next II

Monday 12th October.
Dubai Mall.
Madinat Jumeira.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Next I

Sunday 11th October.
Swimming pool and sunbathing.
Trip to the Gold Souk in Deira.
Quite hot.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Saturday 10th of October.
Pick up at the Airport.
Drive home.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


To badly paraphrase George Orwell - everybody is equal but some are more equal than others. It is certainly the case the world over. There can be no disputing that. That is why a revolution is needed but that is an entirely different posting.

I read incredulously that the Italian PM Berlusconi and his lawyers are trying to suggest that as PM, he is not equal to everybody, rather that he is above everyone; so much so that he should be immune to criminal proceedings regardless of the apparent crime commented. That was their whole defence. That he is above everyone else. Imagine you or I went to the highest court of law and said that you or I were above everyone. We'd get slapped down or worse!

Granted, it's a different country and a different culture and it would be wrong of me to castigate a sovereign nation but I am making an exception. The cheek of him. He is not above everyone else. He's a knobhead who thinks he can get anything he wants. He's no statesman. He's only interested in himself. Money, power, woman /young/. He thinks he's a new age caesar. He is a criminal. There, said it. If you are reading and want to sue then go ahead but remember that I am more equal than most.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


That last posting has scared me. Not so much the fact that I might or might not get to the 1000 post mark but the fact that in 80 odd days, the 00's will be up. Just like that. The 00's started with me being ill as anything, hardly able to get out my bed which was something of an inconvenience given that a. it was New Year and every single computer and digital system was going to crash rendering the entire world helpless and b. that I was due to leave Scotland in early January to travel around the potentially helpless world.

I digress. The 10's actually scare me. The 00's were the years of boldness and carefree abandon. Relatively speaking of course. The big reason why I'm scared of the 10's is that I could do without the 10's actually ending. I never what the clock or time to get anywhere near '19. What am I saying, I don't ever want the clock or time to get to '15. That would see me approving 40 and, frankly, I just don't want to deal with that at all. I'm content being this age. It's fine. Anything more would be too much to bear. The worst part is the notion that I would be 'half way'. Oh dear. I'm terrifying myself even further. OK, i'll just bury my head in the proverbial sand and hope it goes away. That would be the best option. For now.

Monday, October 05, 2009


913 posts in total since it's conception.
1000 posts by the end of the year?
87 more in how many days?
Think I might just be short?!

Sunday, October 04, 2009


I thought I was quite a calm person. I tended not to get too upset or bothered about stuff and never really had the urge to lose my temper. I didn't really see the point.

I do wonder if that has all changed though?

I was quite surprised with myself when I tried to look over the past month and see if that 'theory' had some evidence to back it up. There have been instances where I have been bothered by 'stuff'. I have not been clam and I have come /relatively/ close to losing my temper. It seems to happen with shocking regularity.

The first incident must have been the seat changing thing when I flew home and the ensuing kerfuffle that lead to the VP 'intimidating and bullying' tactics. I was raging, that's for sure. I wonder if that was more to do with the fact that I had 6 hours on the plane to ponder it which invariably made things worse.

I appear to get frustrated by other drivers. I don't let them in or anything now. I go slow just to annoy others when they get right up behind me. In fairness, I was warned that driving in Dubai would turn me in to 'an a*sehole' and that has partially happened. It's nothing to be proud of.

And just last week whilst playing football I nearly had a mini-fight. Not a real one, but I did mouth off. The ball was passed to an opposition player. I was perhaps a metre away from him. He stopped the ball so I went towards him in order to get the ball. Before I got near him, he had fallen over the ball. The ball was therefore free so I got it and ran off, only to get called back. Seemingly I had tackled this guy and fouled him. At least, that's why the game had been stopped. I actually shouted that I had not touched him and that he fell over the ball. I even pointed at the guy who fell and told him he was a cheat. I was asked to calm down. What the hell!

Then just yesterday some policeman at work - we have to pass through an X-Ray machine to get in to work - commented on the fact that my ID card was pinned onto my trouser pocket. He was suggesting that it should be pinned onto my shirt. I pointed out that I did not have a shirt pocket on which to pin it. He said it was 'my mistake'. Eh, what? My mistake? What, for stupidly buying a shirt that didn't have a pocket on which to pin my ID card? Strangely, when buying the shirt I did not think 'oh, I can't get that because some bored policeman might stop me and question it'. I don't think it was a mistake. I liked the shirt, that's why I got it. Simple. I told him that it was a question of style and walked off.

Now, I could put all this down to me being short tempered, or the summer heat taking it's toll /it still is 37C!/ and I should try to counter that. But, other people annoy me - their stupidness!

I should just bite my lip and not say or do anything. That would be the sensible and in all likelihood save me from getting whacked. But sometimes you have to say something just for peace of mind or indeed get a sly dig in to make you feel as if you've 'won'.

Must shut up. Must shut up. Must shut up. Repeat.


I may have mentioned that I'm getting a very, very special guest coming to visit Dubai next week. I'm very excited about it and I fully expect it to be a wonderful week filled with fun, laughter, booze and perhaps a certain amount of sunburn. To be expected.

In preparation for this, I've taken it upon myself to sort my room out. I've got clothes, for example, that I brought with me to Dubai yet have never worn. I have other 'things' that are just taking up space, just in case I might need them at some random time in the future. All, have now gone.

I daresay other things might be getting thrown out in the next week but it's all for the greater good, indeed, it's definitely been a good exercise just throwing stuff out. A spring clean in October if you like. I should do it more often.

An update on the guest and what happens may or may not occur in due course.

Friday, October 02, 2009


I can't be doing with it. Not early in the morning. In fact, I might just extend that to 'before 12'. I'd further modify that to say 'on weekends'.

I'm not a complicated person. I quite like the simplish things in life. A long lie on the first day of the weekend is one of life's little luxuries as far as I'm concern. This is set against a backdrop of starting work at 7am each morning thus requiring me to up and around at 5.30am. Even just a long lie to 9am is bliss. If 'noise' gets in the way of that, it wakes me up and if it continues, gives me a dull, throbbing headache. I feel groggy with it as well. I hate that. It just doesn't bode well for the day ahead. I like to sleep or at the very least, stay in bed until I want to get up. In my own time and on my own terms.

I don't turn the TV on in the morning. I really play music in the morning. I just like ambient noise. From outside or whatever.

That's all I really would like.