Life with the Big Blue

Monday, August 29, 2005

Busy Busy Busy!

Hi Everyone.........no time to "filosofize"......elaikum tafa9eel alnashrah......

  • As for Oman........it's GREAT......wait for my proof-read posts with photos about the experience.

  • Al-Rasmi Dray7im and Al-Shayeb Abu-Dhbaiban (aka Monkey the Lizard) just came back from Beirut, where they spent their annual vacation. Abu-dhbaiban was probably looking for a second wife already :-p.





  • Krayyim the Benakhi has been enjoying the food (but probably nothing else) in his french crew of ARGAS in the wonderful fields of Khurais. The company was generous enough to employ both a lebanese and french chef as part of the exploration crew. The best from two sides of the world!
  • I came accross Aziz Al-Naim's article about marriage in our society, titled "Clanilism & CO". I've always liked Aziz's writings, especially about $$ and analysis of phenomena in Saudi society. I hope you guys enjoy your road trip in the States.



  • As you could see, I've been procrastinating by browsing other people's sites. Remember final exams week? I'm going through the same type of stress, sleepless nights and procrastination habits these days!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

London Layover

London.....It feels like the capital of the world. As a "Visit Britian" brochure put it: "London: a Thing for Everyone!". I agree, as it is hard to find a person regradless of gender, relegion, race, or language that does not find London appealing in one way or another.

Arab tourists are still abundandt, although I have expected their numbers to sharply decline after the London bombings, but it seems like nothing could keep these people from spending lavishly on annual purchases from Oxford St. and and bastardized, overpriced Middle Eastern food from Edgware St. restaurants. I could understand people staying in London for a few weeks, visiting museums and doing some shopping here and there. But what fun could you get out of doing the SAME things every single day in such a depressingly cloudy metropolis! Gulf Arab tourists here belong to different age groups, but the ones that stick out the most are seasoned shopping ladies who find refreshment is emptying fat wallets and wealthy middle-aged, sexually deprived, irresponsibly-drinking men roaming the streets.

I was lucky to have my one-day layover in London on a Sunday, it was speaker's corner day in Hyde Park. Time to watch clowns from all over the arab world mocking each other's countries! There were also various religious and political debates but the bulk of them had something to do with Arabs or Islam. The Iraqi debates were, by far, the most interesting and civilized ones!


Iraqis Debating @ Hyde Park. I was so busy trying to film this scene that I forgot to take a decent photo of it.

The best part about Landing on Sunday, however, was that Mohammed R. had the day off (the twins' brother, aka Dallal Al-Begar or Al-Muqni3 or Ba33a9 Al-Ajwa2). Sultan S. (aka Qethran al-6amL or da PIMP) was also there chillin' with his "Aramco camp hommies".

The bus crew in Hyde Park (www.Tharafah.com)










Had to go through this station twice in less than 24 hours.



Very convenient!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bush International Airport (Houston)


  • I will be in 4 countries in less than 48 hours. USA, UK, Bahrain, and Oman. A 24-hour layover in London will be hopefully be refreshing.

  • I am yet to exprience real oilfield work. The last 2 weeks have been so good I could hardly call them work! I don't think three weeks in the Omani desert will feel the same, though.

  • British Airways is having issues with its catering company in London. It might even qualify as a strike. Passengers flying in or out of London-Heathrow were given meal vouchers since there are no meals onborad the jets. A good deal unless you consider airplane food worth more than $20?

Friday, August 19, 2005

"The Silence The Precedes the Storm"

Here I am in my hotel room, after more than 10 hours of sleep, waiting for my career destiny to uncover. I have so many things I need to do, yet feel like doing nothing. I'm in one of those moods where I just want to sit there and wait for natural deadline pressure to kick in. Check out the map shown below indicating the places I plan to visit in the near future.



Thursday, August 18, 2005

Snapshots from Kellyville Driving School




Ta7fee6 Sessions on the "Skid Pads". Water is sprinkled on the jennite-coated asphalt pad to simulate black ice. The purpose of this exercise is to teach us how to deal with locked wheels (car moving but wheels not rotating). A student is shown the difference between rear-wheel and front-wheel locks. Usually the locked wheels will tend to lead, which means rear-wheel locks will involve spinning and front wheel locks will not. One of the most fun "learning" experience I've ever had! (email me if you want to receive a video clip of the cars actually spinning)

A few Crown Vics lined up, waiting to be abused by students enjoying the skid pad.


A view of the vans we used for our "commentary drives" on the streets of Oklahoma. Commentary drives consist of driving while commenting on every single incident that happens on the road. Very distracting and pointless IMHO.





The great SkidSim truck. In this monster, a driving instructor gets to test your skid control abilities (AGAIN) by controlling the rear wheels of the pick up with a joystick! Muy cool!







SkidSim from Inside. I was taking the picture while another guy almost ran us down a hill while taking the test. YEL3AN UMM EL3'ASHAAMAH YA 7OSAM!

A wireline logging truck from behind.


A wireline truck in the horizon. I'll be spending most of my time in these babies!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Taf7ee6 Training

I'm loving this! We're spending about 3 hours learning how to deal with different skidding scenareos on a "skid-pad", which is basically asphalt coated with a substance called "genite" that simulates black ice when it's wet (up to 80% simulation accuracy).
Again, YEL3AN UMM ELFALLAH YA 7OSAM! 8-)

More updates later