The Disappearing Chivalrous Man

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

During my formative years, my parents instilled in me a sense of chivalry – a respect, courtesy and generosity towards the opposite sex. There were just certain ways to treat a lady, not through a sense of superiority, but through a sense of respect and caring.

As I observe the behavior of people these days, however, I've come to realize one of two things: either we've become desensitized to such acts of chivalry or not all of us were brought up with such ideals. Why else would I receive funny looks from both men and women when I hold the door open for a lady?

A recent article in The Jordan Times stated that a 35-year-old man was recently acquitted of murdering his wife. Apparently the couple had a domestic dispute which led to violence and—according to the court—the suicide of the woman who chose to throw herself out of the bedroom window.

The following statement in the article completely shocked me:
"The victim had an argument with her husband and he beat her up, which is something normal between married people and part of known marital problems," the court ruled. (Emphasis added.)
Does that statement sound completely absurd to anyone else? I can't imagine that there is ever a moment where such a concept is justified. I shudder to think that our society considers acts of domestic violence as part of a "normal", healthy relationship.

Single ladies, I implore you: don't settle for a man who doesn't respect you. If he treats you like a second-class citizen, that's a clear sign that you should be searching for another guy. No amount of money or roses in the world is worth putting up with disrespect and abuse. There are plenty of men in this world that know how to treat a lady, so go find one.

Source: The Jordan Times, May 19, 2007

Litterbugs Will Be Prosecuted

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The following excerpts are from an interesting article in this month's JO magazine:
Beginning this January, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) spent JD173,000 to place 16 cameras on police cares all over the capital, in order to catch garbage-tossers in the act. Litterers who are caught on camera get handed a JD10-20 fine, which the municipality hopes to increase in the future.

A shocking 1,200 littering tickets were given out in March along. "Littering violations now make up 13 percent of all tickets written," says Engineer Ahmad Khawaideh, Head of Traffic Regulations at the Greater Amman Municipality. And that's only from 16 cameras!

GAM did not expect such an immense number of violations, Khawaideh said; they expected up to 10 tickets per day, per camera. But each camera is recording up to 100 traffic incidents daily, about 13 of which are environmental incidents – highlighting the necessity of stressing to the public the problem of littering, but also causing manpower strain on the GAM.

"Littering has become an immense burden on the country, and that is not only due to environmental issues at stake, but aesthetic and safety concerns as well," says Khawaideh. "Once someone breaks the habit of tossing trash out the window, they will not only help in keeping the country clean and environmentally friendly, but also save the life of a municipality worker." Many municipality workers have been struck and killed by vehicles while trying to clean the main streets of Amman, he adds.

"People tend to think that our goal is giving out tickets," Khawaideh says. "In fact, our goal is to have a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly country."
Read the full article in the May 2007 edition of JO magazine.

Atmospheric Anomaly

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What is this strange moister falling from the Jordanian sky in mid-May? Is the world coming to an end?

Picture Framing Help

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Picture framing
I am interested in getting some pictures framed and I need some recommendations on the best place to do it.

Basically I'm looking for a shop that has simple, yet stylish frames. I'm not looking for anything flashy, painted, gilded or sculpted. I'm looking for a stained natural wood, similar to the one in this photo.

I also need a shop that has a decent variety of matte colors and who can pull off a decent double or triple matte.

I have about a dozen photos that need framing. Most will be framed individually, but some will be framed in triptych style like the image above.

So, any recommendations?

Free Speech Has Its Lips Stapled Shut

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Amman prosecutor on Sunday rejected a bail request for former MP Ahmad Oweidi Abbadi, who was detained last week on charges of slander, undermining the country's reputation, and violating laws governing e-mail practices, his lawyer said.

Last Thursday, Amman Prosecutor Saber Rawashdeh ordered Abbadi's detention for 15 dyas at the Jweideh Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre pending further investigation, following a complaint filed by Interior Minister Eid Fayez, a judicial source told The Jordan Times.

Abbadi's arrest was made in connection with statements he published on the Internet criticizing Jordan and its officials, including the interior minister, a judicial source told The Jordan Times. He did not elaborate.

The statement at the center of the controversy involves an open letter in English addressed to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which was posted on the [Jordan National Movement] website. Abbadi is the group's chairman.

The letter, dated April 30, accuses top government officials of corruption and claims the country is suffering a setback in democratic freedoms, particularly freedom of the press and the "abuse of detainees."

It also blamed corruption for "setting back the state of affairs in the country's social, educational and health institutions."

This article disturbs me. How do we expect to combat government corruption when anyone who speaks out can be arrested as a slanderous underminer? And what is up with the idea of "laws governing e-mail practices"?

What better way to prove that the country is pro-freedom of speech than by locking up someone who claims otherwise.

Source: The Jordan Times, May 7, 2007

The Ten Commandments of Mobile Phone Etiquette

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

1. Thou shalt not subject defenseless others to cell phone conversations. When people cannot escape the banality of your conversation, such as on the bus, in a cab, on a grounded airplane, or at the dinner table, you should spare them. People around you should have the option of not listening. If they don't, you shouldn't be babbling.

2. Thou shalt not set thy ringer to play La Cucaracha every time thy phone rings. Or Beethoven's Fifth, or the Bee Gees, or any other annoying melody. Is it not enough that phones go off every other second? Now we have to listen to synthesized nonsense?

3. Thou shalt turn thy cell phone off during public performances. I'm not even sure this one needs to be said, but given the repeated violations of this heretofore unwritten law, I felt compelled to include it.

4. Thou shalt not wear more than two wireless devices on thy belt. This hasn't become a big problem yet. But with plenty of techno-jockeys sporting pagers and phones, Batman-esque utility belts are sure to follow. Let's nip this one in the bud.

5. Thou shalt not dial while driving. In all seriousness, this madness has to stop. There are enough people in the world who have problems mastering vehicles and phones individually. Put them together and we have a serious health hazard on our hands.

6. Thou shalt not wear thy earpiece when thou art not on thy phone. This is not unlike being on the phone and carrying on another conversation with someone who is physically in your presence. No one knows if you are here or there. Very disturbing.

7. Thou shalt not speak louder on thy cell phone than thou would on any other phone. These things have incredibly sensitive microphones, and it's gotten to the point where I can tell if someone is calling me from a cell because of the way they are talking, not how it sounds. If your signal cuts out, speaking louder won't help, unless the person is actually within earshot.

8. Thou shalt not grow too attached to thy cell phone. For obvious reasons, a dependency on constant communication is not healthy. At work, go nuts. At home, give it a rest.

9. Thou shalt not attempt to impress with thy cell phone. Not only is using a cell phone no longer impressive in any way (unless it's one of those really cool new phones with the space age design), when it is used for that reason, said user can be immediately identified as a neophyte and a poseur.

10. Thou shalt not slam thy cell phone down on a restaurant table just in case it rings. This is not the Old West, and you are not a gunslinger sitting down to a game of poker in the saloon. Could you please be a little less conspicuous? If it rings, you'll hear it just as well if it's in your coat pocket or clipped on your belt.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Source: InfoWorld

Are You Living Shabab?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Arab Bank's extensive, new advertising campaign has been outfitted to appeal to today's youth. The controversial gradient-ized circle has been "roughed up" a bit and altered to portray a distressed, graffiti-style that is aimed at drawing younger generations into Arab Bank's host of services.

The new program, originally titled "Shabab" [sic], features young people of all ethnicities (read stock photo models) in the prime of life enjoying themselves and, for whatever reason, overwhelmingly happy. I guess you're supposed to assume that transacting with Arab Bank results in jubilation and bliss.

A recent full-page advertisement in The Jordan Times proclaims, "Are you living Shabab? Youth is a wondrous time. Live it up! Arab Bank's Shabab program provides you with numerous products and services to enjoy your youth today."

Translation: Come on down and, despite the fact that you have no credit whatsoever, we'll be glad to give you a loan that will guarantee your indebtedness to us until you're old and wrinkly.

More Than You Want to Know About the American

A space filler/time waster that I nipped from Roba's blog. Unlike Roba, I answered all the questions.

1. How old will you be in five years?
36. In other words, crawling up the old fart ladder.

2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?
It's only 8:20 AM! I haven't spent two hours with anyone yet.

3. How tall are you?
5'11" or 180 cm.

4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
A two-week trip to the States.

5. What's the last movie you saw?
Spider-man 3.

6. Who was the last person you called?
My friend, Tareq.

7. Who was the last person to call you?
My wife.

8. What was the last text message you received?
I don't save my text messages and I can't remember.

9. Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail?
I don't have voicemail. I hate being that "in touch".

10. Do you prefer to call or text?
Call. Texting takes too much time.

11. What were you doing at _AM last night?
The question is unclear. If anything happens in the AM, it's morning time, not night time. But perhaps sleeping?

12. Are your parents married/separated/divorced?

13. When is the last time you saw your mom?
A year ago in England.

14. What color are your eyes?
Blue. Green. It depends on the color of shirt I'm wearing.

15. What time did you wake up today?

16. What are you wearing right now?
Jeans. Blue and green striped shirt. Why am I even answering this question?

17. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I'm not sure. I like quite a few.

18. Where is your favorite place to be?
Varies depending on my mood.

19. Where is your least favorite place to be?
Prison, I guess? I don't know; I've never been there.

20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
Someplace in the World where I've never been before.

21. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?
I don't presume to plan that far ahead.

22. Do you tan or burn?

23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
Witches hiding under the bed. With long arms. I used to sleep in the exact center of my bed. When I had to use the bathroom, I would run and jump as far away from the bed as possible. The witches had a limited reach, of course.

24. What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
You don't want to know.

25. How many TVs do you have in your house?
My house here or in the States? One and two, respectively.

26. How big is your bed?
King size.

27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer?

28. Do you sleep with or without clothes on?
What kind of question is that, ya pervert?

29. What color are your sheets?

30. How many pillows do you sleep with?

31. What is your favorite season?
Spring. (I don't have allergies; otherwise I might like Summer better.)

32. What do you like about Fall?
Crisp coolness in the air. Changing leaves.

33. What do you like about Winter?
Christmas. The excuse to wear Columbia fleeces nearly all the time. (Is fleeces the plural of fleece?)

34. What do you like about the Summer?
Answers vary depending on whether I'm sitting on an Aruba beach or not.

35. What do you like about Spring?
Cool weather, greenery, flowers, clear skies.

36. How many states/provinces have you lived in?

37. What cities/towns have you lived in?
Anaheim, Enumclaw, Anaheim, Rocky Mount, Richmond and Amman (in chronological order).

38. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?
Depends on the weather.

39. Are you a social person?
I like to think so.

40. What was the last thing you ate?
Cheerios, but only because that was the only cereal I had in the house.

41. What is your favorite restaurant?
Any decent Mexican restaurant.

42. What is your favorite ice cream?
I am not a discriminator of ice cream. I like all kinds except coffee flavor.

43. What is your favorite dessert?
Apple pie. Cheesecake. Ice cream. The list goes on...

44. What is your favorite kind of soup?

45. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich?

46. Do you like Chinese food?

47. Do you like coffee?

48. How many glasses of water, a day, do you drink on average?
Maybe one or two, but I drink a lot of fruit juice.

49. What do you drink in the morning?

50. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
Right side.

51. Do you know how to play poker?
To a degree.

52. Do you like to cuddle?
What the heck?

53. Have you ever been to Canada?

54. Do you have an addictive personality?
Why don't you ask someone who knows me?

55. Do you eat out or at home more often?
At home.

56. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you?
George Strait (1952, country singer), Reggie Jackson (1946, baseballer), Pope John Paul II (1920, 264th pope of the Roman Catholic Church), Perry Como (1912, singer), Bertrand Russell (1872, philospher). I had to look those up.

57. Do you want kids?
I already have two. That's enough.

58. Do you speak any other languages?
Besides English? A modicum of Arabic, some Spanish, some Turkish.

59. Have you ever gotten stitches?

60. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?

61. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?
Depends on the ocean...or pool, for that matter.

62. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat?

63. Do you know how to drive stick?
Yes, both on the right and left side of a car.

64. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?

65. Do you wear any jewelery?
A wedding band.

66. What is your favorite TV show?
Heroes in the drama category, and a tie between The Office and 30 Rock in the comedy category.

67. Can you roll your tongue?

68. Who is the funniest person you know?
Chris White. You don't know him.

69. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
See the age question (#1) and take a wild guess.

70. What is the main ring tone on your phone?
It's called "Melody", but it's the only one that sounds like an actual phone ring.

71. Do you still have clothes from when you were little?

72. What red object is closest to you right now?
A red postcard with David Hasselhoff on it. (Don't ask; I plan to blog about it soon.)

73. Do you turn off the water while you brush your teeth?

74. Do you sleep with your closet door open or closed?

75. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
Bear. I think I could woo it into submission. ;)

76. Do you flirt a lot?
No, but I try to be interactive, if that makes any sense.

77. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Ketchup. Barbecue sauce. All of the above.

78. What is your favorite food?

79. Can you change the oil on a car?
Yes, but it's a huge hassle, so I'd rather take it to a garage.

80. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?

81. Have you ever run out of gas?
Yes, but only because the crappy car rental places in Jordan give you a car with zero gas in the tank.

82. What is your usual bedtime?
Between 10 PM and 12 AM, roughly.

83. What was the last book you read?
The Fellowship of the Ring, by Tolkien.

84. Do you read the newspaper?
Yes, The Jordan Times.

85. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Yes, but mostly graphic design publications.

86. Do you watch soap operas?
Heck no.

87. Do you dance in the car?
Is that possible? I would think that the most one could do is kind of jiggle around. But no, I don't.

88. Who is in the picture frame closest to you?
My sister and brother-in-law.

89. What was the last note you scribbled on a piece of paper?
Notes for a trip to Tunisia and Algeria.

90. What is your favorite candle scent?
Depends on the season, I guess.

91. What is your favorite board game?
Trivial Pursuit. Or Monopoly. Or Risk.

92. When was the last time you attended church?

93. Who was your favorite teacher in high school?
Dr. Ankers.

94. What is the longest you have ever camped out in a tent?
A week.

95. Who was the last person to do something extra special for you?
My daughter made dinner and baked cookies for me yesterday.

School of Lover Boys

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Lesson 1: How to pick up chicks

When driving past good-looking, single women, honk your horn several times and make wolf calls.

Gets 'em every time.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

You ever have one of those moments when you're so thirsty that you chug down a drink so quickly only to find that you really didn't taste anything until the liquid is disappearing down your throat? Yeah, that just happened to me.

I'll have to remember that trick if I ever end up on Survivor and am forced to drink something gross.

Do Drivers In Jordan Know...?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

...that, when traveling from 5th Circle towards Shmesani, you can take the specially formulated tunnel under 4th Circle instead of clogging up traffic on top?

Harry Potter

(Right-click and "View Image" for the full size.)

Harry Potter: College-Age Frat Boy

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Another movie in the popular Harry Potter line, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is getting ready to be released in July. I ran across the following picture of Daniel Radcliff, the kid young man who plays Potter, online and I thought to myself, "Dang, that kid's getting old. How far are they going to go with this?"

After all, Radcliff is already 18-years-old, which I guess is technically the age limit for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But come on, the kid started as Potter when he was 12! Isn't the character in the books supposed to be a bit younger than college age? And I'm pretty sure Harry Potter isn't this ripped under all those robes (see second image; that's Radcliff in a recent play)...

Turns out that there are two more movies slated for the franchise, one in 2008 and one in 2009 or 2010, both staring Radcliff as Potter. Talk about milking a cash cow. Perhaps the next movies will feature Potter graduating from Hogwarts, moving into a university frat house, and binge drinking at magical all-night kegger parties.

Visual DNA

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tololy's doing it. So is Hal. So I though, "What the heck" and decided to check it out for myself.

Generally I think these types of quizzes are pretty lame, but the whole visual DNA thing seemed like an interesting idea and since it took less than two minutes of my precious time, I didn't mind so much.

So here's what I am:

Easy Rider...

Escape Artist...

New Wave Puritan...

Love Bug...

The test compares your visual DNA with responses by others who have taken the test. Apparently my closest match (76%) is a 25-29-year-old female who goes by AllDayDreamer and lives in the Philippines. Go figure.