And the UEFA 2016 Champions are….

Drum roll please….

 

Congratulations Portugal!!

Andy Murray vs Milos Raonic Highlights 2

This goes to prove that Portugal is not made up entirely of only Cristiano Ronaldo, who was injured in the 25th minute. They scored their first goal in the 109th minute.

Congratulations Portugal!

Review of Sustainable Youth Team Relay Run – Jun 16

As with any fledgling concept, there is always bound to be a few “snags” along the path towards a perfect event. This time we were no strangers to the problems, however, we’ll line up how we plan to tackle them in the future.

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Since day one we’ve been a provider of low-tech races. Our registration process seems to confuse people so let us break it down first before we get into the review:

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  1. You read about our event and are interested to attend, you are given a link to fill a registration form on survey monkey.
  2. We receive your information, through excel magic, we take the data and put it into tabular form.
  3. We send out a confirmation email asking people to confirm their attendance.
  4. People respond and confirm, we start assigning them to teams, again through excel and filters on age, gender and level of activity.
  5. We send out an email to the teams confirming their colors and getting the captains involved in motivating their teams.

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The problem is, people don’t check their emails often, much to my chagrin. I have 5 emails synced to my phone simultaneously, and some people cannot manage one.

What happens is they sign up, but don’t confirm in time, by the time they confirm, i’ve already assigned teams and they’re even, and we’re out of space.

Then those that confirmed and got assigned to team’s don’t show up…

Without further ado, let’s start with the cons:

  1. Did not start on time. People signed up, confirmed, got assigned to teams, and did not show up. Whats more, one individual who signed up informed me he needed a visa to come to Kuwait, at 1:30PM (race was at 10PM). People kept arriving late despite us requesting them to be there by 9:20PM.
  2. Time lost explaining concept. Despite having captains, several of the “casual joiners” who happened across our multicolored starting point wanted to participate, seeing as we had ample t-shirts available, and in line with our slogan of sports for all and all for sports, we let them in. Language barrier and sports barrier aside, they made for some excellent additions, specifically the veiled mother and her daughters and son, despite her daughter pulling out, the mother ran the race. Next time, we’ll make a roll-up banner explaining the race concept in two languages.
  3. Cotton T-shirts. I know, I know! Cotton t-shirts and runs do not mix! However, we don’t have the funding to get the t-shirts from abroad and store them until such time we have an event, so we need to get them locally, and dry-fit t-shirts are not readily available locally.
  4. Food shortage. Given that it was Ramadan we had hoped to provide people with a meal after the race, we were just short of 120 participants, and we’d ordered 150 meals. However, some people did not find meals at the end. suggested remedy – food for runners only. Runners were given wristbands for the race, at the end of the race, swap wrist band for meal. No band, no meal.
  5. Lack of coverage. Given that we are a very small outfit (only two organizers were responsible for getting the race up and running), we don’t have a camera person readily available. The timing also made it difficult to get people in addition to the short-notice-ness of the event – were asked to plan and execute in a very short period of time. Next time, i’ll invest in a camera myself and start taking pictures. However, despite this, we still managed to get some awesome shots courtesy of the super talented JCPQ8 (instagram) and the video by the awesome Baher Jaberi (link).
  6. Directions were not clear. We assumed when we said the Oredoo playground at Mishref Pedestrian walkway that people would know exactly where. Our bad. Next time, we posting the exact location on instagram.
  7. No medical attention. Trust me when I say, communicating with the concerned authorities is a hassle. Despite having MOH approval for our last race, no ambulance showed up. Same case this time. We apologize profusely to those that were injured during the run and hope you recover soon!
  8. Small stage. When we first envisioned this endeavor, we planned to MC from the stage, then later we added the idea of contests, however the size of the stage could not accommodate all willing participants. Remedy, bigger stage next time around.

Pro’s:

  1. First of its kind. The comments on instagram continue to bring a smile to my face, people actually enjoyed the event immensely, including the injured folk!
  2. In-tune with concept. When we first started, we wanted a race that was different that could be enjoyed by all. Looking at the pictures from the event, everyone enjoyed themselves, whether they were built as sprinters or not.
  3. Party so hard it was stopped by the police. ‘Nuff said.
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Lady in the black veil

The lady in the black veil is my new hero. She showed up at the event with her daughters and son and they all wanted to run. When the race started, one of her daughters opted to not run thinking its too hard. Not mom tho. She went for it. And everyone cheered. And that is the point behind SYQ8, there’s no cookie-cutter for runners, we come from all walks of life.

Sustainableyouthq8 video post now working

Apologies for the previous link not working it has now been remedied.

@SustainableYouthQ8 – Redefining the Running scene in Kuwait

Now I’m not just saying this because I organized it, but based on the comments on Instagram and our FB page, the sustainability of Sustainable Youth is indeed going forward!

We started with a 5K team run in February of 2016 unlike any 5K race seen before in Kuwait. Last Friday night we took our uniqueness a step further and introduced the Team Relay concept to Kuwait, at Mishref Running Track.

Granted, there were a few setbacks, which we will discuss in detail in a later post, however the culmination of it is this: People had fun. People had a lot of fun.

Check out the video below:

And don’t worry, as people have to expect, the review is coming soon 😉

Race track coming soon to Kuwait?

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According to Alqabas, the Municipality has approved the building of a vehicular race track over an area of 2.6 million square meters in Arifjan.

No details yet on when and why.

Review of the Dubai Desert Road Run 4-Jun-16

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Dubai is full of races. I was beyond excited to find out that immediately after attending the Fluffy Breaks Even show, there would be a second event from the bouquet that is my passion in life the very next morning – a run.

I went, I saw, I was beyond disappointed.

Before we dispense with the review, let’s look at some numbers:

  1. 10K finishers – 350. Fees 120AED, Total: 42,000AED
  2. 3K finishers – 152. Fees 80AED, Total: 12,160AED
  3. Grand Total: 54,160AED

Now lets start with the Cons:

  1. No storage facility for runners from abroad. You can easily gauge their numbers from registration, provide them a way to keep their bags safe, especially that some have come for a few hours to just run the race and leave. This is provided by other UAE based races such as RAK.
  2. No way to get back to civilization. Again, runners coming from abroad, especially first timers to Dubai, are not aware of how far the Sevens Village is, nor how difficult it is to find a ride back to Dubai. If not for #899 (Waqas the Humanitarian), my friend and I would have ended up walking back to Dubai! At the very least arrange with a few taxis to wait there.
  3. Messed up race markers. As  I was runing the 10K I found it strange that some of the distance markers were showing strange readings, 3.8KM, 4.9KM. And they weren’t even accurate!
  4. No food for runners. As someone who runs most of their races in Kuwait, and partook in organizing a race in Kuwait, I can honestly say I am most disappointed with the organizers and their greed in this regard. Let’s look at numbers.
    1. I organized a race for 120 participants – spent KD 30 roughly (360 AED) on oranges and bananas for the runners.
    2. DDR had almost 500 participants. Doing the mathematics, they would require KD 125 for the same food as above, which is 1,500 AED, which translates to a mere 2.7% of the total amount they took as fees.
    3. PS my race was free. Facebook.com/sustainableyouthq8 (look it up).
  5. No takeaways for the runners. Again, I run most of my races in Kuwait, the average for a 10K race is 120AED, however in Kuwait you get a t-shirt and a goodie bag. Not sure why DDR are so stingy with their money, but a race that doesn’t give a runner takeaways but charges fees is a race not worth running in the first place. We were given something though, and I wish we weren’t – hangers to put up items on walls. How this ties in to running is a mystery to me.
  6. Looped race. The Sevens Village grounds are enormous. Are you honestly saying you cannot find a 10K route that is not a double loop? Nobody minds running 5K one way then back, but to run 2.5KM 4 times is boring and annoying. In this regard, the 3K race was probably better, as it lacked the hamster-in-a-wheel effect.

However, there were some Pros:

  1. Tracking technology. The tying of trackers to shoelaces that can later be recycled beats the bibs with embedded trackers.
  2. Cups of water. Although a way for the organizers to save money, I see it as a way of reducing wastage. So I’ll give you a point there.

Prognosis: Negative.

Run the race once for the experience, never again.

Open letter to @FluffyGuy before Dubai

Hola Gabriel! Cómo estás?!

Word around the web is you’re gracing the GCC with your presence for a “sold out” show in Dubai? I heard news of this last week, started looking into it this week with hopes I had a few weeks to think about it, and all of a sudden I find out it’s this Friday?! So I quickly threw together a plan with the wife and we’re hoping to fly out from Kuwait to Dubai to attend this show as there are only two people I’d traverse the airways for in Dubai, and you’re one of them!

I’ve been following your career (in a non-creepy way) from the days of Comedy Central Presents Gabriel Iglesias – which ended with you and your friend on a roller coaster that died mid swing.

From that moment onward it has been a roller coaster watching your career grow, from special to special, country to country, India, Saudi Arabia, Hawaii (to name a few).

You might get this a lot, but you’re the reason I started getting into stand-up comedy (lordaymz on Youtube) – your comedy can loosely be described as “family friendly” in that you don’t cuss, and you don’t go picking on the crowd. Your material are your stories, and they are plentiful and beautiful. By the end of the Fluffy movie, you had me in tickles and tears with the intertwining stories of your son, your mom (may she rest in peace) and your father.

Now the following weekend will be something new to me; paid for visas, bought the tickets for your show and are awaiting approval to book the flight tickets and hotel. Fly in Friday, Fly out Saturday. Just like Elvis. I would love the opportunity to meet with you, shake your hand, and tell you this in person, much like what you said here:

Will it happen? I guess we’ll wait and find out – fingers crossed!

Remember everyone, its Big, Chunky, Husky, Fluffy, DAMN!, OH HELL NO!

(Unless Gabriel found the holy grail level 7 of fatness)

The Dubai Visit Visa – Still stuck in limbo @moiuae

When it comes to innovation, the UAE has “almost” become syonymous with the word.

From the tallest building in the world, to the numerous applaud worthy apps made by the MOI to ease citizens and residents minds when it comes to getting into accidents etc. They’re even thisclose to greenlighting drone health technology.

But almost does not get the job done.

For the past year and a bit, the UAE has been struggling with trying to keep up with the growing tourism that has resulted from their position as a global, cultural capital of the world. Everyone is going to Dubai, from Hollywood film stars to Japanese drone tourists.

Also contributing to the UAE’s tourism are GCC Residents in the Middle East. Back in 2012 the system was simple – depending on your title in your residency you were given visa-on-arrival. The Emirati’s decided to upgrade this system and have attempted to kick start an evisa, the likes of Turkey. However, in this regard, the UAE has failed miserably.

In October 2015 it was said that the move from visa-on-arrival to evisa was to permanent. However the website simply failed to function as intended. Many people were left in limbo, having applied for evisas and not receiving them in time (the UAE evisa takes 3-7 days, the Turkish evisa takes 2hrs).

Fastforward to 29 April 2016, all flight operators to UAE are informed that visa on arrival is cancelled, and everyone should apply for an evisa. Again, the system fails. Specifically, when filling out the details requested, you cannot get past the “designation”, which is supposed to function as an autocomplete entry, whereby you enter the details, it shows up on their system and you select it (A drop down menu would be much easier).

Now I have tried to apply for the visa countless times, I can even tell you that you cannot “proceed as guest” and submit a visa request, you HAVE to sign up to submit a request. On Chrome and Firefox, everything works fine up to the designation. On internet explorer, which unfortunately remains the go-to explorer for all governmental entities, the page refuses to load.

The website in question is GDRFA.AE

Now to go to Dubai you are left with one option – book through flydubai, who charge 30KD for the visa (online it is around 20, if the website works, which it doesn’t).

Further making matters worse; the embassy does not process visas, nor are they capable of solving the website dilemma.

Stuck between a rock, and Dubai.

Sniffing out my faults

To err is human, to blame it on others shows true management potential.

That was a quote FB reminded me I had shared a few years ago, that possibly holds true in the following anecdotal scenario with a twist and a lesson to be learnt. So, let us commence with the story telling!

Yesterday, I found myself in a rare euphoric state of knowing my own mistake and laughing hilariously at the fallacy of my assumptions. You know what they say, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me, me being myself. I mean, it is possible to mistake bad BO with the smell of rotting flesh right? Right?!

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It started off like any other day really, but to know the full extent of the story, we must go back a few days, just a few mind you, I will not bore you with the story of my birth.

(Trust me, everything is interrelated, and will come full circle at the end).

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My house electricity had been acting up, switching off completely at the most inopportune times. At first I dismissed this as the governments way of reducing the electricity bill, however later events would prove I was the only one being affected. (Story #1)

Earlier last year, having only lived in my apartment for a few short months, I came to discover a shocking revelation; the guest bathroom ceiling was leaking. Water leaking onto plaster makes for a vile combination of rot and decay.

illustrative purposes (not my actual ceiling)

illustrative purposes (not my actual ceiling)

The ceiling was completely demolished and left barren for the better part of 9 months, where I had to endure frightening sounds from above whilst attending the call of nature. Several visits from the plumber later, and our only option was to wait it out, for apparently my upstairs neighbor was renovating his bathroom which caused leakage through my ceiling. Fast forward to 2016, and a new aluminum ceiling was installed. With a light bulb in the middle. (Story #2)

Last week I had gone on a short trip to the motherland, the house was completely empty as my wife also traveled. Luckily (for her) I returned first, and was greeted with a smell most grotesque. Having gone through a ritual of watching horror movies with my visiting brother and his wife, the telltale signs of a haunting is the smell of rotting flesh. Which is what my house smelled like upon my return!

Fortunately for me, it was neigh a matter of demonic manifestation, but a simple power outage, that resulted in a power failure in the entire household, causing the fridge to thaw out. Word to the wise, never, ever, ever, EVER buy and keep chicken liver! My wife was fascinated by a recipe she learnt from a friend, and I would later learn that the blood content of liver is quite high.

Feeling nauseous, I set about the task of throwing out pounds and pounds of thawed out meats of all kinds, from bovine to poultry and aquatic. That left the simple matter of cleaning up the freezer, which I set to with Dittol in one hand and a handkerchief in the other. I thought my gruesome task was complete. I thought wrong.

Simultaneously, and quite unrelated (or so I thought), the bathroom had begun to leak again. Remember how I said the ceiling was aluminized? Well, the water flowed down to the middle, where it found a light bulb, and began dripping down said light bulb. Electricity, water…

electricity_water

So I called the hares, and he showed up with his assistant. Now upon entry into my casa, I registered BO. Naturally. There are acceptable levels of BO, and then there is the Seinfeld BO:

Now in my house, the kitchen (where my fridge is) is directly opposite the bathroom (where the leaky ceiling is). So the hares and his assistant were standing in the middle. Upon deliberation, they noted that there was nothing to be done in my apartment, and went upstairs and never returned.

I was left to my own devices, now every time I walked in the hallway between the kitchen and the bathroom, my nasal passage was assaulted an odor so ripe it can only be likened to the odor above. Beyond that, it resembled a rotting corpse. I went into a soliloquy about how one can be so unaware of ones odor, and even complained to my wife a few times. The smell seemed to center right between the kitchen and the bathroom. A brain-dead zombie-like spectre haunted the hallways, spewing its vile stench into any nostril that dare cross the threshold.

I kept looking around for any telltale signs that might have been left behind, a ragged cloth, a wet footprint, anything. To no avail.

At that point, my inner blood hound took over and I began furiously sniffing around the area, to detect the source of the malicious odor. I found myself sniffing behind the fridge. A faint scent! I sniffed down lower, lower, and lo and behold, I found the source of the discomfort!

When the fridge had thawed, all that blood and muck had to go somewhere. I was under the impression it remained stagnant on the bottom shelf. However, I discovered that the fridge had a drainage system, and a tiny, removable receptacle in the back that fills up with whatever enters that drainage. Now mostly it should be water. However in this rare occasion, it was in fact, blood.

I removed the receptacle and washed it profusely with Dittol, and even poured some down where I believe the drainage system to be to flush out any remnants in the pipeline.

And that is the story of how I falsely accused a haris and his assistant of smelling like rotten corpses, and discovered that fridges have a drainage system.

Now you know too.

Why you shouldn’t use @souq @souqkuwait in Kuwait anymore

The days of souq.com delivery in Kuwait are over.

It saddens me to have to report this, as I relied heavily and boasted wholeheartedly about their services (link 1, link 2, link 3) in the past. That was of course until recently when I discovered that their contact number no longer showed a Kuwaiti local number, shortly after that, orders were backlogged and drivers were careless and uncaring.

Complaints of any written kind, either email or through their website, fell on deaf ears (or blind eyes), the only way I saw to receive one of the items I had purchased was to contact their customer service, in Dubai.

If you check their website now you will be shocked to see the prices they are charging, down to the 3 decimal point for the fils, mainly due to it being converted from Dirhams.

It is with great sadness that I inform everyone that as an online retailer, souq.com have forever abandoned their loyal customers in Kuwait, leaving naught but delivery men in our vicinity, and no office to handle complaints.

One of my orders has been pending now for over a month, despite delivery being mentioned as maximum 9 days.

If you would like obtain handset which Raspberry Ketone Diet Raspberry ketone supplement

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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