Hark denizens, expats and locals! This blog is specifically for you! Kuwait's one-stop-shop for Intriguing titles that MEASURE up to the content. From social gatherings to local news, this blog has it all. The main aim of MyBloogle is to give you a good read, leave you with a smile, and hopefully have you tune in once again as a regular reader! Home to the Q8FootSoldiers running initiative in Kuwait!

Yearly Archives: 2011

Usher in the New Year with a New Attitude

Single greatest piece of advice for the new year, from my dear friend in charge of all of MyBloogle’s original art:

Powerful than the will to win,

Is the courage to begin

Let 2012 be the start of something new, something you have been putting off.

Sauna Suit Second Sweat Attempt!

I have a feeling that when Will Ferrell sang “Love me Sexy” in Semi Pro as Jackie Moon, he was wearing a sauna suit when he exclaimed:

“Lets fill a bathtub full of sweat”

This week I decided to once again don the sauna suit in the gym, with a few minor adjustments, tweaks if you will, that worked. Initially.

Firstly, given that Nasser Sports is also having a year end sale, and that they have a huge branch just a few minutes away from me, I picked up 2 pairs (i.e. 4 pieces) of wrist bands. What I did was I slipped one wrist band on my wrist, then the sauna suit goes on that, then the second wrist band goes OVER the first, effectively creating a wrist band sandwich .

There I was, happily pulling at the fitness machine, feeling the perspiration congregate in the recesses of the sauna suit.

However, one thing I could not envision was that all that perspiration has to go somewhere. Sauna suits need a drainage system!

Still, we have more kinks to iron out, but the main question is; does the Sauna Suit actually PROMOTE weight loss, or does it just make you sweat out excess water and toxins, effectively keeping you healthy but not doing much in terms of weight loss?

Here is what the experts say:

Results

Exercising in a sauna suit, especially in a warm room or outdoors in summer, causes you to sweat profusely. According to Sharron Coplin, a Human Nutrition specialist with the Ohio State University Extension, you’ll lose about 1 lb. of weight for every pint of fluid you lose. Wrestlers, in particular, use sauna suits to lose weight before matches, according to Mike Viscardi, writing for Vanderbilt University.

Aftermath

By exercising while wearing a sauna suit, you are essentially dehydrating your body. As soon as you drink fluids, you replace the water you lost, and regain the pounds lost as well. Real weight loss takes time. Dr. Donald Hensrud, writing for MayoClinic.com, advises that a safe rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 lbs. a week.

Dangers

Sweating in a sauna suit can lead to dehydration, kidney failure and even death. In 1997 and 1998, three wrestlers died in separate incidents in which they were exercising while wearing rubber suits in an attempt to lose weight, reports Viscardi. Excessive sweating leads to electrolyte imbalances in your body. You could suffer heat stroke or a heart attack as a result of your body overheating.

Alternatives

Safe weight loss of 1 to 2 lbs. a week requires burning more calories than you consume. If you consume 500 fewer calories each day, in a week you will have lost 1 lb. You may lose more weight the first week, but this is mostly water weight, according to Sharron Coplin. Instead of sweating off water in a sauna suit, try drinking more water to lose weight. Brenda Day, a researcher at Virginia Tech, found that people who drank 2 cups of water before every meal lost an average of 5 lbs. over 12 weeks, with no other changes in their habits.

The Cost of Littering

Of all the errors that people commit on a daily basis, littering IS the worst offence.

A true measure of a persons caliber, or lack there of, littering is the single most determining factor of the lack of a proper upbringing, or even proper social and moral values.

In malls, it is not uncommon to see a person lay their trash to the side of the banisters, afraid to hold onto it for a couple more meters in order to find a trash can.

It is not uncommon to see a person drop a tissue on an escalator, and just walk away as if they are oblivious to how it got there.

It is not uncommon to see a father litter in front of their child, in plain view of everyone in the street.

The worst of the worst littering offence has to be of course those that litter from their moving vehicles. Just yesterday at a traffic light I stood beside one individual, a passenger, that had their leg up on the chair and was throwing seeds out of the window. Add to that of course the occasional tossed cigarette butt, but most peculiar of all was one time spotting someone tossing orange peels! Bananas, OK, but oranges? No way!

It is a true mark of ignorance, of barbaric, uncivilized behavior, to find someone littering in full view of everyone. It is our misinformed attitudes and preconceived notions that someone will pick up after us, whether it was our parents that instilled this in us via years of pampering, or the concept of having maids around the house. This archaic thought process needs to be abolished. In the greater scheme of things, you are your own maid, it is your responsibility to keep your surrounding area clean; cleanliness is next to godliness, as the saying goes.

I have been adopting a litter-free lifestyle for a while now, always holding on to my trash or keeping it inside my car (neatly, mind you) until such time that I happen across a trash bin, however, like all people, I am weak. Earlier this week I succumbed to the temptation of throwing a tissue and a few receipts out of my car, it was near a trash pile, that counts right?

Much to my chagrin, as soon as I tossed the papers and tissues near the dump, I hear the familiar “clink” of a coin landing on the ground. Then it hit me, amidst the rubbish there was a 100fils coin, I had paid for my sin. It would have looked comical for me to stoop there and attempt to retrieve the coin, so I sufficed to pick up the tissue and papers, and walk to the nearest bin, writing off that 100fils to misfortune and a lesson well learnt.

In closing, the mark of any civilized person is how they act when they are not seen, respect the fact that littering is unbecoming and start picking up your own mess today.

Kuwait’s Second Half Marathon

Hark all runners, joggers & sports enthusiasts! A half marathon took place yesterday, between the hours of 8:50pm till roughly 10:50pm.

The first half marathon in Kuwait (link) was a fabulous success; it took me 1hr54mins to complete it, and my legs were sore and stiff for three whole days afterward, however it was worth it!

Do not feel bad if you did not hear about it, for it was not advertised previously, it was not hosted by a running celebrity, nor was it a charity donation for a noble cause.

No. Yesterday’s Impromptu half marathon was a solo endeavor, a race between me and myself. And yes, I was successful at kicking my competitors behind.

There were no police cars to ensure the safety of the runner(s), no press, no water tables, no gatorade.

True, the last half marathon was run in the morning, where the temperature was relatively warmer, however this time, I was able to shave off 8 minutes from my previous time to come in at 1hr48m. (Total distance covered: 21.54Km, total time 1hr50m).

Some may wonder, why?

A personal challenge. Ever since the start of the year I have been advocating sports-tracker (link) as the app of choice for all runners to challenge themselves. It works on all platforms of hand held devices (except Blackberries) and gives you a detailed breakdown of avg speed, total distance, total time, top speed, chart breakdown etc. of your performance.

I noticed that ever since I started using this app back in January 2011, I had completed, up till yesterday, 349Km. So I thought to myself, why not make it 365Km, a Km for every day of the year, before the end of the year?

There would be no challenge in breaking down the 16K required into smaller pieces, so it was decided to take it in a single shot.

The race was not without its setbacks. Firstly my phones battery had died as I was dressed and ready to leave, delaying my run by about 30 mins, and causing me to constantly worry about whether or not the battery would last on a partial charge (I had already advertised I would do that run on Twitter & Facebook, so I could not postpone it).

On the way to the track where I decided to run, I slipped and hurt my left ankle (when you almost land on the side of your foot whilst walking, and now it feels sore) but kept on resiliently.

Soon as I got to my path, it took about 10~20mins for the GPS to pick up, and I was off.

Yesterday’s run was my best time yet, an average speed of 11.7Km/h, a top speed of 71Km/h, and the longest distance covered.

The reason behind this post is that many people believe they need training and conditioning to run a race, or preparation for a certain event in their lives, yesterdays run was a snap decision, spur of the moment, no warm ups, I’d eaten like a starved person earlier during the day (double whammie breakfast/ lunch at the office) and felt that it would affect my performance. They keep limiting their potential in order to feel prepared, when all the time, they are ready, they are just not willing to accept it, or are afraid to embrace it.

Yesterday’s run was dedicated to my running inspiration, my uncle, Tarek Nassar, who taught me a long time ago that running is the best sport, the best medicine.

It is also dedicated to the love of my life, Aurora, the goal toward which I will always be running, my True North, my Shining Star.

My legs are not as sore as they were on the day of the first 21K, which further beckons the point that we are always ready, to challenge ourselves, and excel.

 

Sauna Suit Shame at the Gym!

As always, the greatest laugh is inward, so allow me to tickle your senses by divulging a recent mishap I had at the gym, in a brand new sauna suit.

(Disclaimer: the following post may contain descriptions that could somewhat be interpreted as icky by the softer gender, caution is advised)

As you can probably surmise, I recently (i.e. last Saturday) purchased a sauna suit (it was on sale! Sportsman Salmiya – 2KD a pop) and was looking forward to trying it out at the gym.

The last time I saw a sauna suit was on a guy jogging in a parking lot (not me!), at first I thought he looked like an alien, or at least an astronaut. Then it hit me, sauna suit!

After doing my weight training and subsequently getting drenched in sweat, I thought it a good idea to don my newly purchased item before my Cardio session, which runs for about 2 hours. I hit the changing room and slipped into the ominous black top, which upon inspection, resembled a giant, black plastic rubbish bag. No worries, it would help trap body heat, causing you to perspire more apropos leading to to weight loss. Bring it on! (or so I thought)

As I stood before the fitness machine, the guy on the one next to mine inquired as to my snazzy fashion item, so again, I informed me from where and for how much. After that little chit-chat, I was ready to hit the ground running; setting the machine to Hill Climb Plus – Around the World, I start grooving to the rhythm of the music in my ears (strangely enough, as the machine proclaimed it had taken me to run in Europe, what should play in my ears except:

seriously!)

At first, all seemed well, my body was perspiring, I could feel it, and that egged me onward to move harder, faster.

As my arms were bent at the elbows, I felt a strange swishing sensation near my forearms. Shrugging it off, I continued my movement. The fun came next however, as I reached my hand downward toward my pocket, only to witness a river of sweat literally pouring down my hands, over my fingers, and into my pockets. The sweat was accumulating faster than I could drain it! The worst part was that the ground beneath the machine I was on now resembled the ocean bed, covered in water! Add to that, and even more to my chagrin, the person who had inquired about the sauna suit was sitting behind me on the treadmills, yes, just watching me, and laughing!

I had to “hold it in” so long as he was standing watch, in an effort to try something different, I raised my arms skyward, as if begging god for an end to my shame (you would think I could have just easily gotten off the machine, but when I set it to 1hr, its a challenge to stay on for an hour, and I am no quitter), forcing the sweat to run down my body instead of my hands.

Luckily, the man moved, and I had to survey the scene, looking right, then left, then right again like some common shop lifter afraid of getting caught, to ensure no one was paying any attention to me, before pointing my hand downward towards the floor, showering the ground with perspiration.

Now, the piece de resistance is saved for the end. As those of you who have tried sauna suits are aware, the ends are elastic to have them stick to your body, so in the beginning, I had tucked the bottom of my shirt INTO the bottom of the sauna suit top, effectively “holding back” any accumulation of perspiration. That funny feeling from my forearms returned, but this time, it was near my lower stomach. And much like the cockroach that continues to return to the beam of light despite being whacked over the head by the owners shoes previously, I again tugged at the front of my shirt to see what was the matter.

I wish I hadn’t.

My front was now completely drenched. Had it been a week ago, it would have been extremely embarrassing as I usually wore grey sweat pants to the gym (same pair from high-school, they still fit!) this time however I was wearing black.

Crisis averted.

However, the floor beneath me now looked as though it were being washed, and I quickly disembarked and headed to the changing room as soon as my time was done.

Today we try out the sauna suit once more, after making a few “tweaks” and adjustments that should prove worthwhile!

At times I am amazed by the embarrassment people are willing to put themselves through in order to stay in shape or work out, is it worth it?

Yes, it definitely is! If not for the fitness and health, then for the laughter and mirth!

Custom Bootie Manikin’s for the Gulf?

A while ago a fellow blogger was enchanted by the fact that the Gulf Region (and the world in general) now have Plus size manikins for the bigger gentleman and lady to see how their clothing items will appear.

What I found strange however, was this, the bootie manikin, for the well endowed female behind:

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I’m not sure if the picture is clear, but honestly, I LOL’d whilst walking past it.

Mistaken Identity – The Irony of Security

Yesterday at Mishref, I unwittingly became the very thing I cautioned people about.

Let us begin, as they say, at the beginning, for the rather bizarre turn of events that occurred that day, although more befitting of the twilight zone, require a detailed explanation.

In a previous post (link), I warned the general populace of the vile agenda of the Mishref Marauder, who hants the walkway of Mishref, awaiting their chance to strike at the forbidden treasures kept by their owners under lock and key inside their vehicles, oblivious to this villains diabolical scheme of attacking when they least suspect.

I had been charged by a group of joggers to stand resiliently and keep watch over their treasures as they go on a bi-weekly run. Armed with naught but my quick wits and devil-may-cry attitude, I patrol the parking lot, jogging at a brisk pace so as to keep warm amidst the cold, desolate black tar parking lot, a lone ranger keeping a watchful eye on hard working folks personal belongings.

Unlike most joggers, I enjoy surveying the surrounding area as I make my rounds in the near desolate parking lot, watching out of the corner of my eye for any sudden sign of movement, or any lurkers in the nearby bushes, that may believe themselves perfectly camouflaged in the dark of night. As my eyes wandered, I came across a deposit of debris, compromised of broken pavement, and an idea came to mind.

Believing myself to be an athletic superstar, I stooped down to pick up two pieces, one in each hand, and in a Rocky-esque fashion, proceeded to do a lap around the parking lot with pieces of rock in each hand, to break the monotony of simply jogging like “normal” people.

Sound judgment chose to forgo my reasoning, as just two days ago I had posted about the Mishref Marauder, whom I was out to counteract by keeping the peace. I knew that, 20 other runners knew that. However, the remaining population of Mishref were blissfully unaware of my vigilante antics.

As I did my run around the parking lot, with rocks in hand, I sensed a group of strangers entering the area, quickly dismissing this occurrence as nothing out of the ordinary as it was indeed a public parking lot, and they must be merely making their way to their vehicles, which unbeknownst to them, I was keeping guard over. In an effort to appear athletic, as I sensed them drawing nearer, I accelerated on foot, hoping to dazzle them with my fitness and determination.

The true effect, as I was to learn later, was exactly the opposite.

As I continued down the side of the parking lot, I felt a strange sensation, of feet slapping the pavement behind me; I turned around to see the same group that entered the parking lot were also jogging behind me. Or so I thought, I looked around and was just about to flash them a smile, believing myself to be the inspiration behind their second wind, however, the looks in their eyes made my smile die on my lips. They were in fact, giving chase!

The blaring music in my ears drowned out their voices, making their angry cries for me to stop fall on near-deaf ears. This in fact infuriated them further, as all of the sudden, rough hands grabbed me by the shoulders and brought me to a standstill.

When in danger, utter not a word in Arabic, especially if your assailants appear to be locals. The accent, and the interrogation method, made me aware that they were indeed locals, probably even residents of Mishref.

Two stood behind me, each grabbing the side of my shirt so as to prevent me from escaping, at that point I was still carrying those rocks in my hands, afraid to drop them lest they land on their toes and land me in an even murkier predicament.

The leader of the pack of 5, quite easily the biggest, was waving his fingers towards the rocks in my hand, then towards the cars parked around us, asking in Arabic, which I understood completely but feigned ignorance, what it was exactly that I was doing, running around an empty parking lot with rocks in my hands.

When he saw that I was not responding in Arabic, he switched to broken English.

“Why you carry rocks? You break car? You thief?” he asked, each question louder than the one before it. As I tried to explain my situation, the two thugs behind me shook my arms so as to drop the “weapons” onto the floor; then they closed in on me, trapping me in between them.

“What you do here? Where you from?” the barrage of questions continued, much to my chagrin, my mind was racing with possible answers, my car was right across the other side of the parking lot, the keys in my pockets. I was afraid to reach for them lest they think I was reaching for a weapon.

My non responsiveness was seen as a sign of weak defiance, so the shoving started.

“You steal car!” this time, it was more of a proclamation than an inquisition.

Finally regaining my wits, and speaking in immaculate English, I informed the human gorilla standing before me that I was not the Mishref Marauder, quite the contrary, I was keeping watch over the cars so as to prevent him from making his move. There was even a table for the runners right behind my car, with fruits and water, I informed him.

I heard them confer amongst each other, one stating that he had read about the mishref car thief on a blog called MyBloogle.

My excitement rose as I told them I was the author of that post! That it was all just one huge misunderstanding.

The reaction was not what I had anticipated. Not in the least.

If they were angry before, they had become living now, believing me to be insulting their intelligence. The guys on either side of me grabbed me by the arms as the ring leader, with his own two personal body guards, came face to face with me, white spittle on the corners of his mouth as he yelled into my face that I was a liar and a thief, and that they were calling the police.

What a strange turn of events, I sat there, anxious to buy more time, enough time for any of my charges to return to their vehicle, see the commotion and corroborate my story.

How could I at least prove that I was in fact the author of that post they read? As I racked my brain to try to remember, they ringleader was already on the phone, calling the police.

The answer materialized before my eyes in a heartbeat! How quickly we forget the obvious when in the midst of a life threatening situation! Bloggers Gathering had issued me a card, with my name on it, and my blog logo, when I joined! I was saved by the very people that drove me to re-blog earlier than expected as a result of a slight they offended me with.

I told the ringleader this, and for the briefest of moments, it seemed as though he understood. He motioned to his friends to let me go, and the 5 of them followed me to my car.

I reached for my bag, having come straight from work to the running track.

I opened my bag to search for my wallet, intent on clearing up this grave misunderstanding.

Digging my hand deeper into my bag, I searched for my wallet.

And searched.

And searched.

And searched.

Nothing.

I had left my wallet in the office, as I was prone to doing when rushing to meet the runners.

Not only that, but I had no form of identification on me whatsoever.

The ringleader did not look pleased.

Bloggers Gathering had the last laugh, forcing me to ask the question:

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 

(Who is watching the watchers?)

Investing in The Kuwait Stock Exchange: Know the Ropes

Most people will shy away from the stock exchange under the false pretense that it is unsafe, and that you will end up losing more money than you initially invested.

There is one simple response to the above fear; pure, unadulterated poppycock.

The above may be true for traders, who’s sole purpose in life is to live by the mantra of buy low, sell high on a daily basis, earning their bread and butter through the difference between the purchase price and the selling price.

What I am suggesting is an investment, for however long you wish, from your savings, not your monthly earnings. You end up reaping a much higher reward than the interest rate on deposits offered by banks, which is pathetic compared to the return available in the stock market.

The beauty about stock is that you own it. The problem with people is that they are impatient, and those two factors mixed together can be toxic at times. Imagine a trader buying shares at one price, watching them steadily rise, then they take a dramatic dive. Frantic, the trader immediately sells off, incurring a huge loss to his original investment.

The one point people do not understand is that ownership does not change, price does. If you purchased those shares they are yours, in your name, and you can hold on to them for as long as you want (or until the company goes belly up but that is a different story all together). Whether the price falls, or rises, those shares are yours to do with as you please. You could enjoy the annual dividend distribution (or payout if you will) in the form of cash or extra shares, or you could immediately sell your shares to someone else when the price hits a certain high.

When I started investing I said to myself, once a stock reaches 100% return, i.e. the price doubles from my initial purchase price, I will sell it off. With that strategy in mind, I did just that. However, I have also seen investments I have made drop by half, the most important thing to remember at that time is that this loss is on paper, or as auditors like to call it, unrealised losses. Once you take the decision to sell these shares, the loss is realised.

Follow an investment strategy of hoarding, buy shares in big companies such as NBK and Zain (from my experience, they have a good dividend payout in cash and shares, so your investment increases automatically every year), sit back and watch the money roll in.

If you invest from your savings, you will never lose. Apportion a percentage of it, or a lumpsum, and enter the stock market. With the right brokerage firm, you can do so for relatively nothing.

Tomorrow we will discuss the paperwork required to become a stock trader in Kuwait.

Cop Car in Disguise in Kuwait

This car was spotted in Shuwaikh, the colors made it stick out like a sore thumb, the lack of number plates also were a red flag.

Upon closer inspection, it was revealed to have been bought in auction in Green Bay Wisconsin, and a careful look at the side doors reveals the removed yet still visible letters of P-O-L-I-C-E.

Is this a private car purchased by an individual with a flare for imitation? Or are these type of vehicles purchased from the secondary market?

How many chases must this car have participated in? How many bullet holes must its chassis have endured?

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Joggers Beware of the Mishref Marauder! Investigative Bloggerism Report

There is a new bane to the existence of sports enthusiasts, and it is not the jelly belly or couch-potato-syndrome.

Recently there have been a series of break-ins into cars parked near the Mishref Walkway, with the bandits making off with drivers personal belongings. Windows are smashed and personal belongings ransacked from the vehicles whilst the owner is blissfully unware.

The area in question is right there (above), the problem with these parking lots is they are rather badly lit, expansively large and quite secluded.

Now, a quick bit of profiling informs us that the culprit has found their niche, in that the majority of those coming to partake in exercise on the walkway will be away from their vehicles for quite some time (culprit may be hiding in the bushes, waiting for new arrivals, to time their theft properly from their departure), the majority are well off, hence the likelihood of scoring major “booty” from their vehicles, they know the area well as the thefts are spanning a couple of months now, the “bystander effect” in that the majority of runners are there solo, and hence, even if they do see someone breaking into a car, they are not likely to call for help as there may be no one around, nor are they willing to risk their own lives by tackling this vandal on their own.

Mostly, this vile rapscallion preys on the fact that runners are always looking forward, not turning their heads around like pigeons, hence, they are most likely to be oblivious to this wretches presence.

I propose a neighborhood vigilante group, I’m already patrolling the bigger parking lot diligently some days of the week, but whereas my position is currently defensive we need a group to be offensive, set up a sting for this heathen and catch them in the act.

And to the victor shall go the spoils of being called a Hero, now who does not want that?

In closing, please take care of your personal belongings when going for a jog, do not leave anything “important” “visible” to passers by, hide your purse, bags etc in the trunk of the car (but do remember to keep your keys with you!) and maybe, if they are not caught, they will simply grow bored of finding nothing to snatch.

Run hard, Run fast and most importantly, Run Smart.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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