Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back At It.

Captain Nadec strikes again, this time in the form of shelf-stabilized, spreadable cheese triangles.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Woman I will Marry.

Discussing wedding vows via Skype:

Her: Have you thought at all about what you'd like to say.

Me: Well, I definitely want to talk like a robot.

Her: Uh-huh.

Me: And then I thought I'd read a bit from the Quran.

Her: Okay, well why don't you just read from the Quran like a robot.

Me: (Scandalized) That's disrespectful! There were no robots at the time of the Prophet.

Her: Really, how do you know?

Me: Whoa, you're right. I don't know. I think you've just opened a whole new field of Islamo-Robotic theology.

Her: Islamabots!

Me: Yeah, Islamabots. I would so watch that if it was a cartoon show. (Singing) Islamabots! Saving the universe!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What we talk about when we talk about pirates.

Sitting in Maui-Wowi, a Hawaiian themed (men's only) smoothie shop in downtown Riyadh:

"Wait, I always get scurvy mixed up with rickets. Which one is rickets?"

"Rickets is the one that poor kids who work in coal mines get because they don't spend enough time in the sun. Scurvy is the one that pirates get because they only drink grog and not enough citrus."

"Right. So, then what's shingles?"

The waiter eavesdropping nearby our table turned away, bored, and went back to watching the Women's Field Hockey game on TV.

"Shingles is like chicken-pox, but way worse. Hey did you know that when you say you're groggy in the morning it comes from pirates being hung-over from drinking too much grog the night before."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Healthy Heroes.

Yes! Flavored UHT milk action heroes are on the case, ready to ride motorcycles and punch the air and, uh, wear multiple bandanas. Drinking delicious, flavored shelf-stabilized milk has no been so much fun.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It Would be Pleasant.

I'm not suggesting that I want to be an imperialist or that colonialism was a good thing, just that British government reports were more fun to read than modern US government reports.

(1957) The Yemenis began to use artillery and heavy machine-guns to fire across the Protectorate border at British troops and local tribesmen.  British forces were obliged to silence these weapons by shell-fire and rocket attacks.  In spite of Yemeni provocation British measures remained purely defensive and no aggressive action was taken.  The Yemenis had no such scruples.
-          Sir Bernard Reilly - Chief Commissioner and Governor of Aden Protectorate 1931-1940, Colonial Office 1947 - 1960

They were obliged to silence these weapons.  The Yemenis had no such scruples.  I would love to write phrases like that.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Quandry.

Uh, wait. I can't remember. Do I cut the red wire and then the green wire, or is it green then red?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


High of 115 today, but I was possessed with a strong desire to go for a run. So I consulted with one of the few other people here who are crazy tough enough to run around in the sun.

Um, he's the white guy. Anyway, he suggested wearing a hat, regularly dousing my head with water and basically dealing with it. I took his advice and had an excellent run today. Now I am no longer confined to the swimming pool for the rest of the summer.  Great success.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Very Pleased.

Today's creepy 1984 inspired government entity is: The Ideological Security Directorate. It doesn't quite qualify as double-speak, but George Orwell would be pleased.

Thursday, July 1, 2010