Monthly Digest October


so you are in sitting in the coffee shop sipping your cup of tea or coffee. and you want more milk. How would you react if you get...this.


KSA has issued new penalties for those who violate its Traffic Flaws. They are listed below

and they say we live in the 21st century...*sighs*


Blood Diamond

I had this movie in my stack for the last 6 months. I always hesitated to watch it because its a 2 hour and half movie.

Its A great movie with a great cast and a great script. Its one of those movies that help serve a cause. It directs a message to the audience telling them of what they can do to stop the spread of more blood diamonds in the black market.

I am surprised that it didn't win any oscars. I'd give it 8/10.

Grindhouse (Death Proof)
I was very excited when I heard about the joint collaboration of Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino to make "Grindhouse". I was hoping that it will be a successful movie like "Four Rooms". Unforunately, I was disappointed to say the least. Quentin Tarantino's movie talks about a psycho who enjoys squishing girls with his "death proof"(a car used in movie stunts). Like most Quentin Tarantino's movies such as "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction", you end up spending most of the movie listening to some crazy crap topics being discussed. this time its all boring girl talk. the movie does not have enough violence and gore that we are accustomed to in similar Quentin Tarantino Movie (Except for one flying body part scene). The storyline is totally crap. Only the last 30 minutes of the movie are watchable that got ruined by a highly unsuitable ending. Rating: 4/10

Grindhouse (Planet Terror)

Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror isn't any better. Like "From Dusk till dawn" and "Desperado", Robert Rodriguez's latest work builds up around the same theme and element in which you have an action movie that begins with a very serious tone & script that quickly changes to an extremely odd script. Combined with bizarre visual effects and few comical scenes every now and then, you end up with another extremely moody movie that leaves you asking yourself "how the hell did this movie end up like that?". What this movie lacks in its storyline is compensated by its varied and uniquely creative action stunts. I'd give this movie a 5/10.

88 Minutes
A movie that's scheduled to be released in cinemas in 2008. But don't ask me how I ended up with its DVD release. Being a big fan of AlPacino, I was not going to miss another crime-thriller movie that has a striking similarity to "insomnia" in the way the story unfolds. The movie talks about a psychiatrist and a college professor who receives a phone call from an anonymous telling him that he got 88 minutes to live. With the movie being 105 minutes in length, you live minute by minute with Dr.Jack Grimm trying to find the one behind the death threats and whether one of his college students is behind the attack or not. the movie would not be a blockbuster but it must be on your "to watch" list if you a big fan of thriller and crime movies. Rating: 8/10.


I am not a fan of Timbaland or Fall out Boys. But this is just one of those one-time songs that stick in your head.

Comically Illustrated:


the past week in my life was horrible. I reverted back to the old blog template because I couldn't come up with a better design. After googling for hours on templates on the internet, and playing with the colors, I gave up because I couldn't find anything special.. I will delay the task when I come up with a more creative idea and after I install a decent GUI web designing tool like Frontpage or anything similar. The process of nitpicking at the HTML code and modifying it manually and running the code each time is painful and time consuming.

In addition to all that, I've been overwhelmed at work where I wasted hundreds of braincells on a boring brainless task related to data entry. Its funny how karma gets back at you. 9 months ago, I was the one working with the IT consultants requesting our clients to do the data cleaning assignment to help us in the data migration. But nowadays, I am on the other side where I am being instructed by the IT team to do the data cleaning needed for the data migration.
The data entry part is easy. The hard part is to reconcile with my colleagues and chase them to provide me with the correct data. In addtion to that, there was an ongoing training on Monday, tuesday and Wednesday that was related to SAP BI (Business Intelligence) Reporting that I didn't wanna miss. My director would never approve me attending this course because I have a training upcoming the next week. So I decided to attend it and never tell them about it. And during tea breaks and lunch breaks, I'd go back and chase after my colleagues to complete the data cleaning assignment.
I planned to spend the whole Wednesday night to complete the pending data entry records. However, my computer suddenly switched itself off at 6 p.m. Later, I discovered that the power system in my workplace is configured to cut the power source at that time (an indirect way of penalising me for overworking). So, I was forced to work overtime on Thursday (although we are not entitled to overtime) to finish my pending task.
I've already mailed my hand-over note for this assignment and I just hope that they will not interrupt my training with a follow up on the progress of the data cleaning especially since the deadline is on Monday.

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Vundo, Generic.dx, Downloader_BFC – next generation viruses


I have been testing all kinds of antiviruses to see which one is more reliable. On my sister's laptop, I have kaspersky. On my personal laptop, I have NOD32 and on our home computer had MCAFEE .

Around 2 weeks ago, the internet explorer on my home computer started crashing more often. I get random pop-ups every few hours despite the fact that pop-up blocker is installed. First thing I did is to do a system scan with the Mcafee. Didn't detect anything. I forgot that it is unlike kaspersky and NOD32 where you have to update MCAFEE manually. So after I did that, I kept getting virus alerts about the existence of random viruses such as "vundo", "generic.dx" or "downloader-bfc". What was even more annoying is that none of them can be cleaned. It would start with a pop up screen saying that a certain file is infected and showing the path for it. But then when you go to investigate the path, the file is no longer there.

Apparently, the viruses work by generating files in C:\windows, C:\windows\system32 and in C:\program files\common files and all paths that you wouldn't wanna miss with. What's even worse is that it'll create random .dll & .exe files that leaves you guessing on whether these are system files windows need or not.

That's why googling a solution was not really helpful as each case is computer specific. The files infected at your pc would differ than the ones infected at mine. And that's why all those guys who are infected ended up consulting an online technician who'd provide you with tools to use and we'll request you to post back a log file of the scan results. Accordingly, he'll study the log files and will manually be able to nitpick the path files you need to remove.

After I gave up on removing the viruses by myself (which I find it very humiliating as I come from a computer science background and I pretty much consider myself a techy person), without the need of formatting my pc, I went for my last option of creating an account on and asked for help. More on my experience with those viruses can be found here.

I'd like to thank racenutalways for his patience and for helping me to get rid of these annoying viruses. From all this, I learnt my major lesson. I uninstalled MCAFEE and now I am using AVG antivirus which is much faster and much more efficient.

The last 2 weeks left me in awe for those virus writers who got so creative that created viruses that create such random, computer-specific files making a universal removal tool almost possible.

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Mechatrinus goes under the knife

Thank you Eshda3wa.

The last thing I did before leaving home was read eshda3wa's latest post. I drove my brother & sister to the bookstore. We stayed there for nearly 2 hours (oh reminds me of the cold winter days of Canada where I used to stay in Chapters before they kick me out when the shop closes), picked up Hardeez for dinner and dropped them back home. Then first accident.

Thank you Eshda3wa....again.

We were waiting for the the green light. Me on the middle lane. Him on my right. As the lights turned green, we both were heading straight. However, I felt his car deviating left to my side. Of course he wasn't paying attention. He was talking on his cell phone. I honked. I braked. I tried to avoid him but he ended up knocking me off. Nothing happened to his 92 Isuzu while my newly 2 month born Mechatrinus has been distorted with scratches. At first, I was mad because I was having my first accident and I over-estimated the damage. After I came down and looked at the impact, I was relieved (you can barely call it an accident) but then I remembered that the guy was approaching so I put back my frowny face and started the thing I am good at...complaining:

"oh man. Its a new car. Its a 2007. Oh boy, what can i do about it? Man, I honked at you. You were not pay attention. Of course you were talking on your cellphone. You guys are..."

The guy walked to me with a motionless face. He stared at me and said the following:

"First, Salamu Alaikom. Second, park your car somewhere near so that you don't block the road. Trust me, you don't want another accident. I know It is totally my fault. Don't worry, I am gonna compensate you as soon as the damage is assessed. But first, let me call the cops. Get your IDs ready"

Wow, I didn't expect him to be co-operative unless I am falling into some trap..

"I bet this is your first accident. Don't worry. Things are gonna be ok. We will call the cops and we'll go through the regulations together. If you don't trust me, you can call your dad to verify this information"

God damn it. Is he a mind-reader?

So I made my phone call. I briefed my dad about the situation. He was co-operative and gave me few tips on handling the situation.

In few minutes, the cops arrive. And the guy did all the talking. He told him how it was totally his fault and that we don't wanna escalate things. No need for a detailed report coz its a small bump and all we need is this clearance paper to present to any car garage so that I can get my car fixed. What's even more surprising is that the guy didn't need this paper coz he does not want to fix his car. So, he was basically volunteering to assist me.

In 10 minutes, we were done with the cop. He told us to go the nearest police station to continue the rest of the regulations. It was 12:00 a.m. and it was too late for that. Moreover, i have to wake up for work tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. So I barely have time to sleep. So we decided to delay it till tomorrow morning. He gave me his card, number and made sure that I note down his license plate number and he iterated more than once that I call him early morning whenever i wanna go to the police station. I thanked him for his support and we parted off on good terms.

Half an hour later, he calls me: "Hamza, how much money do you need to fix this bump??"

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK. That caught me by surprise because he is the one calling. Not me..."hmm..I'll get back to you".

Time for another consultation call with dad.

I called him back and told him how much I approximately need.

15 minutes later, he calls me.

"Hamza, make sure to go to the station in north western Jeddah, not the one in east or south. It is on..." and he gave me directions.

"Ok, thank you. I'll meet you there tomorrow", too good to be true.

Next day, I wake up and go to work normally. At 9, he calls me: "Hamza, wanna meet up there at 10 a.m.? trust me, let's go there early before it gets crowded or they start to get all moody on us"

All that time and I am talking to myself, am I the one whose car is damaged or is it his car?

So we meet up there. And I wish everything was as smooth as that guy.

The Jeddah Traffic Department is rated to be the worst government office you'd enter. They have the laziest; most uneducated, arrogant, hostile officers ever. They have no sense of respect for the person they deal with. The first thing I said as I walked in was "Kol 3am wintoo bikheir". No response. Before we started to present our case, he raged and said "come back on Saturday". We do some begging. "come back after dohr". More ass-kissing. "we ran out of registration forms and the officer with the registrations forms is not here. He might show up and he might not because its eid". So we had to succumb to our fate and wait.

The normal regulations you go through during an accident go as follows: first, a cop investigates a scene and writes a brief report about the accident (already done). If the two parties decide to solve it among them, then all you need is this clearance paper from the traffic department that they have assessed the accident and they are OK with it. If the two parties don't reconcile, then its a whole different story. The cops need to write a detailed report and decide who to blame. After that, they would request an estimate of the cost of the damage for the cars from 3 different garages, and they'll take the lowest.

For us, it was just simple. We only needed that freaking paper for the clearance coz the guy is going to pay me the money.

After 1 hour, the officer who runs the department came and in him we saw our saviour from this cursed land. But all our hopes went to no avail when he brushed us out saying its none of his business.

That was unbelievable. If the cop running the department is saying "none of my business" then whose business is it.

As time ticked by, we waited and we discovered that we are not the only ones. We have witnessed over 18 cases where they only resolved one case just because the guy was injured and was bleeding from his severe injuries. We were all sitting in the waiting room while 5 officers are in one shared office drinking their coffee and eating from a plate of sweets.

I wish I don't have to go through this every time I had an accident. I wish I knew an underground car garage for thugs who do "hit & runs"; who would never ask about this clearance paper. It would have saved me all the hassle.

2 hours later, I got this silly blue slipped paper. After we finished from the damned traffic department, I thanked the guy for his support and help because he was literally following up with the cops like if it was his car. You won't find guys like this very often.

Overall, I am extremely delighted with my experience.

  1. First, I am starting to master the art of "ass-kissing", thanks to the skills I've gained in those memorable 2 hours.
  2. The guy was extremely helpful & supportive. He literally followed up with the cops like if it was his car. You won't find guys like this very often.
  3. About a month ago, while I was parallel-parking, I scratched the car in the same area. Now with the compensation amount, I can get to fix both damages. I would've been soo pissed if I have crashed in the same area after I fix it. know what? maybe I should crash to cars more often whenever I have similar incidents.

Around an hour ago, I got my lovely Mechatrinus and it is now peacefully resting in its throne where it belongs. J

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My Eideyah Campaign

Eid Mubarak to you all.

This is the first time I realize that since I started working that I am expected to give out EIDEYAH (eid allowance) rather than expect to receive one.

Damn it..and I thought I well planned my monthly expenditure and forecasted my cash flow for the next month.

This becomes one of your natural skills after you study "financial planning" for one whole year.

On the few occasions I spent Eid in Amman ( 2 or 3 times only), some people gave me an "EIDEYAH" equivalent to my sister.

Some would give me more since I am the boy and she is the girl.

Maybe they were influenced by "for the male twice as the female".

Alas, those days are over. Now I am destined to give out eideyah till the day I die.

Even if I retire or become unemployed. I have to.

But this year I am starting a new campaign.

I am gonna give girls twice as much as boys.

No matter what the families say, no matter what they think.

Oh boy, I am so gonna widen my enemies circle.

Oh well, at least here in KSA, I only have one relative.

I'll test it and see how it goes.

So, anybody willing to join my campaign? :D

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Why the world needs more “nawar”

Can't believe its already 10 days since I last updated my blog..Well, time really flies by.

As I've state in my earlier post, I try to utilize those holy days with prayers as much as possible. Last week, I arranged with some of my colleagues to go to Mecca to pray there. 80 kms, 40 minutes on the highway doesn't sound that difficult after all.

The Saudi authorities have initiated a smart ( a very rare thing by the way) approach to regulate traffic to Mecca by making all cars who want to go to the "Haram" park in one place and from there, they use public transport to take them to the holy mosque in less than 5 minutes.

That parking lot could enter Guinness book of records for being the largest parking lot in the world. It fits at least 5,000 cars. The "parking lot" spans on two sides of a highway. So during peak days, all you see on your left and right is just cars, and more cars. Well, at least it is better than the sight of sand & desert that you see on your way from Jeddah to Mecca or vice versa.

Our journey went well. Nothing extraordinary happened other than the fact that we had our iftar on the way. Laban (yoghurt) & dates. Surprisingly, it was fulfilling.

We got there. We prayed. We held our urges to insult and humiliate those who have no dignity and respect to the holy mosque. It is for them another picnic place where they eat their ful, hommos, ta'ameya and throw things around thinking it's like their streets back home. Your patience is tested under very odd circumstances, such as that guy who spat at my prayer rug; mistaking it for a trash can. Oh boy, I still remember the scene in slow-motion.

After we finished our religious duties, it was time to go home. However, we stumbled upon a major problem by the time we got to our car. Some jerk has parked his vehicle in the middle of the road; making it impossible for us to move our car.

All our efforts of moving the car or finding its owner were of no avail. I saw a glimpse of hope when I saw a cop car park 5 minutes away. I ran to him to explain to him our current situation. His reply was simple

"Go talk to a cop or find a crane to move that car". He got his prayer rug and headed to the Haram.

What the...? And what are you? I thought you are a cop. Apparently, he was off-duty.

My friend came to me and gave me a pat on the back saying: "oh Hamza, you can be very naive sometimes. Let's go to Plan B. Let's find one of those "nawar" "


For those who don't know. "Nawar" is an Arabic slang word that refers to those hippie street scammers that crawl in every neighbourhood. They can be beggars in the day and pimps in the night. They specialize at harassing people and they enjoy scratching others' car just for the mere pleasure of hearing that "ZEEK" voice that's music to their ears. So overall, they are a mobile hazard that can strike anytime and anywhere


So the idea was to look for trouble to get us out of trouble. Finding a nawari was not difficult. We found one in few minutes. We just asked him to do all he can to unlock the car. With these guys, nothing beats the wire trick. In 10 minutes he unlocked the car and put the handbrake down. We pushed the car out of the way enough for us to get our car on to the main highway.

We concluded our successful business deal with a small fee worth his invaluable service. When we were about to leave, he said:

"And what shall I do with his car?"

We looked at each other and one of us said:

"oh come on. Be smart. Return the car to where it was (blocking the road) and wait to scam other people like us you amateur."

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