Saturday, September 13, 2008

More random updates

Well, the phone still doesn't work. I guess I couldn't have expected it to after sitting on the bottom of the pool for about 20 minutes. Thankfully I still have my old mobile and the sim card survived the pool incident so I didn't lose any of my friends' numbers. I now have to explain to the friend who gave me the phone what happened to it. My old phone is such "old tech" (true) that they bought the phone for me as a gift because it bugged them that I was using it. They will definitely notice that I'm back on my old phone.

It's not that my friend is some technology snob, the phone really is old tech. I got it by boldly walking into a mobile phone store a couple of years ago and pretty much saying "Your cheapest phone please!". It works fine, it is just not fancy in any way. (For those of you whose curiosity has been piqued it is a Motorola C113)

Speaking of new tech I just bought a new camera. My old Olympus D-560 was just not cutting it any more. Bulky, slow, and had an annoying motor sound when it opened and closed, something I really noticed when I was on vacation. Even more embarrassing was that most mobile phones with a camera feature had better resolution. Considering the camera is a good six years old it has served me well but it is time to move on to something a little smaller and more high-tech. So I picked myself up an Olympus Stylus-820, fits nicely in a pocket, 5X optical zoom, 8.0 MP, image stabilisation, and my new memory card can hold almost 1300 pictures! I'll give it a good workout tonight at a Sohour dinner that I'm going to.

Have I mentioned that it is Ramadan? For 28 days all the Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset so the hotels have lavish banquets in the evenings. Every year the office invites all the staff to one, this year it is at the Sharq spa & resort, one of the nicest hotels in town, so it should be a good spread. They will likely have entertainment as well such as musicians and Sufi dancers (perhaps better known to you as Whirling Dervishes). No bellydancing though -- that's not allowed in Qatar. Too lewd for Qatari moral values I guess.

I also received a couple of requests for that e-album of Slovakia. You haven't missed it, is just not finished yet. I've actually been quite swamped with work but more importantly these albums always take more time than I realise. You see, when I put the pictures in the album I do research to flesh out the descriptions and try to have the information correct. This takes time especially when the album is a good hundred photos or so. Then I have to upload it all onto the net, and the connection at the compound is very slow. I'm almost there, I have the pictures already uploaded and am now starting to transfer the descriptions, just be patient.

For Eid I think that I am going to stay here for the first time ever. I was checking out flights and holiday packages but I left it too late and it just got too expensive. Between that and the knee problem I figure I should just take it easy. I was considering a quick holiday to Munich for Oktoberfest but the prices were brutal. Most decent hotels in the city wanted €300+ per night, and even a one star hotel wanted €120. Ack! What a rip-off, I'm not paying that kind of money just to drink beer from a fancy mug. The cost of flight and three nights hotel was almost the price of my nine-day London/Paris trip that I did last summer. No thanks. I'll just save the money and stay here.

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