Saturday, December 29, 2007
The show was really great and we were thoroughly entertained. After that we took the Subway to Eaton Centre where we marvelled at the Svarovski Tree and the decorations in "The Bay" windows.
All in, a very nice day and so many thanks to Eva and Avi for getting us out of Suburbia for the day.
We've decided to make Downtown a 'Once-a-month' family affair. There is truly so much to see and do!!!!!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Dr. Schutz is the Medical Director of the Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga and by the attending surgeons' own admission - among the 5 top neurosurgeons in North America.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It's a nice strip that chronicles the adventures of one Julius Chancer in his quest for the elusive Rainbow Orchid.
Written in the European 'Ligne Claire, Bande Desinee' style similar to Herge, Bob de Moor etc.
Looking forward to getting my hands on it come December.
Take a look at the strip online at http://www.garenewing.co.uk/rainboworchid/webcomic/stripIndex.php
While it's not as detailed as the novel, it's a great effort and really nice to see Eoin's rendition of the characters.
Now that Harry Potter is complete, Artemis Fowl is a nice distraction to look forward to!!
Bring on book No. 6, Mr. Colfer
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Next on the list is back lit house numbers. Not your standard sized house numbers, but at least a 18 inches in height, black anodized aluminium mounted on a Plexiglas substrate that will contain a multitude of tricolored led's, essentially enabling me to obtain the complete visible spectrum. So I can have Orange for Halloween, Red for Canada Day, Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, Red/Green/Blue for Christmas etc. etc.
After agonizing over how I was to achieve the color control, I found this great instructable from Dan that seems to suit my purpose to a T. Here's the link and look forward to us wearing our heart on our porch.
Measuring Output Voltage across the spare wires. Unsure what 1 Volt can actually do!
Wires stripped and ready
Jack hanging out of the Wall Plate (Apologies to Bauer)
Power socket in the crawl space for the PSU. Telephone line is visible going through the floor.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Unloading all the spare change from Lynda's voyages at Schipol
Blogging from the Coffee Shop at the Moevenpick whilst waiting for our room
Layla feeding the pigeons at Dam Square
Belle & Aaliyah at the HeinyExpy
Asleep (or trying) at the Museumplein
Layla feeding the ducks at the Vondelpark
Lynda and the girls in from of a DHL TukTuk
We had a nice sit down lunch this afternoon in stark contrast to other lunches which were mostly mobile.
Then mostly walking through the shopping areas where the girls vanished through stacks of clothes and I took off for a vintage map store across the street. Did not find anything that I liked but I did not spend too much time there. Turns out the girls were not exactly waiting for me.
Lynda scored herself a pair of Cowboy boots at 50 Euros. Really nice buy. I wanted one as well, but explain this to me - How come Ladies boots on Sale start at 40 EUR and Men's boots on Sale start at 150 EUR???
I believe that men will get the better deal in heaven!!!!
Did so much yesterday. We took the tram to the Rijkmuseum. We had to make a changeover of trams. It was pouring and we were just across from the Old Heineken Brewery. We made a snap decision to take in the Heiniken Experience in honour of all the Alco's in my life, namely Dinesh, Shane & Marc. The experience was really neat and there were 3 beers per person included in the entry fee. Sorry guys, but at the end of the tour, we returned 4 unused tokens!!!!!!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Belle's plane was late taking off and therefore late coming in!!! We finally got out at 4. The city was crowded but quite an eyeful with OMGWWSW, DSDITD, PDA & WTFWT.
Translation (Oh My God What Was She Wearing, Did She Dress in the Dark, Public Display of Affection & What the F**k Was That)
Anyways, Aaliyah was a bit unwell and lynda returned home early. She had a mild fever attributed to an extremely busy Thursday with no sleep or rest. She's better now.
Today we hit some of the sales in the market and also take a Canal cruise. By evening we try to get ourselves to the Vondelpark.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Just arrived at the hotel. Requested an early check in and we have to wait a couple of hours b4 they get the room ready.
The train ride from the airport was nice. It's so great to see all the greenery around. The movenpick is a stone's throw from the City Centre. We wait for our room, dump our stuff, wait for Belle, nap and then hit the Town with a vengeance.
More updates to follow.
We're West baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
I along with Lynda resigned our posts and set about the process to finally immigrate to YYZ. The decision was not easy, as I believe most are not!
We're at D-7 and counting....
The packers are in today and are in the process of decimating what took 2.5 years to put together. Our house was always WIP and if we stayed here for another 5, the work would still not be complete.
We are now entrusting the contents of our lives to a group of packers and I have to watch like a hawk to ensure that all goes well. At some time this month, the very things that have defined us, will be in a 40' container, one of thousands, on a vessel, most probably repaired by Goltens, manned by cadets and the like waiting for the next port of call to get their rocks off, engineered by a clueless Chief Engineer and piloted by a half-drunk Captain.
And yet I'm confident that all will be well.
Faith is a funny thing. It's gotten us this far in life with the very best of experiences, acquaintances, friends and of course family. I'm a lucky guy. Hey - I've got a gap between my front teeth to prove it. The other gap, I've been told, is between my ears.
And so, my friends, it starts....
Captain's log. Star Date 5th July, 2007 - Bahrain - Earth
Monday, June 18, 2007
It's been too long. far too much going on in my life. This does not seem to have affected Lynda as she continues to post unaffected.
In a nutshell.
I resigned my post on the 25th of June
It was hectic getting to grips with giving up a respectable (??) position in an established company and a guaranteed income.
But it's been done - no regrets. we leave Bahrain on the 12th for a short (7 day) stint in Amsterdam. Joining us will be my cousin Christabelle from Bombay.
We touch down Toronto on the 20th of July 2007. Mark that on a diary somewhere. I believe it will be memorable!!!!
We spent the weekend in Dubai and had some enjoyable (and one not so enjoyable) lunches & dinners with old friends and family.
Met up with my boss and went over to the workshop to bid everyone a fond farewell. 15 years in one company leaves you with a lot of memories.
Jita gave me some cool gear that I plan to integrate into the Vintage Murphy Radio below. Unsure whether I can complete this prior to our departure, but will attempt to make the most of our time here on the island.
More to follow!!!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Clockwise from Top Right
Nunotani Keiki Seisakusho - Engine Order Telegraph
I actually rescued this off the top of a heap of stuff that was being thrown out from Goltens Fujairah. Not much done to it with the exception of rewiring it to accept 220V lamps. The face lights up and would make a great conversation piece in a foyer or in Marine themed room. All the original electrics are still intact and will someday attempt to get the handle to probably control.... maybe room lighting??????
Danforth Constellation - Magnetic Compass
Removed from Mohd. Sayed Al Kamda's yacht in 1992 on which I was working as a helper. Sayed Al Kamda is Goltens sponsor in Dubai and the Yacht was undergoing a complete refurbishment and I got to keep the Barometer/Chronometer/Hygrometer as well.
Wartsila - Name Plate
Removed from engine block in Goltens prior to it being scrapped. Polished the alloy, and filled in the recesses with Red Enamel paint which I then baked in the oven for a hard finish. Forgot about it and the entire house was smelling of burnt paint. Thankfully the smell cleared prior to Lynda coming home.
Freiberger Prazisionsmechanik - Sextant
Acquired when one of our managers moved to Singapore. I found this box lying in the corner and 'lo & behold' it contained a working Sextant. Incidentally this is East German and has been listed on the Internet for sale @ USD 500.00
Monday, April 2, 2007
I flirted with a Rack Mount Player and even had Lynda carry a 4U Rack Mount case from Malaysia. I finally traded in that in for a 320GB drive when I upgraded my PC.
I'm now flirting with the option of integrating a Media Centre within one of these console radios from the Fifties. I located a really neat software at www.albumplayer.com and is amazing as it supports touchscreen operations. I imagine the LCD monitor to be located in the lid and the hardware beneath it.
I already have an old Celeron c/w 512MB Memory on and Intel Motherboard. Now to get the console.
Anyone know someone who has any of these non-functional units lying around??????
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
That's All Jack!!!!!!!
This picture cannot begin to describe the transformation from what was a piece of furniture destined for the scrap heap to what now takes pride of place in my home.
Still very much a 'Work in Progress', I am yet to complete the 'swing out' faucet that would have been used by priests to wash their hands prior to going to the Altar to celebrate the Mass.
I trolled the Manama market to get the cup handles and vinod scavenged the smaller handles for me.
It looks rather impressive.
Memories of the customs officers at Mina Salman post laughing at my 'imports' come to mind right now.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I have wanted a Piano Stool for Lynda & Aaliyah ever since they lost the ability to return the dining chairs back to their original place.
Paid BHD 15.000 for it but it needs to be redone. So tomorrow I take it down to Vinod & gang for some stiffening of the joints and a few minor repairs. After that into the spray booth for a semi-gloss finish in black to match the Casio.
The top of the stool is to be taken to Ahmed Sharif for refinishing in a B&W print to sort of match the chosen palette. Look out for pics in the near future. This one should get completed fast!!!!!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Lynda and I have always been Daughtry fans, especially since he had refused to compromise on American Idol. We were both shocked and saddened by what we felt to be his very early exit from the show. I harbour a Conspiracy Theory that it was Chris himself through his fans that orchestrated his exit in order to save himself from the drivel that the American Idol songwriters turn out for the winners. I believe that Lynda may have shed tears at his sudden exit, but we will not go into that here.
This album was the best seller since it came out, a feat that no AI participant has achieved with the exception of Carrie Underwood. He is still #6 on Amazon's Best Seller list.
This is a great album and though you can download badly converted songs from Limewire and Kazaa, This guy deserves your money. God knows - He's earned it.
Track 3 - Home - Spectacular track!!!!
The school was a riot of colour!!! Most of the kids there were dressed up in their national costumes. Those that I recognised - Indian/Pakistan, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Arab, Dutch (clogs), German/Swiss/Austrian (Lederhosen). It was all so nice.
Some were plain confused about what their National costumes were. Soccer uniforms anyone??? Cowboys???
This is one of times that I'm prouder than most that I am Indian and that we have such a strong heritage and culture to delve into. We don't just have A National Dress, we have so many!!!!! especially if you're a girl!!!!
Of course to Aaliyah this is just another day of fun at school and would probably not see things as cynically as I do.
It really is so amazing to be a child!!!! Hope they remain that way for a longer time.......
Sunday, March 18, 2007
This was salvaged from Mt. Mary's Basilica by U. Hayley.
So much work has gone into resurrecting this very rare and unique piece of history. The base had rotted away due to water damage, the bottom doors had to be partially rebuilt, the doors at the top had to be repaired. The reservoir, collector and collector funnel had to be rebuilt out of stainless steel. I'm not sure if I will ever fill water in the system, but I got the wetted parts made anyways.
I still need to source some hardware for this and will target ACE hardware on my next Dubai run.
This is now being lacquered and should be completed before we go down to Mumbai. I want to carry pictures of this to U.H. as a thank you for the salvage effort.
This is very much on the way to becoming a family heirloom!!!!
Lynda bought this Altoids Tin on account of the packing. As a true geek I realised that this had no place in her purse and set upon it to convert it for my mouse.
I used my diamond (yes you did read that right) files to get the cutout just right for the USB port.
Visit him at www.rigger-dinesh.blogspot.com
In the picture in his third post he is seated fourth from the right.
Dinesh is a year older to me and essentially walked out with all the height and good looks that my mother had to offer!!! I on the other hand seeing that those two were gone, filled my pockets with charm, intelligence, innovation, rhythm,wit & wisdom!!!!!
But he's my brother and we all love him!!!!!
She informed us that we were all to give up something for the next 40 days as a sacrifice.
Lynda said that she would give up Chocolate
I said that I would not scold them for the next 40 days (that only lasted for two)
..... said that she would give up Farting..... and then she lets a loud one rip!!!!!!!!!!!!1
No one can clear a room faster than Layla.
Monday, February 26, 2007
I took up the Clarinet earlier this year just to see if I could actually carry a tune.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
They went to the place where they first hooked up and he got down on one knee and proposed to her with a diamond ring!!!!
Right! That isn't really uncommon. Bear with me. This guy and girl are already engaged and were looking at reception venues last year. So why this? Why now?
Turns out that he could not scratch together enough last year, so he did it on the anniversary instead.
It's really nice to know that there are romantics out there after all.
Kudos to you my friend. May she make a decent person out of you!!!!!!!
It's all about priorities Man!!! Enjoy the journey and rest assured that the Destination will be great!!!!
And so the three of us sit and watch the programme faithfully.
Lynda could not be bothered about how things are made just so long as it does not need service and can fill the petrol tank by itself!!!!!
Anyhooo. The last episode showed how mushrooms were cultivated. And everything went downhill from there. I'm not sure if it was the growth medium made of Horses Dung..... or the Chicken Poo added later for enrichment.... that spelt doom for our culinary choices. Rest assured however that Mushrooms may never be consumed by the girls again.
Isn't it cool that as a parent we have the ability to completely and utterly screw up our kids????
I hope somewhere in the distant future when they're flipping patties in a Burger King outlet trying to pay their way through college, they don't hurl at the person ordering 'mushroom &
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I'm expected to give this report by tomorrow. A report which to me can be equated to the "State of the Union" address - which is also a bunch of lies!!!!
We've had a poor start to this year. Luckily we built up our reserves at the end of last year so I'm still posting profits... However once that runs out, I'm screwed. I need lies and I need them fast!!!!
Anyone has Bush's speechwriter on their speed dial?????
Anyways..... I got Layla tapping out some rhythms on the drums just to get her used to the kit before the practice book and CD get in.
So she kept messing up and finally blurted "Oh maaaaan!!! I'm never going to be a rock star!!!!!"
Ah. Isn't that what every father dreams for his five year old, shorts wearing, dress hating, converse loving, gun toting daughter????? NOT!!!!
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Layla: Mama why is the sun always following us
Aaliyah: The sun is following us because the world is turning
Layla: The world is turning??
Aaliyah: Yes. It is turning clockwise.
Layla: The world is a clock?? Tick Tock Tick Tock????
At the Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain, there is a Dhow propped on the side for the purpose of repairs.
Me (in a bid to stimulate conversation): Hey Ally, there's a boat outside the water!
Ally (in drab wonderment at the pre-requisites to be a father): All boats are built out of water!!
Layla (being Layla): Some boats are made of wood!
Ally (wondering what she did to deserve this family): Layla!! All boats are made 'out of the' water!!!!
Layla: Yes!! But!! Some boats ARE made 'out of the' wood!!!
We couldn't have reached school sooner!!!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
You're thinking 'What a conceited Bastard' - Guilty as charged!!! No doubt about it!!
Anyways, I earmarked this space on the 12th of November when I saw this house for all of 5 minutes and decided that this was where we wanted to stay for the next 2.5 years that we anticipated staying on the island.
I went about purchasing the 4 metal whiteboards from Ikea prior to our move (alas there is no Ikea on the island) The top shelves are recycled from the old house and one of them had to be trimmed to fit. The lower shelf was the first project that I entrusted to Vinod (My personal God of Wood) and when he understood what I wanted, I felt the heavens open up and a chorus of angels start to sing.
The entire assembly floats away from the main wall by using a lattice of pine slats kindly donated to me by my ex-boss and great comrade Hassan. It used to be his kids bunk beds. Sometimes the voices of Samir & Rami call out to me as I blog late into the wee hours of the morning.
But I digress again!! Flu can do that to the best of people.
The floating assembly enables me to route power cables, RJ-45's, RJ-11's, Audio & Speaker Cables from the PC's to the various units on the upper shelf.
For Power, I have 4 extension strips under the main shelf with 6 multiconfiguration sockets (any plug in the world) giving me a sum total of 24 outlets. Why did I ever think that that would be enough? I ran out of sockets in the first year itself!!!
So all in, it's a great place to sit (or stand) and blog, check mail, browse the net and download music illegally.
4 stations for a family of 4. No one will ever have to fight for a PC in my house!!!!!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
No gift this time Baby!!! Sorry!!
However let me say 'Thank You' for agreeing to go out with a boy 14 years ago on New Year's Eve.
A boy with barely a Dirham in his pocket, who wore your Father's Jacket & drove your Uncle's car to the Farm Party in Aweer.
Let me assure you however that the love that I professed for you that day, was all my own!!! That day will always remain the high point of my life!!! Marrying you was my 'Magnum Opus' and I only hope that I measure up to even a miniscule percentile of your expectations.
Thank you for the love, commitment and caring that you've provided me for all of these years!!!
Happy Valentine's Day to all who've been fortunate enough to find that 'special someone', and to those who've remained single in order to hold out for that someone, somewhere!!!
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Good citizens that we are, Lynda and I decided that once again it was up to us to singlehandedly save Bahrain's economy.
As always with all good sales, there was only rubbish on the racks and we did the customary tour of Debenhams/BHS/M&S/Mango & Zara
We all took our usual roles. Lynda - Spotting everything way too expensive and not on sale
Me - Bargain Whore!!
Aaliyah - Pest
Layla - Bigger Pest
Well, we did not get anything good except for my mother, whom I believe is probably the most fashionable Lady in the Women's Sodality!!! Any Sodality!!!!
On to Zara and I (yes - Me, not Lynda) wound up buying a Black Linen Suit. It must have looked good on me telling from Lynda's lustful looks. (Hey a man can dream!!!) Anyways. Liked it so much that I bought the one in Beige (Wheat??) as well. This I believe to be the biggest indulgence ever and I was quite guilty after that. For about 5 minutes.
OK. Will no longer do Gay posts. Promise.
Oh. Oh. Oh. Got two shirts one with tiny skulls & crossbones and the other Tuxedo style in black.
God!!! That was so Gay!!!
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
OK. So there's nothing more worse than all those people who audition for AI, believing that they're God's gift to the recording industry.
Or is there??
Lynda and I spend most of the year waiting for AI to start and when it does, we schedule everything else around it. We've even got the girls doing mock auditions with us playin Randy and Paula!!!!
Having said that, AI carried us through those first agonising months in Bahrain. Faced with options like the Absolute B**ch from next door and the Nazi who allowed me to apologise for my dog killing 'her' cat that I later found out to be stray, AI was still the better deal.
Go AI! Go Bo! Go Taylor!
BTW, the Neurotic B**ch has since moved to AUH. Should you run into her... please run into her!!!!
This was used by priests to wash their hands before celebrating the mass in the times prior to running water.
This is a very unique piece of furniture and will be quite a challenge to get up to spec. I managed to take apart the complete unit and it is partially assembled. There is some brass hardware that I will need to get cast. I have to look for a period sink to match the year as well as make up new resevoirs and splashbacks from GI sheet (maybe aluminium???)
There are even hidden towel racks recessed into the top unit with full extension sliding dovetails. Very clever for it's time.
I hope to complete this prior to the 'Big Move' and will update as and when I have something new.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Really, Why?? - Quite simply because I could!!!
Monday, February 5, 2007
This is my Grandfather's chair.
I remember him seated at this chair filling in his diary.
Good times - seems like a lifetime away!!!
When my Grandmother's house was sold to property developers, the furniture was divided among the siblings. I essentially took all that was considered scrap.
I carted this with me to Dubai and then to Bahrain where I managed to restore the chair. Unfortunately it's pair is in a worse state and can not be restored.
This is my Grandmother's Showcase.
This is a Prie-Dieu (Pray to God - in French) salvaged from Mount Mary's Basilica in Bandra, Mumbai.
Was is a terrible state when I got it, but saw it's potential and rightly enough.
It sits below our Altar Box holding one of Lynda's painting books.
I just love ecclesiastical furniture
Shout out here to Vinod - My carpenter, who interprets my madness for perfection down to the letter.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
So I thought that I'd snap off something witty, but witticisms are hard to come by when you really want to be witty.
Who am I - 38 years of age, married for 11, 2 kids aged 5 & 7.
It's a wonder that I found the time to start up a blog between dropping the kids off to school and sometimes collecting them.
And oh yes - I manage a small company. But only because I need the money to indulge in my hobbies of which I have so many.
BTW the keyboard on my laptop has lost it's F key. So in case you find any Typos. UCK O!!