Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

I know this feeling!

Humorous Pictures
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April 2, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, ExPat Life, Humor, Kuwait, Photos | , , | 7 Comments

Big Plans, No Action

Hmmm, let’s see . . . plans drawn up, billions allocated for renovation and restoration and blah blah blah and nothing happens. Good ol’ Kuwait? Nope! The tragic quagmire of post-Katrina New Orleans. You can read the entire article at The New York Times.

Published: April 1, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — In March 2007, city officials finally unveiled their plan to redevelop New Orleans and begin to move out of the post-Hurricane Katrina morass. It was billed as the plan to end all plans, with Paris-like streetscape renderings and promises of parks, playgrounds and “cranes on the skyline” within months.

But a year after a celebratory City Hall kickoff, there have been no cranes and no Parisian boulevards. A modest paved walking path behind a derelict old market building is held up as a marquee accomplishment of the yet-to-be-realized plan.

There has been nothing to signal a transformation in the sea of blight and abandonment that still defines much of the city. Weary and bewildered residents, forced to bring back the hard-hit city on their own, have searched the plan’s 17 “target recovery zones” for any sign that the city’s promises should not be consigned to the municipal filing cabinet, along with their predecessors. On their one-year anniversary, the designated “zones” have hardly budged.

“To my knowledge, I don’t think they’ve done anything to any of them,” said Cynthia Nolan, standing near a still-padlocked, derelict library in the once-flooded Broadmoor section, which is in the plan.

“I haven’t seen anything they’ve done to even initiate anything,” said Ms. Nolan, a manager in a state motor vehicles office who has painstakingly raised her house here nearly four feet. “It’s too long. A year later, and they still haven’t initiated anything they decided to do?”

The library still bears the cross-hatch markings made by emergency teams in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina, to indicate whether any bodies were inside (there were none).

The city official in charge of the recovery effort, Edward J. Blakely, said the public’s frustration was understandable, but he suggested that bureaucratic hurdles had made moving faster impossible. Mr. Blakely said crucial federal money had only recently become available, the process of designing reconstruction projects within the 17 zones was time-consuming, and ethics constraints on free spending were acute, given a local history of corruption.

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Building, Bureaucracy, Crime, Cultural, Financial Issues, Fund Raising, Leadership, Lies, Living Conditions, News, Rants | , | 2 Comments

Go For the Bloat

It is breathtaking in its audacity. In a report from we learn of a reverse approach by Carl Jrs. / Hardee’s – going full out towards mega-caloric burgers.

This post is dedicated to Mark, at 2:48 the b-side who is on a quest in Kuwait for the ultimate burger. I am afraid he is going to – literally – eat his heart out.


It was a patriotic statement that went a bit too far afield: an attempt to create the “ultimate picnic burger.” Called the Fourth of July Burger, it was tested last summer at seven locations by the West Coast fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. and consisted of a huge beef patty topped with pickles, ketchup, mustard, potato chips, and a hot dog. Stacked high and loaded with fat and calories, it was the food equivalent of the national anthem played through a sousaphone, a perfect distillation of a peculiarly American form of balls-out, postmodern gluttony that, at least outwardly, we’re all supposed to be ashamed of right now.

Yet for all its pomp and glory, it didn’t quite work. When John Koncki, director of product development for Carl’s Jr., talks about it now, he comes across a little wistful. It tasted really good, he says, but the name and the concept proved too much for the testers. “Sometimes,” the earnest Koncki says, “some of the sandwiches are so unique that consumers can’t wrap their heads around them.”

The uniqueness isn’t the only thing that’s hard to get your head around. During the past few years, CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has employed an audacious go-for-bloat approach that defies just about everything you’ve come to assume about the business of modern fast food. (See nutrition data for CKE franchises and other fast-food chains.) In an age when other chains have been forced to at least pretend that they care about the health of their customers and have started offering packets of apples and things sprinkled with walnuts and yogurt, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are purposely running in the opposite direction, unapologetically creating an arsenal of higher-priced, high-fat, high-calorie monstrosities—pioneering avant-garde concepts such as “meat as a condiment” and “fast-food porn”—and putting the message out to increasingly receptive consumers with ads that are often as controversial as the burgers themselves.

You can read the rest of this article, and similar articles, by clicking HERE.

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Cooking, Diet / Weight Loss, Eating Out, Experiment, Health Issues, Humor, Social Issues | , , | 2 Comments

Sunrise and the Qatteri Cat

The Qatteri Cat started getting restless around 4 a.m. this morning. This was entirely my fault; I forgot the check the cat food before I went to bed and around 4 he likes to have his main meal of the day, take care of toileting needs, scramble around the house, listen to all the noises on the street – it’s his time of day. I knew QC was hungry, but I couldn’t make myself wake up enough to feed him.

He is a very polite cat – he just keeps coming back. By 5:30 a.m. and his 5th or 6th greeting, I was ready to get up. And I really am glad I did, as the sun is rising these days around 5:44 and I was able to capture the beginning of what I believe is going to be a truly glorious day.


The high today will only be 93°F / 34°C; it is a balmy 70°F / 21° C at 5:56 in the morning.

The only meeting I had scheduled for today was postponed, and I have the entire day to devote to organizing my taxes. I don’t know why I make such a big deal out of it, put it off, all it takes is focus and just getting organized, but for some reason I dread doing it make it worse than it really is. I even have a reward for myself when I get it done, so what’s my problem?

Have a great day out there.

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | Leave a comment