Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

One Thing I Really Like About Pensacola

As I was driving along an unfamiliar highway around 11 on a Friday night in Seattle, it occurred to me how tame the driving in Pensacola is. For some reason, the traffic lanes on the highway in Seattle are narrower than in other countries. You get used to it, but it’s like the whole personal space thing; when first invaded, the adrenalin starts rushing.

In Seattle, there are just too many cars for the roads to handle with grace. Same as Kuwait. When I first got to Qatar, the roads were adequate, but no longer.

Pesacola is sweet. You can get anywhere you need to be in under half an hour. From the airport to my house is like 8 minutes, max. My house to the shops, my house to the YMCA, my house to church – all about eight minutes. There are a lot of stop signs and a lot of stop lights, and I rarely see anyone run them. I never see traffic gridlock. There is one really dangerous intersection in town, and I rarely see a problem there.

It’s not that driving in Pensacola is so consciously mannerly, as in Seattle. It’s just more laid back. No one seems to be in that great a hurry to get anywhere. Every child is in a car seat. People are careful, even if they are driving while impaired.

You can get spoiled. When you get used to calm driving, then just about anywhere you go with real traffic seems chaotic. Once you have a large number of people on the road, you increase the chances of running into a cowboy (or cowgirl), or an inexperienced driver, or a half-blind older driver, etc.

Driving in Pensacola is just uneventful. 🙂

August 6, 2010 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Pensacola, Qatar, Seattle | 6 Comments

Jordan Blocks Workers Access to Net

From BBC News

LOL – only THREE hours wasted per day? I would have guessed more!

Jordan blocks public sector workers from 50 websites
By Daniel Emery
Technology reporter, BBC News

The ban on accessing sites only applies to public sector workers.

Jordan has barred public sector workers from accessing more than 50 websites at work, after it was found they were wasting almost 3 hours a day online.

The 30-day study found that public servants visited 70 million websites at work, of which only 130,000 were relevant to their jobs.

The country’s Information Minister, Marwan Juma, told BBC News that the policy would “improve services”.

“We knew there was waste, but not to this extent,” he said.

“These policies are not unique; when I worked in the private sector, all the companies I worked for had policies.

“It’s part of our attempts to improve services and get staff to use the internet as a tool to help them with their work.”

Mr Juma stressed that the blocked access would only be in place during office hours.

“This is a continuous process and we are revamping our monitoring and filtering tools with a view, perhaps, of time limited access to certain sites, rather than an outright block,” he added.

Immediate action
The government said that action needed to be taken, pointing out that there were more than a quarter of a million attempts to access the blocked sites in the first day after the ban came into effect.

“This measure must not be misinterpreted,” said the Jordanian Communications Minister, Ali Ayed.

“The government is not targeting any particular website,” adding that even the government’s own news agency, Petra, has been blocked.

“The public sector’s time must be spent in service of the public interest and public servants must focus their attention on the public’s needs, instead of wasting their time surfing the web or playing games,” said Mr Ayed.

August 6, 2010 Posted by | Jordan, News, Work Related Issues | Leave a comment