Looks Easy to Win

Grab the toy

Grab the toy

Listen to this postThe game looks simple. Insert a coin in the machine, maneuver the mechanical arm to the toy you like and then let the arm grab it for you. Or does it? I played this game once when I was a kid and figured that I will never be able to get the toy because the mechanical arm needs good practice to master its movement. You could spend enough money to buy the toy by the time you learn how to position the arm. The arms clips does not have strong grip to pick, hold and left one of the toy from the neatly packed toys. But you will know this obstacles after you try the game and lose some money. Yesterday I took the kids to the arcades and watched many kids lose their money trying to win one of those pink bears.

Neatly stacked toys

Neatly stacked toys

You may ask why do people try it since it is difficult to win? Well, it is located in the kids arcade section and the toys inside it have vibrant colors that attract the kids to try at least once. You or the kids can be easily fooled in trying the game (at least once) because you would assume that maneuvering  the arm would be easy and its grip is strong. You discover after few trails that it is not, and you never tell anybody about your failure. I was advising my son about this rep-off scheme when finally one of the kids got a toy and made me look stupid!

First Class Lounge

Airport First Class Lounge

Airport First Class Lounge

Listen to this postI was fortunate enough to use the first class lounge in Kuwait airport. The lounge is spacious and well decorated. The staff present excellent service and the atmosphere is relaxing. Large screen LCD TV‘s positioned in good locations for most of the gusts to see. The volume is low so as the sound does not bother the relaxing guests until their flight is ready to board. I had long and busy day before reaching the airport, so I asked for my skimmed-milk latte‘ to relax in the lounge. The surprise was when the man started steaming the milk and the sound … Noisy! Nearby guest wake up not knowing which country he is in because of the noisy steam. I felt guilty for ordering the latte’.

All the nice things that made the lounge luxurious  and relaxing disappeared because of the noise. You may have noticed the same noise when you order Frappuccino in Starbucks. The noise associated with making this sugary drink equal the number of calories in it! Basically I think Frappuccino is a crazy mix of milk, ice, sugary, artificial flavor and coffee, blended together with fatty cream on top. Back to the First class lounge, I would suggest a simple solution to solve the noise problem while serving fresh coffee to the guests. They should make the coffee inside the service room and bring it out fresh to the customer. The guests would enjoy the relaxing atmosphere just by relocating the coffee-making machine to a nearby room.

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Valentine’s Day is A Commercial Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Like most lovers

Listen to this postValentine’s day is today February 14 if you forgot. This day is set for people to express their love to each other. I believe that valentine’s day is a commercial day and has been marketed very well to make us feel guilty for not buying something valuable to express our love to our loved ones.
Valentine’s day is named after a priest who lived in Rome around AD 269. The occasion became more popular in 1800 when British printers started producing decorated cards that have paper ribbons and lace.  People started mailing each other such cards and the occasion grow up with popularity since that date. This how it was back then but now, you have to buy gifts, flowers or chocolate. A combination of all these gifts will get you closer to your loved one. The more you buy the better they will feel. That is how Valentine’s day is sold to us. But we do not need to show our love only on that day and does not have to be through gifts.

Cut Hart

Getting ready

I will now discuss the commercial side of Valentine’s day. The day is marketed very well by printing calendars with a reminder that February 14 is Valentine’s day. Just before that day, the companies (especially brand names) need to remained us of their existence. No more marketing is needed because we are sold on the idea. I think the reminder is actually meant for the gift-receiver to expect the gift from the giver. A survey conducted this year in Bahrain estimated that 30% of the population would spend $180 (KD 52) for Valentine’s Day gifts. A quick calculation resulted in $40 million will be spent this year on Valentine’s Day in Bahrain. Please note that this survey was done in Bahrain, an Arab country that did not hear about Valentine’s Day until recently.

Be My Valentine

Most of the gifts has short shelve time, meaning that the store can not store them for the next year similar to unsold water heaters and blankets when the winter season end. So it is more economical to prepare the gifts just one week before the set date and sell them on that day. Commercially, Valentine’s day has another advantage which is storage space. The stores order large quantities of their merchandise and sell them all in 1 – 2 days. No storage needed to stock delicate products like flowers and chocolate around the year in large quantities. The store need to hold the smallest quantity always. So the business formula is to market the date, pre-order the products, sell them all in one day to enjoy quick profit. Now if I try to convince my wife on the above logic she would think that I am cheap!

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Check If You Are Old

Old Window

Old Window by: Tariq Malallah

Listen to this postOne of my friends ask a valid question about mid-life crises check point. I thought of listing some of the sings to tell if men are old. Read through and check if you have some of these sings:

  1. The barber start to give you good discount because you cut your hair more often and the amount of hair he has to cut is decreasing every week.
  2. You stopped your kids from eating candy and sugary liquids like Pepsi and Coke but now you do the opposite with your grand children.
  3. You refuse selling that old car and go for complete overall with new paint job that cost 70% of buying a new car.
  4. Your shoes are comfortable not stylish.
  5. Although you are controlling you meals but your weight is increasing. You don’t change your eating habits, but change the scale.
  6. You leave early to work while you children are still getting ready to wake up for work.
  7. You come back from work and your children are back before you, and they make more money than you do.
  8. You have a favorite chair in the living room nobody is allowed to use.
  9. You hold the TV remote control in your hand more than you hold your wife’s hands.
  10. No mater how loud you shout, the kids will only listen to your wife’s instructions!

Denial will not get you any younger.

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Mark Your Calender


Mark the calendar

The coming few weeks are filled with important occasions for me. Birthdays, anniversaries and important social days. I will be presenting a technical paper in Bahrain on February 15. One day before that, we will see many people celebrating Valentine’s day on February 14 (in case you forgot!). Valentine’s day is socially not accepted in Kuwait, but secretly most of us buy flowers for our loved ones and pretend it was a coincident that we bought them at that day. February 25&26 are Kuwait‘s national day and liberation day. Everybody between the age of 10 to 20 go crazy for no reason on those two days. They will be spraying water, party foam and other liquids at each other to celebrate Kuwait’s national day? March 2 is my wedding anniversary, and this year would be our 10th anniversary. March 5 &6 is our two boys birth days. Usually, my wife does all the preparations for the birthday party and I take take credit for the party like any “Good Father” would do!

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My Hand Writing

Daily Practice

My hand writing is impossible to read. It is so bad that I sometimes can’t read it. My Arabic hand writing is even worse than English. People who saw my hand writing told me that it looks bad enough to be mistaken for doctor’s prescription. To overcome this handicap, I started learning Arabic calligraphy in an attempt to improve my hand writing. The result of my calligraphy attempt is improving my calligraphy skills and worsening my handwriting! For English, I did not try to improve anything, I just learned touch-typing and that’s it. Whenever I need to write a note, letter or comment, I just use the laptop or my iPhone to key-in the words and then hit “send”. One of the main reasons I write this post in English is because my English typing is lightning fast when compared with Arabic typing.

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One Thousand Visitors


1000 visitors and going strong

AudioI set up this blog and started fiddling with it in November 2009, but started my first regular posting in Jan 3,  2010. I targeted 1000 visitors in the first month, and you made it possible. As I write this post the count is 995 visitors to the blog in one month and this count  does not include the blog subscribers who receive the new posts by E-mail the moment I post them. Thank you for visiting me again! I try to write interesting and thought provoking posts and you were generous with your constructive comments, so please keep them coming.  I have added audio feature to the post for your convenience. So if you would like to listen to this post you need to click on the small speaker-like icon on the top left corner of this post and enjoy listing!

The top 5 posts in this blog  so far are:

1- What is behavior?

2- What happen to my Latte !

3- Your Smile Will Last Longer

4- When We Will Meet Again

5- Customer Retention

Please let me know how I can improve this blog. What do you like to read (or not read) here.

Smart note:

Thirty one days past since I started posting in Jan 3, 2010. This is equivalent to one month and 14 hours  or 2.678 x 106 seconds  or 44,640 minutes or 744 hours or 4.429 weeks … To simplify this subject for you I would like you to image that if I light up a candle that day, its light would travel 802,901,721,600 kilometers or 498.9 billion miles in 31 days. While the light was traveling all that distance, and feeling exhausted, this blog site got 1000 visitors!

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Your Smile Will Last Longer

Double Espresso

Your smile is stronger than "Double espresso"

AudioSometimes all you need is to listen to the person next to you. You may not know that person but he or she needs to vent their steam to somebody. Listen, pay attention to what they are saying then repeat a summary of what they just said  to let them know that you listened to them. That’s all it takes! If you can throw in a genuine smile, then they will definitely know that you care. If you think about it, sometimes all you need when you are not in your best mood is someone to talk to. Marriage or intimate relationship is build around this belief (Ok … ok, and something else!) But mostly we need somebody to flash that delightful smile at us when we need a friendly face. A genuine smile will make the world suddenly looks colorful.

I have mentioned before my secret love with latte, but when I need a quick fix and do not have the time I usually go for espresso. Pure caffeine without the milk. The small quantity of coffee in the bottom of that single shot of espresso makes the person wake up and change his or her mood instantly. The same effect is found in listening and smiling which needs little effort from you but have tremendous effect on others. Tomorrow morning try flashing your pleasant  smile to people around you and notice the result. Please let us know how good is your smile?

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Balancing Your Life

Jack Welch

Jack Welch

AudioMost of us are working hard to achieve their best at work. Many of us are dedicated to their families and try to enjoy their social life more than they should. Choosing between work and social life is like asking a kid to choice between chocolate and Ice cream. Many professionals bring their work home and spend more time working than relaxing with their families. I have to admit that I am one of them! We work hard to get that trophy, promotion, or appreciation letter and neglect our families and friends. Our children do not care about our achievements at work, they do not know about them and don’t care. All they need from us is our presence and uninterrupted attention.

Jack Welch lead GE for thirty years to make it one of the best companies in the USA and retired with a salary of $8 million per year. Fortune magazine named him “Manager of the Century” and he was famous for saying “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” In a recent message through twitter, Jack said “Surprised to find how much more photos of family and friends mean than work memorabilia and magazine covers.”

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What happen to my Latte !

AudioI have to admit that I have not been out in a big shopping Mall for a while. I did not sit in a fancy café for some time. I usually grab my skimmed-milk latte from Starbucks while I am on the move. I did not enjoy a good cup of coffee in a café for long time because, like most of you, I am busy! My definition of good coffee is the one gets grinded every time you order it to the point where you can smell the aroma from a long distance.
Today was the day were I sat in one of those fancy, every thing is organic, kind of café. I asked for my skimmed-milk latte and I got this unusual cup which looks like a bowl. I did not know how to hold the cup since no handle was visible from all sides. I looked around me to see if somebody else had the same cup so I can learn how to drink it, but unfortunately I was the only one. So, I held the cup with both hands, similar to the way Japanese hold their traditional tea-cup, and drank it quickly before anybody could notice. Did I do it right? Take a look at the cup.

Cup of Coffee

How can you hold a cup without a handle?

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