Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Separated Shoulder from Football

You may have read my post below about football (soccer). Well, we played our second game last night and I'm happy to report we won again 3-0. I'm not happy to report that I separated my shoulder during the game. I fell across a diving goalee as we both went for the ball. I went over him and landed on my shoulder. Ouch.

A shoulder separation (as I'm learning) is when the ligament that attaches the clavical to the wingbone or acromion. That ligament seems to be torn. And it will take 6-8 weeks to heal the doctor tells me.

I'm most disappointed that this will put me out of Ultimate Frisbee for more than a month. I better get my running shoes out of the closet and ready for a workout.

The Creek Extension through my Neighborhood... It's coming :(

Well, it looks like it's really going to happen. A local tabloid is reporting that the final phase of the Creek Extension project is about to begin (December) and unfortunately it will be run by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA). This department in the government here is not too popular right now and they seem to be hitting new lows by denying significant problems with traffic especially having made promises to clear things up with a new toll system.

Also, you'll see below the pictures in the paper representing current construction and it's proposed route. It is not scheduled to be finished for 3 years so I don't know when or exactly how it will affect life in my neighborhood. But I am sure it will and it won't be pleasant.

Three major roadways will have bridges built over them to accommodate the path of the waterway. That should be absolute chaos. And it looks like my running track around the park will be cut into pieces as well.


Here are some facts about the extension:

* 10 kilometres of the man-made Creek have been completed at a cost of Dh484 million
* The construction of the final 2.2-km stretch of the Creek extension will begin in December
* The Creek should be completed by November 2010
* The new channel is 100 metres wide on average and 500 metres at its widest point
* The Creek will be able to host yachts up to 60 metres in length

But life is good in spite of this major inconvenience... :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Football and Football

I like all kinds of football... the worldwide recognized kind (soccer) and the American kind as well. I really like watching English Premiership League and the professional and college level American football seasons have started up as well.

Just last night I joined with friends from the Arab Evangelical Church in Dubai to play in a Ramadan Football (Soccer) Tournament. I've played in this for four years now and this year we're playing indoors rather than outdoors. It's cooler indoors but I really enjoyed playing at the Iranian club fields in the past years. There was just something exotic about being an American walking past the Iranian club lobby with the pictures of the Ayatollah Khomeni and President Ahmadinejad hanging there prominently.

By the way, we won our first game 5-0 :)

Here is a clip of one play from a game in the American football professional league weekend games. You can see lots more clips at

Watch the whole clip here...
An Amazing Flip!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dubai Marina Photos

I went for a business lunch in the Dubai Marina area last week and I snapped these pictures as I waited for my colleague. The Marina is still growing at an astounding pace.

We've Got Visitors...

President Putin visited last week and met with Sheikh Kalifa, President of the UAE.

I sure hope they had more fun than it looks like they're having here. :) And notice how the late Sheikh Zayed is looking on from over Putin's shoulder... approval? disapproval? We'll never know will we.

A Caption's Worth A Thousand Words

Sometimes the captions tell you the most. It's been increasingly apparent over the last year or so which son of Sheikh Mohammed, Ruler of Dubai, has been anointed the successor to his father. Shaikh Hamdan is the one it appears. Billboards with his face on them, well attended poetry readings, his own flashy website (you really should click on this just to hear the 'heroic' music!), and now subtle but significant things like the caption on this photo tell the story.

If you read the caption you'll see that the naming starts with Hamdan on the right then shifts to the second from left (also a son of the ruler), then to the left-most (also a son of the ruler), and lastly to the second from right... the one guy who isn't a son of the Sheikh. I'm not a journalism expert but it sure seems like an odd way of labeling a picture except if you wanted to make sure the most important one gets named first and then carefully name the rest in descending order of importance.

By the way... the guy who won the gold medal isn't even pictured. :)

Quote: What to Pray For

I'm struck by how my prayer life inevitably wilts and shrinks over time. When I should be praying with faith for magnificent and amazing things to take place in me and others instead I end up praying for "tame" and ordinary things. The quote below is a bracing tonic for a prayer life in the doldrums...

Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men. Do
not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal
to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no
miracle, but you yourself shall be a miracle. Every day you
shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has
come to you by the grace of God.

... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Passing the Ice Bar in Dubai

I had to go by an electronics/computer store today and get a new printer for our office and that took me to the new Times Square Mall on Sheikh Zayed Road. As I drove over I remembered that the new "Chillout Lounge", a 21 degree Fahrenheit, all-ice bar had opened to much fanfare in early August. (See this article in the Washington Post).

I happened by it and snapped a couple pictures in the window. In one you can see the ice sculpture in the shape of the Dubai skyline and in the other you can barely make out two figures huddled together in parkas. Supposedly it costs about 60AED (or $17) for the cover charge, use of parkas and gloves, and a hot chocolate drink.

What a crazy idea... I don't know if I'll ever go in. I'd rather go eat a good Lebanese or Thai meal for that kind of money.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Camelicious!

I took this photo last spring and forgot to post it. My kids and I drove along beside this truck on the way to school in the morning. How many of you have tried camel milk? Me neither :) I hear it's pretty salty. I think it's safe to say that this is a sight pretty unique to the Arabian Gulf.

I dare you to visit the website listed on the side of the truck!
Posted by Picasa

Early September Morning Dune Trip

Dunes look like the spine of a dragon tail!

Notice the camel tracks off to the right?

We had business colleagues in from out of town last week and we decided to treat them to an early morning ride through the desert. These pics were taken about 8am out by Camel Rock. You have to go early during these late summer days or the heat is just too much.

I had a touch of stomach "bug" unfortunately and so the up and down driving was causing my problems. The guys dropped me on a sand dune with some trees nearby and I just sat there for an hour til they came back. I had my mobile phone with me so I cleaned up my phone book, took a few pictures, and made important calls. I had to keep blowing my phone off as the wind was really whipping up and the fine grained sand was filling every crack and exposed opening.

It was a strange experience working away as I sat alone with no one visible for as far as the eye could see. And it was really heating up by the time they came back to get me!

We were back in the office by 11am.

p.s. Hope I can make it to the desert more frequently this year! It's amazing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quote on "The Cost of Following Jesus..."

(Forgive me... I'm 'stuck on' quotes right now :)

If all you have found [in Christianity] is advantage,
whether it is fun or profit or security, then you haven't
started following Him yet. His way is the way of the Cross.
The world can be very hard on those it hates. If it is not
hard on you, perhaps it sees nothing in you to hate. But then
it doesn't see Jesus in you, for it hates Jesus with an
undying hatred. While your way is still all fun, all easy, all
jolly, it is only your way: when you turn from it to follow
His way, it will cost. It may cost you everything you have.
That is what it cost Him.
... Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985), "Of Rice and Men"

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Quote on "Heaven and You..."

The purpose of religion--at any rate, the Christian
religion--is not to get you into heaven, but to get heaven
into you.
... Frederick Ward Kates (b.1920)