Is King Fahd dead or not

enough sleep
2005-05-28— Posted by: allegra

Darth gets his secret wish
2005-05-28— Posted by: allegra

Or as has passed into family lore…. “Wave your hands til the music stops, then turn around and bow.” Be prepared to laugh out loud at least once. (Yes, it’s a commercial, but I don’t care, it’s tasteful.)

Don’t know why I like this
2005-05-28— Posted by: allegra

Guy fixed a tripod in the back seat, jammed in a two gig memory card, set the camera to take a pic ever 30 seconds, and then drove for six hours. I have no idea why I like it, but I do.

Schrodinger strikes again
2005-05-28— Posted by: allegra

King Fahd has become like Yasser Arafat. He’s dead, and he isn’t. Official Sa’udi news outlets say he’s clinging to life in a hospital in Riyadh, and unofficial ones say he’s been dead since Wednesday and they don’t want to announce it until the succession is clear. I find it really hard to believe he’s dead; he’s a Wahhabi and Muslim burial customs, which are frankly quite sensible, don’t have much to do with ‘lying in state’. The tradition is, you bury the dead person as fast as you may in a dignified fashion. This sometimes causes a culture clash because in North America six or seven days can go by between the death and the funeral/burial, longer if it’s a notable personage for whom many rich and prominent people must clear their daytimers. I think it much more likely that he’s on life support until the succession is secured. It all depends on how you define death, I suppose. Pic is of the king in happier times.

King Fahd supervised the expansion of the pilgrim facilities at Makkah and Madinah (preferred spelling in all the Sa’udi sites I’ve seen), set up a printing shop for the Quran in Madinah which has churned out 138 million copies of the Quran in 20 years, ensured that pilgrims coming on Haj actually get inoculated against various godawful diseases, and has tried, without much success, to reduce the death toll that is pretty much inevitable when you’re cooking with hot fat in a 400 tent long row and tip the fire over or get into a frenzy and stampede. However, just between 1990 and 1994, 1,700 people died on Haj (not of natural causes), at least according to a disgruntled Muslim Brit named Parveez Syed whose website was a vision of yellow and red.

These numbers jibe pretty well with my recollection. Interestingly, he claims that nobody got a penny in compensation for the dreadful fire in 1997, at which it was alleged that the rent a cops locked everybody into a compound. Between 1.5 and 2.0 million people visit the holy cities every year, with a big influx during the pilgrimage season. Anything to do with the royal family is therefore of concern to the entire Muslim world, because if there are any missteps with respect to how the pilgrimage is run it affects every Muslim on the planet (at least the ones who are allowed to go… my understanding is that there are sects of Muslims barred from attending because they are apostate; I’ll have to check with my coworkers about that one.)

I am about halfway through Rutherfurd’s London, and after the wine of Dunnett it is much like tap water.

In other news, we’re feeding Glen and Marilyn tonight. Glen said he’d bring his famous chuckwagon beans, which I am looking forward to… then we get to argue about what we watch on the big screen. I’m kinda hankering for something mindless.

Kira skipped breakfast; upon viewing the front end of the large mouse she deposited on the back welcome mat, I’m not surprised. Twas a big sucker.

Katie’s off at the non-boyfriend’s place – I am assuming she spent the night, her shoes aren’t here.

Paul looked as chipper as a man may coming off his last night shift and is looking forward to being diurnal again.

Keith’s job hunt continues. He told Katie to go apply at a couple of places but she’s not very happy about her chances. Of course, if she doesn’t apply she can be sure she won’t get it, and it’s a numbers game.

Sushi for dinner last night.

It was Berloody Hot in the house last night, couldn’t stand the weight of the covers.

Started reading the Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roach last night and I’m really enjoying it. Both an account of a Buddhist monk who became a diamond merchant and an exegesis of the oldest printed book in the world (woodblock printed starting in the 8thC) which happens to be a Buddhist religious text, it is by turns a fascinating look at the work of the diamond trade and a brutally practical application of Buddhist principles in business. It has certainly got me thinking. (Sometimes dangerous and frequently ineffective, but o well.)

I must make confession…. I prefer the tea Paul bought at Stuporstore to the Darjeeling Extra Amazing Tea, although it does brew up a beautiful colour. Fact is, the 5 bucks a pound stuff that Paul picked up does not go bitter, no matter how long you leave it in the pot, but the fancy Darjeeling can’t be left in longer than about four minutes or it goes bitter like hell. So although I am very happy that Tom U brought me back tea from Darjeeling, I am publicly announcing that I prefer the cheap*ss stuff from the ‘store, and that my philistinic tendencies grow apace.

Rob of Nine has provided a video of Dark Side of the Moon hooked up to Wizard of Oz. This is a cultural experience I have been looking forward to for a while. He also put ‘a bunch of other stuff’ on it, and so I am waiting for Keith to achieve consciousness to watch it.

If I was smart, which I’m not, and motivated, ditto, I’d do yard work before it got too hot. I think I’ll tidy instead.

Hey mome, yes I want to go to the family reunion. Just as long as you know I’m planning to wear tie dyes all the way through. And… do you really want me to give a talk? I’m thinking possibly “In the World but not Of it” as a subject. Family History as Social Medicine is another possible topic. Can’t you just register me and I’ll cough up the money later????

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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