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Christmas Time…Turkey Time! December 25, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Chatter, Food.
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It’s that time of year when households across the globe serve up a large succulent turkey, filled with a delicious blend of stuffing, complimented with a wide array of scrumptious side dishes.

Unlike regular folks, the four words that come to my mind whenever Christmas roles around each year:  turkey, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes.

I usually watch eyes wide open, mesmerized, as someone grabs a large knife and carefully slices the turkey open, only to reveal a treasure chest of stuffing within.  When asked whether I’d prefer red or white meat, I always request white.  The large, white, tender piece of turkey breast is placed on my plate, which is then topped with spoonfuls of stuffing and mashed potatoes, and finally flooded with mouth-watering gravy.  I may add some vegetables if the space on my plate permits.

Serving after serving, until ironically, the turkey stuffing eventually stuffs me!

Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas! 

Video: Jigsaw Time December 21, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Humour, Videos.
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Jigsaw, the creepy puppet from the “Saw” movie series, in his funniest scene yet.

I laughed my a$$ off watching this video.  And everytime I watch it over again, I crack up even harder. 

Jigsaw’s dead!! 

Philly’s Best…In Amman December 20, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Amman, Food.
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Thinly shaved rib-eye or USDA beef; a blanket of melted American, Provolone or “Cheez whiz” cheese; a mixture of sautéed onions, green peppers, and mushrooms; all sandwiched in a freshly baked Italian role.

The authentic Philly Cheese Steak sandwich can only be found in Philadelphia.  A regular Philadelphia debate is which of the oldest Philly Cheese Steak shops in the city is the best:  Pat’s, Gino’s, or Jim’s? 

I actually had the pleasure of trying an authentic Philly Cheese Steak at Pat’s while I was in Philadelphia back in 1999.  Absolutely incredible!!  I can honestly say that I haven’t had a Philly Steak since then that comes close to Pats’ perfection. 

But as you are aware, living in Amman, one has to learn to appreciate what is available.  I applaud the attempts of certain restaurants in Amman that manage to concoct some quite tasty Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches. After a tumultuous journey, in an effort to find the best Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches in town, the following restaurants have made it onto my Top 5 list.  And they are: 

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5.  Casper & Gambini’s (They need to do away with the tomato sauce and add more onions, green peppers and mushrooms)

4.  Urban Grill (Not bad at all. A bit too greasy for my liking – and I am someone who loves greasy food)

3.  Nara (Very good sandwich. The bread they use is always fresh)

2.  Houston’s (Very tasty…They should consider using American or Provolone cheese rather than Mozzarella)

1.  Champions (Simply Delicious! The only place in town that actually thinly shaves the beef, rather than slicing it in strips)

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EverNote: The Digital Note-taking Solution December 18, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Reviews, Software.
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Is your office desk or drawer cluttered with small white papers or post-it notes?  Is your note-pad or Filofax crammed with notes, names, dates and telephone numbers?  Do you have a hard time finding where you placed that piece of paper with a telephone number you jotted down a few days back?

My answers are yes to all three questions above.  I jot down notes, names, and telephone numbers on small pieces of paper which flood my desk.  I am constantly scribbling notes and numbers all over my notepad to the point that I sometimes completely fill every inch of a page.  Can you imagine how hard it is for me to have to go back to that page or those post-it notes to find a specific number !? 

There is only so much temporary information you can keep around.  Numbers, names, dates, facts, times, tasks, ideas and notes that you can throw away, but may need to save.  I am generally a very unorganized person.  My numerous attempts at staying organized last about a week until papers, notes, business cards, letters, etc. are scattered all over my desk.  That is why I choose the digital route.  I use nifty gadgets and practical software applications to keep everything such as contacts, calender entries, appointments, tasks – and now notes – organized and systematic. 

I stumbled across this great application called EverNote which works with Windows operating system. I’ved been using it a for a few days now and I’m very happy so far.  I literally grabbed every single one of those small papers sprinkled across my desk and entered them into my new digital note-taking system.  This handy software application is a must-have for quick note-taking.  You can organize your notes into categories, give them labels, use smart search to locate specific notes, create to-do lists, browse notes in a time-line, and so much more. 

The download is quick, free and very easy to install.  Disregard the paid version.  The main difference between the free and paid version is in synchronization features and handwriting recognition.  If you have an external tablet or Tablet PC and you like taking handwritten notes on your computer, you’re going to want the paid version.  The software integrates very well with Microsoft Office applications such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Word.  It is definitely well worth downloading and trying out. 

So, the next time someone asks you to take down a phone message or a confirmation number, instead of jotting it down on a post-it note the old school way, enter it digitally using your new note-taking tool.  No more paper clutter!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…”If it ain’t digital, it ain’t sh!*t”.  🙂

Picnic By The Bridge December 15, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Amman, Chatter, Jordan.
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I decided to take a relaxing Friday afternoon drive and maybe even get a glimpse of the recently inaugurated Wadi Abdoun Suspension Bridge in braod daylight.

What a crazy sight it was!!  Dozens of cars parked alongside the bridge, people snapping group photos, children playing, families taking a stroll along the small pathway…it won’t be long before they start bringing grills for a BBQ by the bridge!!

For a Friday afternoon, when the streets of Amman are usually empty, Jordan’s new landmark was packed with pedestrians and inconsiderate motorists who caused traffic by literally parking ON the bridge, completely blocking off one of only two lanes.  They would then jump over the large concrete railings to get to the pathway for a cigarette or photo, then jump back over to get into their cars.  Frickin’ insane!!!

I completely understand the excitement and the curiosity.  Amman residents have waited almost 4 years for the bridge to be completed.  Nevertheless, it’s a bridge people…not a damn amusement park! 

Official: Abdoun Bridge Open To Motorists December 14, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Amman, Chatter, Jordan.
8 comments

On my way back from work this evening, driving towards the 4th Circle from Shmeisani, I noticed the detour sign blocking entry into the tunnel leading to the Abdoun Suspension Bridge, was removed.  So, I decided to drive through…

I had no idea what to expect.  The tunnel curved slightly to the left, and as I drove out of the tunnel, a beautifully lit bridge appeared before me.  Wow!

I drove across the bridge, then through the tunnel underneath Abdoun Circle.  I made a u-turn at Starbucks and Blue Fig and went back along the same route.  The bridge is quite a sight!  Click the link below to see a few of the pictures I took with my phone.

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Video: A Medley By Aries Spears December 14, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Humour, Music, Videos.
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Aries Spears was a stand-up comedian who later joined the cast of MADtv in their 3rd Season.  He became famous for his imitations of Bill Cosby, Bobbie Brown, Eddie Murphy, Mike Tyson, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jackson, Jessie Jackson, MC Hammer, and many many more.

He recently appeared on Live 105 Morning Show (a popular US radio show), in which he performed a medley of rap all-stars such as Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, DMX and Jay-Z.  The accurate depiction of these rappers’ voices, flows, and rhymes is truly off the hook.  This guy is simply amazing!!  You’ll have to watch and hear for yourself…

The Rebirth Of A Circle December 13, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Amman, Chatter, Jordan.
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Mood:  Pleased 

No more detours, no more dust, no more construction, and no more traffic.   

I would like to genuinely applaud and commend the planners, designers, developers and implementers of the ‘new’ 4th Circle.  It is evident that the designers and planners diligently studied traffic and congestion routes prior to laying the groundwork. 

 Some may think I am being sarcastic with my praises.  Although sarcasm comprises a large part of my character, this time, my praises are sincere.  I am truly pleased with the design of the 4th Circle tunnels and the round-about itself. 

The 4th to 3rd Circle tunnel is wide (two clearly laid out lanes), unlike the 5th Circle tunnel.  The planners solved the 4th Circle – Shmeisani – Duwwar El Dakhiliyah traffic with a convenient yet dodgy exit within the tunnel, which merges with the Abdoun Suspension Bridge traffic going in the same direction.  So, while going to work in the morning, rather than stopping at the round-about and making a left towards Shmeisani, I simply drive under the bridge and curve into Queen Noor Street. Quite nifty… 

I’m thrilled to say that my drive to work now only takes 4 minutes…with traffic!!  I timed myself this morning.  It might take an extra few seconds when the Abdoun Suspension Bridge opens and I have to carefully merge into the traffic coming from that direction.   

The round-about itself looks very modern and well organized.  Rather than erect a weird looking structure (like that of the 7th Circle), or an over-exaggerated fountain with no water, the 4th Circle sports a simple, neat, and contemporary design.

In a nutshell, I feel the urban planners responsible for resolving the chaotic and congested 4th Circle area, have done so in a thorough and efficient manner.  Hats off.

‘Truthiness’ December 11, 2006

Posted by O.J. in News, Oddly Enough.
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The word of the year for 2006 is “truthiness”.

“Truthiness” was credited to Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, who defined it as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.”

“We’re at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people’s minds, and truth has become up for grabs,” said Merriam-Webster president John Morse. “`Truthiness’ is a playful way for us to think about a very important issue.”

Colbert first uttered “truthiness” during an October 2005 broadcast of “The Colbert Report,” his parody of combative, conservative talk shows.

Other Top 10 finishers included “war,” “insurgent,” “sectarian” and “corruption.” But “truthiness” won 5-to-1.

Sati’s Hip-Hop & R n’B Corner – 4th Edition December 11, 2006

Posted by O.J. in Hip-Hop & R n'B Corner, Music.
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Hip-Hop

We have some very interesting tracks lined up for the 4th Edition of Sati’s Hip-Hop and R n’B Corner.

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5.  Nas Featuring Will.I.Am – Hip Hop is Dead

Nas returns with a fierce, dark, and unusual hip-hop track.  Produced by Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, the track carries Rock n’ Roll beats enhanced by a fantastic bass and electric guitar tune.

4.   Fat Joe Featuring Lil Wayne – Make It Rain

An average attempt at a repeat “Lean Back” club anthem.

3.  Jay-Z – Lost Ones

A very elegent chilled-out hip-hop track, with a gorgeous jazzy rythm to it.

2.  Tupac Featuring Ashanti – Pac’s Life

It’s 2Pac…no need for any further elaboration.

1.  Cassie – Long Way To Go

Fantastic R n’B track!  Very catchy chorus.  A great follow-up to “Me & You”.  A remix of this song is available featuring a rap by Lil Wayne.  I personally prefer the original.

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