يا سائلاً نفسي عن هواها
اني غُدرت
وهذي قصتي معاها
فلقد نظرت مسالماً في مقلتين
يحسبهما الغادي عيناها
أما أنا فركبت فُلكا -من دون ما ذنب- قد فُك مرساها
استعنت بمن قد قال كُن و”نفس وما سواها”
ما زلت أُبحر تائهاً
بين فجورها


It’s been exactly a year to date since I last posted; a series of unlucky and mis-fortunate events started off when I got too occupied with work to follow up on domain renewal. Then when I actually noticed the crisis my registrar happened to have a problem with the whole-sale domain dealer and my domain was lost in between. It took 7 months of follow-up to finally get it back!

Hammer or Screwdriver?

Jack and Max are attending a religious service.
Jack wonders whether it would be all right to smoke while praying.
Max replies, “Why don’t you ask the Priest?”
So Jack goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I smoke while I pray?”
But the Priest says, “No, my son, you may not. That’s utter disrespect
to our religion.”
Jack goes back to his friend and tells him what the good Priest told him.
Max says, “I’m not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try.”
And so Max goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I pray while I
To which the Priest eagerly replies, “By all means, my son, by all means.”

Language is a toolbox, know your audience and pick the right tool.

Not in the US? You’re “less human”!

This is somehow humiliating, yet I kid you not I often feel we deserve it. I don’t want to sound as extreme as Ghandi, but it if there is anything we need we better make it ourselves. Way to go.

US Onlt!
Don’t get me wrong, food and clothing have indeed a higher priority than an online ‘a $1 per CPU/hr grid computing account’!

LVM Anomalie

I walk in the office on a fine Sunday morning to find out electricity has gone down restarting all boxes. One of my Debians wouldn’t leave runlevel 1 because of a logical volume not being mapped. I started the a typical bottom up troubleshooting procedure and at the first step (forget the vgscan and lvm libraries loading) :

timon:~# pvdisplay
Couldn’t find device with uuid ‘CMXpz2-HQQw-RO4k-5K2J-0mO4-oxTY-WvkY7W’.

— Physical volume —
PV Name unknown device
VG Name data_vol_grp
PV Size 74.53 GB / not usable 0
Allocatable yes (but full)
PE Size (KByte) 4096
Total PE 19079
Free PE 0
Allocated PE 19079
PV UUID CMXpz2-HQQw-RO4k-5K2J-0mO4-oxTY-WvkY7W

— Physical volume —
PV Name /dev/hdd
VG Name data_vol_grp
PV Size 37.27 GB / not usable 0
Allocatable yes (but full)

This was – of course – creepy, knowing the drive was brand new, seen by the BIOS and detectable with a simple `fdisk -l`! Also check out the contradiction in italic.

After an hour of playing around … given I know the device path all I had to do is a `pvdisplay /dev/hdc` to get a healthy listing right there :O

I carried on with a `vgchange -a y data_vol_grp` followed by a `fsck.reiserfs` and finally mounted the volume and all was good!

Just thought I’d save some time and ATP burning surprise fellow admins should you ever experience this, especially that (as sledomly as it happens) google wasn’t that helpful.

Happy Hacking

The Others

The other day I happened to open the Sports part of the newspaper, which I, honestly, only open by coincidence! An article caught my attention which was reporting a German Sociologist carrying out a study on the stress goalkeepers go through. That struck me for a second; how interesting! The article also alludes to a story by Peter Hendke Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter in which a goalkeeper commits a horrible mistake that gets him kicked out of the game and has him end up spending the night with one of the girls selling tickets at the door, he then proceeds to strangle her the next morning! Thinking anger management? That’s what I thought too.

Well, I could care less about goalkeepers in particular; however, I have always been curious about the life of others that we see or hear about but don’t really get the chance to dig into. This researcher for example has done similar studies on cops, bodybuilders, and house wives. I like those that take this even further. Movies like 8mm for example, giving insight into the underworld of the porn industry, Blow exploring the life of a real drug lord El mahico, and recently Lord of Wars revealing the life of an arms dealer.

So let’s see how this is like: seeing, better yet feeling with, the life of an(other). Imagine waking up in the morning and instead of having your cereal/pancake/”zait w za3tar” you start munching on an 8 Oz. steak, Kabseh, or Mansaf. You get in your car and morning traffic is gone, not particularly gone, but is on the other side of the road. No your’e not a loner! Then as you go into your office people are packing off and leaving. Weird. You finish up your 9++ hours and on your way home, the city is more of a ghost town. You try calling a couple of friends to hang out, but hey, no body is answering as they’re all, unlike you, working the graveyard shift, asleep! My weekdays in a nutshell!

Freakin geeky culture

So .. I’m on GTalk (the embedded one) talking to a fellow geek after a long day of work – which some of you know ends at 1 am for me. Conversing with a typical opener he asks how was I, and I immediately reply “shughol … too much of it” n his response was:

as long as you have enough caffiene at work,
ou betrawe7 to a loving machine at home,
kolo tamam

GOD … I think we’re just born like that … don’t get me wrong and think I dislike it 😉

Ya Seeeessssii

I might have gotten used to el “shabab” mounting “shashe w dvd” in the car but what has really moved me is Taxis in Amman getting them installed for the sole purpose of back-seat-passenger’s entertainment. This is nifty! The picture was taken at a traffic light near the 4th ‘circle’ but to avoid unnecessary quarrels I couldn’t show you el “gatgootah” in the back concentrating on a Rotana Video! Ya seeesssiii

“We fly at Zero noise-level”

It’s been a hobby of mine until I got my current job where I barely get to do the things I like “outside” work. This year I’m determined to carry on with this. Soaring. This past Friday marked the coming-back. For those who don’t know: a glider (or a sailplane) is an aeroplane without an engine that takes off with the help of a winch or another plane and once airborne it’s a game of finding up-currents (mainly caused by hot air rising) to gain altitude. It is so much fun and excitement. Currently I’m learning the principles of control. It’s not that easy, there are so many things to pay attention to (too detailed to mention here) yet it all comes down to “feeling” with the plane and dynamics of air. I fly at the Royal Jordanian Glding Club, if any body is interested in a trip let me know.


Memoirs of a younger me

As we grow up and create our own universe we get more and more detached from family activities (may be until we start our own, but I’m not there yet!); things we used to do when we were little, which at some point of time was all we’ve got. I’m not sure why … is it that we consider them a lower priority over work or friends (peers as a psychiatrist would put it), or is it that they just “seem” less mature now.

One of those activities my father had always made a Friday ritual: He’d fill the car with kids “me and my brothers” and the trunk with every supply we might need; food, water, jackets .. etc – and he’d hit the road … just drive.

I tell you what, it was fun, then. Well, only then. May be still fun! That’s what last Friday revealed. I really had nothing to do on that day and did not refuse the offer of joining along with the “younger” brothers. No regrets. I’m not able to describe the feeling, is it the rejoice of belonging, spending time with loving parents and energy charged siblings, or maybe being away after a long week of work, or just the green scenary accompanying the road trip. Yes, food was good too: “Armenian sfee7a”!

Enough of the analysis right now, here are some of the most interesting snapshots of that particular Friday .. pretty much self explanatory: