Friday, May 29, 2009

116 degrees! Aaaak!

The past couple days have brought new meaning to word "hot". Seriously it was 47 degrees Celsius. That equals 116 degrees. One hundred and sixteen degrees.


That is hot. HOT I tell you!

This is, cant-breath, sweat-1-liter-per-second-but-it's-so-hot-it-dries-in-2, sunburn-walking-to-the-car, cook-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk, hot.

And it's only May! We still have June, July and August to get through. How much hotter can it get? Wait no! I did not just ask that. I don't want to know how much hotter it can get. no i will think positive. it won't get hotter, it wont get hotter, it wont get hotter.... think cool thoughts for us people!

pic from here

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another shining star in humanity (eye roll)

This mastermind was so smart I doubt he'll ever be caught for his crime.

A man dubbed the Beer Box Bandit decided to rob a mini mart by covering his face with, you guessed it, a beer box.
The dummy left the box behind with his fingerprints all over it. Oops! But I'm sure that's all just a part of his master plan.

And what was the booty he worked so hard for and put so much thought and effort in to obtaining you ask? 9 packs of cigarettes worth about $50.

Yup. The Beer Box Bandit is just another shining star in the world today

Image from here

Monday, May 25, 2009

FO: Roaming Hat

The Dubai and Abu Dhabi knitting groups are in collaboration. We are trying something new. Actually it's been going for about 6 weeks already but I digress

Our new initiative is to have a roaming bag where each knitter can put in yarn or take it out as they please. It's so much fun! Here's how it works. As knitters you always end up with an extra ball of this, a half a skein of that or the few balls in a color you just bored of or not that into. But other knitters maybe looking for exactly what you have but don't need/want so you put it in the bag and hand it to the next knitter who takes out anything that they want and puts in what ever is in their stash that they are ready to get rid of.

This has been so popular with the group that we moved from a small box to a HUGE bag which we have now outgrown as well so it has a little sister bag that rides along with it.

I loved this concept immediately. I got rid of some too-bright blue yarn, a skein and a half of some lion brand that I just wasn't going to use again and an impulse buy from my trip to Lebanon last summer. All yarns I'll never use but maybe just maybe one of my knitting friends will! Bonus this helps free up space for all the yarn shopping in the states I'll be doing (my reward for 5 months of not purchasing yarn) yipee!

What did I take out you ask? I took out some lovely yarn from The Hazlitt Flock of Wenslydale dyed with Kool-Aid. I had tried to resist taking anything out the first time I received the bag even though I spotted this lovely gem. But the color was irresistible and when this little ball was sitting deep in the bad the second time around. So I took it and didn't think twice.

But I felt guilty. I cant just add to my stash for no reason. That's not how a diet works. I have been so good on my diet (did I mention I'm 5 months yarn free!) that I couldn't just add to my stash willy-nilly. No, if this is like a diet then when I break the diet I have to run an extra mile in the morning. So I found a pattern right away and got to work.

I made, what I lovingly refer to as, the Kool-Aid Lace Hat.

Pattern: Georgian Lace Cap - Free from KnitPicks
Needles: 7's
Yarn: The Hazlitt Flock Wenslydale
Color: Peach
Mods: Nope! What's to change? But as you can see it's a bit dark on the bottom and but it also ended up having another dark stripe near the top so I decided to go with it and embrace it's uniqueness.

Basically I love this hat. LOVE IT. The color, the pattern, the yarn. Love!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Free Kibble for pets in need!

For the past few months I have been visiting both Free Kibble and Free Kibble Kat daily to get that "I have made a difference" feeling. Let me tell you it’s a great way to start the day.

This is an amazing non profit organization started by a 12-year-old girl, Mimi, nearly a year ago (which btw, has now donated over 81 million pieces of kibble)in Bend, Oregon. Mimi was upset at the lack of funding many animal shelters receive and wanted to find a way to help them out.

To begin making a difference she partnered up with Castor and Pollux (which produce organic pet foods) and developed these two sites where all you have to do is visit once a day and answer a trivia question (a dog trivia question at Free Kibble and a cat trivia question at Free Kibble Kat). For every time you answer a question (doesn't matter if you get it right or wrong) there is 10 pieces of kibble donated from Castor & Pollux to feed the hungry animals.

It really doesn't get much easier than that. You click your mouse and you donate food. Simple. Give it a shot it will make your days brighter knowing you helping pets in need.

Seriously check out this video. She's totally amazing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Seriously do people even use their brains anymore?

Nothing says promoting good work ethic to your children like shocking them with a stun gun during the national "Take our daughters and sons to work day".

Seriously who in their right mind decided that stun gunning their co-worker’s children at 2 (TWO!) separate prisons in Miami, Florida was a great idea?

These stupid people were only fired. They should have charges brought against them.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

comin' clean

Ok ok I am sure you have noticed that I'm just not posting as much as I use to and I'm feeling guilty. I feel I owe you an explanation. I mean you are my small group of readers that checks in with me nearly every day just to see what I have to say and lately all I have done is let you down. You loyally check in only to see the same posts for days on end sitting at the top of the page.

There are a few factors that are going into this that I would like to share with you in order to clear the air.

I'm just not that witty - Some people's blogs are so interesting. They can write daily about nearly anything and you are always glued to the screen wanting to learn more. But me even when cool things happen I either don't think to write about them or I cant write about them cause they are work related and like you would want to hear about work anyways.

I'm just not that interesting - Honestly I don't have a lot going on. At least not lately. Nope, all I do is knit, work, sleep. That about covers it.

My work is INSANE right now - I am doing ridiculous amounts of PowerPoint. PowerPoint is taking over my life. In fact I'm starting to think that I need a PowerPoint help group so that when I go on vacation next month I will know how to fill up my spare time in the absence of PowerPoint.

I'm working on some unbloggable (is that a word?) things right now - I have some top secret knitting projects going on that I can't share with you. At least not yet. I have shared some gifts intended for others already but the rest I want to keep as a surprise for the recipients so you are just going to have to wait. After that the only bloggable project I'm working on is my February Lady Sweater and seriously how many times can you listen to me moan about the lace and all. Yep figured you were getting kinda bored with that one so I'm saving the update for when I finish it. Someday. If ever. Sigh.

So there you have it. My list of excuses as to why I'm not posting very much right now. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I don't know what to say. But have no fear. I see a lot of exciting things happening in the near future and that should help with the lull in activity here at DuckAbroad.

Thank you for your patience : )

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10 things I love about UAE

I'm getting super homesick... It has been a year and a half since I have been to my great country and I'm starting to go a little crazy. But on the plus side I have tickets home for 5 weeks from now. That's right people, in 5 short weeks I will be on a 13.5 hr short flight back home.

I was doing really well with the whole homesick thing there for awhile but I guess planning this trip that in one way seems to be barreling down on us at lightening speed and in another way seems to be taking years to get here has just exasperated a problem that constantly lies right under the surface. Did I mention it's been a year and a half?

So I figured the second prescription that would be given out for homesickness (the first one being to ahem go home ahem) would be to list my favorite things about the United Arab Emirate (I'm including both Abu Dhabi and Dubai because I seem to spend equal amounts of time in both). So instead of focusing on what I don't like all the time let me tell you what i DO like.

10. Go to your local book store, pick up a car magazine and find the most expensive car in there. We see those cars driving around our cities every day. Maybach, we have them; RollsRoyce, everywhere; Ferarris, Benltys, Anstin Martins everyday cars around here. It's so much fun to get to see such amazing pieces of machinery cruising around the roads and parking next to you at Mc Donald's. I never get tired of it

9. Gas is cheap. Seriously gas is $1.60 a gallon. That's it. Ok ok i know the prices in the States have come way down but our gas prices haven't changed in the two and a half years I have been here. I like that. $19 to fill up my V8 sounds good to me!

8. Coca-Cola (and other sodas) are $.25. Oh yeah a quarter for a can of Coke. When's the last time you paid a dollar fifty for a 6-pack?

7. The desert is beautiful. I always thought of the desert as this dry, dusty place lacking life. And don't get me wrong it is dry and dusty but it's amazingly beautiful at the same time. The colors are amazing!

6. And that brings me to the camels that roam the dunes. Seriously I get to see camels on my way to work in the morning. How cool is that!

5. The water. Just look at that water.
Need I say more?

4. We are surrounded by people from nearly every culture in the world all the time. I have made friends from every region and from places I had hardly heard of before coming here. I have friends from Europe, Wales (BTW that's it's own country... learned that here), UK, India, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Oman.... Seriously the list goes on and on. It's so much fun getting to know all these people and their different customs while also learning that we are all basically the same. We're all just trying to live a good life and take care of our families.

3. AMAZING HOTELS! I will give this place one thing... they sure know how to build a hotel. When you sit with a friend debating the merits of the different 5 star hotels in the country and you end up in a deadlock between 2 or 3 you know you have a problem. AND you know you have been spoiled beyond oblivion.

2. Everyone delivers. I was talking about this with Sydney the other day over lunch. One of the things to miss most about this place is that everyone and I mean EVERYONE delivers. It's way to hot out here to be expected to actually walk or drive places especially during the summer so in order to keep the business I suppose everyone from Mc Donald's to the local Grocer to the Italian restaurant all deliver. It's fantastic! As long as you have a cell phone you will not go hungry or with out bug spray.

And the number one thing I love about the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IS.......






1. RED ORANGE JUICE! I know I know a weird number one... We have hotels, we have blue seas, we have camels but have you ever had red orange juice before? It's fabulous. It's this magic middle between the sweetness of orange juice and the bitterness of grapefruit that is just perfect. Perfect I tell you! I drink this like water. In fact my husband knows that it's more important to have red orange juice in the fridge than it is to have Coke in there (those of you who know me, know what a big deal that is) so he keeps my fridge well stocked. I'm sure you can get it in that Sates and other places in the world but I'm sure you can't get Al Rawbi Brand. This one is my very favorite brand. Yum.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


We have some guests staying with us...

Here's Peaches... Oh wait! Where'd she run to?

Well here's Sundae... or rather there WAS Sundae

Another shot of Peaches. Ugh! She just wont hold still!

Sundae........ Come back!

Finally I cornered them. But they are so far away!

Here you go! This is Peaches (the ginger one) and Sundae (the vanilla one with hot fudge and caramel on top)

These sisters have come to stay with us for a few days and we're doing our best to at least keep them in one room. I forgot how much energy kittens have but their cuteness totally makes up for it.

Princess on the other hand has not been wooed by their cuteness. But I'm sure she'll come around.

If you know anyone who would like to add to add a cutey-cute kitten to their family please let me know.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sound of music to my ears (Thanks Antwerp!)

I had a crappy day today. Seriously crappy. So I did what most people do when they have crappy days. I went strait to The Sound Of Music. And what did I get? Instant better day.

Over 200 people dancing coriorgraphed to "Do Re Mi" from the Sound Of Music in the lovely Central Station (Railway Cathedral) in Antwerp, Belgium.

But this also taught me that Antwerp probably doesn't get enough sun.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FO: Happy Birdie

Right after getting the Lucinda Guy pattern book, Handknits for Kids, I immediately got started making the birdie for my newest nephew. I wanted to have a little hand-knit to give him during our visit to the States this summer.

So I got started knitting right away.

Knitting the individual pieces actually went really fast. But I have decided that I don't like increasing on the purl side.

I can see the birdie already. Let the seaming begin!

There was a lot of seaming. A LOT! But the bonus is that you don't have to seam in the ends you just add them to the stuffing!

Look at that birdie! Such a happy birdie.

I love this birdie. I hope he makes my nephew happy.


I would just like to point out that I used my school colors (university of oregon) for the birdie. Just can't start them too early with the football alliances. Go Ducks!