I thought cats hated water. I thought they hated to be wet. I thought they hated baths. And mostly I think they do – not like water. And there’s always the exception. His name is Willow. He’s fat. You would need side by side comparison. But trust me, he’s fat. Well, relative to Lulu, he is. Funny! I was never ever a cat person. The felines are not friendly and don’t do as you please. They don’t roll over and they never fetch. Cats train humans to do their bidding. How? It’s like being subservient to your spouse. You live longer. So. Willow stands by the sink. He jumps to the counter from a standing position. That would be like me leaping a nine foot wall in a single bound. Nope, not me, not on a good day and never ever on a bad day. Then he waits. Lurks. Just sits patiently until I notice him. Then he gets all excited. I let the water trickle and he might jump into the sink or not. He will let the water run over his cheeks. And he will lap at it. This goes on for several minutes. Then he’s done. Meanwhile I watch. He gets soaked. He soaks the counter and the floor. He splashes and frolics. I get to clean up. It’s kind of like cleaning up after my kids. Oh joy!
Yup. That’s me with Mike. Who? Mike Singletary of the Chicago Bears, Super Bowl Champs of 1985. Yeah, it’s like when were there four Beatles? Who? Who were the Beatles? Old. Me. Yup. The Bears won that year with a marvelous defense. The Giants – my beloved NY team won the following year. The Bears wupped their butts (Giants) on the way to their championship. Too much history? Mike came to speak at our national meeting. Last year it was Peyton Manning. Is there a theme? At least it wasn’t Ben Carson again. Get it? I’m a neurosurgeon and he came out during our last meeting. Not Mike, Ben. Too confusing?
Well, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meets once a year. And there are invited speakers. We are a very conservative lot. Not me. Them. Maybe there are a few progressives and even some Democrats among us. I, for one, don’t care to have my politics mixed with business. And, no, I don’t wear striped underwear or boxers. Bet you wanted to know that too.
We had Bush – you know – GW – give the Cushing oration. Cushing, he was the modern godfather of neurosurgery. In fact, Cushing trained Davidoff; Davidoff trained Ransahoff; and Ransahoff tranined me. So I am pedigreed. I digress. Mike was invited to speak and the NFL came. Everyone did a little PC dance and no one said, “Don’t do it!” And we heard a discussion about chronic traumatic encephalopathy CTE. Mama, don’t let your kids grow up to be Cowboys (Dallas) and don’t let them play football. Mike claims he only had a concussion twice. Lucky! He’s still sharp. Once was William “Refrigerator” Perry. I bet that was a boatload of fun. Meanwhile I got a picture at our opening reception. He’s a sports hero of sorts. I have many. But boy was it fun! Yes! Mike and me.
Oh! Bush? The security was so tight that they did not announce he was coming until the meeting started. There was no obvious secret service presence. However, bags were checked and it was strictly no photographs. Some secretly used their cellphones. I’m way too cool for that! W actually spoke coherently. To listen to him one could understand that his TV demeanor was hardly like his real life thinking. Nice guy?! Hey, don’t tell. I voted for him once.
The second election was scheduled just after our fall meeting. Gorbachev was the speaker. Remember him? The room was packed. A member of our national leadership rose and spoke – I thought to introduce Gorbachev. Nope. He said, “Bush will sign medical malpractice reform if it passes congress. Kerry and Edwards will not.” He sat. The room was silent. And the implication was clear. Though I knew there was not a snowball’s chance in hell medmal reform would pass I voted special interest. It was the one and only time I have ever voted for a presidential winner. Yeah, twice I voted for anarchy and Ross Perot. Don’t shoot me, ma? Please.
For fun. There are a group of divers at the resort who freedive. It’s a sport and a famous champion woman died in the Mediterranean recently. You dive with long fins in a camou dive suit. And there is no tank. And you train. And it is dangerous. And you don’t see much fish. And there’s not much to photograph. Well, to me it is about as sexy as eating broccoli. Yes, they do this for fun. I watched an instructor pour a tea cup of water through his nose to clear his sinuses. That was pretty sexy too – about as much so as a second helping of that broccoli. Remember? I never finished it. Every once in a while we see them frolicking – ok ok – training. It makes for a nice picture. I have a new dive computer. It’s a Suunto – made in Finland. It’s a great computer used by most of the serious divers around here and recommended highly to me. The computer cable to my Mac does not work. The dive watch does not connect. The Finns made a piece of crap cable and software connection that is a complete opaque piece of junk to connect. There, I ranted against this great watch. But what good is it that I paid an extra $100 for the cable and can’t get the benefit? (I hope you see this Suunto company. So far you have not solved my problem.) Anyway the dive watch has settings: Air, freedive, nitrox, and off. You set the watch before your dive. Duh? So one day I messed up. I hit the tiny buttons and the dive watch set itself for freedive. And when I was underwater I was locked in. So for 78 minutes I was underwater on a scuba dive and the watch was calculating a freedive. Oh my! I set a new world record.
I’m friends with the instructor who pours tea through his nose. (Don’t ask.) I showed him my watch and he laughed and laughed. These characters take pictures of their dive watches after a successful freedive. He declined a photo of my watch. Not famous enough I guess.
I’m not using macro. And I’m not challenging. He’s not challenging either. The coral hind is a big chicken. Well, he’s a fish that would prefer to flee rather than confront. I trap them periodically under coral. Nowhere to retreat. Or he feels like I can’t pursue. Or, he thinks I can’t see him. Who knows? Anyway, I can occasionally get a good head on shot. Ok, done, been there, done it. Now I got teeth. I know sharks have teeth. So too does this brand of fish. They are not large. Do they fall out and are they replaced by new sharp teeth that will rip your guts out? Ah! And why don’t fish have eyebrows?
Yes I have shot this and enlarged the image to see the fish. And here I did the same. And when I enlarge you can see the spots and look in the guy’s mouth. Look close you can see antennae. And when I next use my macro lens and find one of these, I hope to get even greater detail. Why? ‘cause I can. It’s a nice image. I like the color pattern. I chose it out of the many because I am obsessed with the new lens that I will have and how that will change my technique. Learning new tricks is fun.
There is a guidebook I use for reference. It’s the only book I use. Hey, the books are expensive and take up space and I am a minimalist at the moment. No baggage – I might have to run. And a “go bag” is ready if ever I need it. All the fish in the Red Sea are not in it. But mostly they are there to look up and identify. But right on the cover that I have seen every time I pick up the book are the very same fish in this image. I am smiling now. I have at least matched the photographic performance of the authors of the book.
I hide out in an alcove of the hospital. No office. Nowhere to hide. There was an area on the second floor…but they told me people would hide out and have sex. Damn, why do I always miss out on stuff like that. So I am being harassed by my buddies. They make fun that they see me sleeping when they walk by. I know it’s not true because they have never complained about my snoring. Faisal is on the right. He is from Yemen and is my gym buddy. He calls to wake me when I pass out on the gym mat. Rida is my neighbor in the compound and the chief of eye surgery. The whole body – and all he cares about is 2 square centimeters of eye. Yeah, pretty funny. Obviously I was not sleeping. I took the picture! Right? Yes, it’s not much of a portrait, but then again this was not a beauty contest.
Everyone enjoys a good meal. Around these parts are several restaurants that do a lunch special. This means extra value – usually an appetizer or dessert and a drink. It’s usually available on the weekdays. That means Sunday to Thursday around here. Neat trick the afternoon prayer time is near 4PM so the hours are from around noon to 5PM. I won’t do the addresses. Some places have more than one location. Use your Google map. Unfortunately these are all local Jeddah restaurants. So unless you are in Saudi Arabia, you may look but you can’t have.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
This place is my current favorite. It hasn’t had its grand opening yet. Nice place. Good food. Hot. Attentive excellent service. 52SAR – appetizer, main course, and drink. Lots of choices. Tastes great. I know I said that already, but, I mean it. Really.
This restaurant closed a year or so ago and reopened in the same area but with a nicer space. Lunch is 49 or 59SAR with entrée, salad, drink, dessert, and coffee. Service is great.
Food is good. The entrée varies. The lower price is for pizza. Entrée can be good or so so. The rest is fun. It’s great to find this restaurant again.
I just noticed the lunch special. The place was packed with people eating lunch special and a la carte. I’m single. And at this hour most places are empty. Ah! That’s why they try to get you to come! There are multiple entrees to choose from. One side dish. Peanuts, Bread. And a drink. You will not be hungry after this. Once again the price is below 100SAR
Business lunch is a good buy. There are multiple entrees to choose from. Side dish, noodles or rice, and drink included. There are small extras brought complementary as well. It is a good meal. I have enjoyed it several times.
Until Romano’s this restaurant was my favorite for business lunch. I was stuck in the Chicken Marinara which came with penne pasta in four cheese sauce. Bread, salad, dessert and drink are included. Great meal, great price, good all around. I would eat there regularly until I discovered Romano.
It’s a lunch buffet. Multiple dishes with appetizer, soup, entrée, rice, noodles, drink, dessert. It’s a very nice value. The waiters are pretty lame. I wish they were more helpful. But then again you don’t require too much help piling up a heaping plate. The menu changes daily so you will find variations when you go. All in all a good meal. And all for 45SAR.
Applebee: Tuesday’s: Paul: Steakhouse: Outback
These other places have listed business lunch specials. I’ve been in all of them. There is a time and place but I do not go there on a regular basis. Steakhouse and Outback surprisingly do poorly in grilling their steak. Paul changes their choice according to a fixed schedule. That doesn’t work for me. Tuesday’s meal was bland. Once only. Applebee is a chain. You have to like chain food. Sometimes I do. Mostly not.
Hang dog look. You know. It’s like how a hound looks. Cartoonish. Look up with big puppy dog eyes. Cute. Are fish cute? Sometimes an image works because it does. You need exposure, focus, and background working with you. Lighting! Hum, “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog…” while looking at this image. It helps, ‘cause that’s what I’m hummin’ right now.
Everyone stops to take a picture. I’ve seen him or his kin many a time. No big deal. So, a new day, a new angle, try something, work the scene. Ah! Close-up. It looks like a flap over his pupil.
Hmmm, now I got questions. Meanwhile how do fish wash themselves? It’s not like they have arms or soap to use. This guy looks like he could use some derm-abrasion. Oh, the opening behind the eye is the gill opening. At least that’s my story on that.