Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Poor Laptop

My laptop is falling apart on me. A month or two ago the battery's life suddenly decreased dramatically to no more than fifteen minutes and continued to decline up. As of yesterday the battery doesn't work at all. And during the past couple of weeks the 'C' key on the keyboard became temperamental. And then the 'D' key started acting up and now a couple of others. The 'C' key doesn't work at all anymore now and I was resorting to copy/pasting the letter.

Fixing the old desktop earlier this year is now paying because without any battery functionality on the laptop to prevent bad shutdowns it now makes sense to make more use of my old desktop and suffer the same fate without messing the harmony of my never once re-formatted laptop.

I've come to the conclusion that my eyesight is going too. I'm having trouble reading the name's of the songs on VH1. I must get my eyes checked someday soon.

Recently I've been explaining the material of one our classes called quantitative techniques (otherwise known as operational research). It seems I'm the only one who understand that class. It's the one class that's mathematical and therefore not in Arabic. What struck me as sad when going through exercises with them was how poor some of them could be a performing simple algebra or working fractions.

Last night a couple of my classmates slept over and Nahida made a big paranoid fuss about one of them who I had mentioned a while ago. She was against me having him over at my place on the simple basis that he comes from a neighbourhood which she considers dodgy. She urged me not to divulge any personal information that could bring any evil attention to myself such as any suggestion of my wealth.

The day after I broke up with Suzy, I saw her come up online and said 'hello' and she didn't reply back. I guess she doesn't want to talk to me, and even though we're in the same class, she's still not speaking to me and not even saying hello. That she doesn't want to talk to me probably isn't true, I imagine she's just making a statement and trying to perhaps disintegrate her perception of me somehow (does that make sense?). Well, I'm just ignoring her too and waiting for to get over it. I'll just have to make the most of that moment when she's in position to have to come over and talk to me or when I've got a real good excuse to talk to her.

I've been chatting to a couple of Baghdad girls online over the past month. The first of whom I met through my annual Yahoo chat room rampage. The first then introduced me to her cousin. More recently I've been chatting to the latter, Nosa, more regularly. I told Nosa about breaking up with Suzy, and the next day she asked me if I could come to her university to meet her and if I had a mobile phone. I gave her my number and I tried posing the question of what would we do then, but didn't get an answer. This chick ain't much more interesting to chat to than Suzy. But I do chat with her in English which is somewhat of a comfort for me and a challenge for her.

Nosa's the type of girl that wants to get out of Iraq. She tells me she envies all my friends for being abroad. When I asked her what does she want to do after university, she said she wanted to work at the US embassy. If this girl is anyway interested in me it's because she thinks I could potentially be her way out of this country. What's odd is that it's difficult for most people to sink in the idea that I've got every intention to build my future here in Iraq in spite of nearly everything.

Well it might be interesting and it will seem to be more trouble than it's worth to go see her. I think she's changed her mind about the subject already. I'll make sure to ask her next time she's online. I'm really not that excited about the thought of going to her university, it's just too much trouble and it's too hot.

Mum should be coming any day soon. She'll be visiting my grandma and will stay for about a couple of weeks. I don't plan on spending much time with my mum because I'm supposed to be studying. Had I had enough notice I would've got her to get me a new keyboard and battery for my laptop. But she should be getting me some Fusion razor blades among other things such as clothes. I've been using the same Fusion blade since October last year, maybe that isn't hygienic.

Electricity is even worse than last year. I think I'm getting an hour a day of electricity a day at the most. I should maybe bother checking what the Brookings institute or whichever think-tank it was that measures progress in Iraq and see what the megawatt levels have been this year.

Up until last week I was trying to write a paper for my economics teacher for some bonus marks. Inflation is a problem in Iraq at a level of about 30% (prices of petrol aside) from what I read (which in some way is offset by an appreciation of the Iraqi Dinar versus the dollar, I wish I understood the implication of that). How everything relates to another doesn't make much sense to me yet. But the weird thing I understood was that to control inflation the government is going to have to restrain spending; and I don't think there's any issue of a budget deficit and that on the contrary the budget is on the surplus (I might be wrong on that). But supposing that the budget isn't in deficit, wouldn't it be weird to choose not to spend money on government services such as hospitals and schools for the sake of controlling inflation? Understanding economics should become one of my summer projects.

While I was in class today I got several missed calls from an unrecognized number. For several months now the mobile networks have been screwing up and I as well as others have been receiving missed calls from strange numbers and when we'd call those numbers back they'd say that they had never placed the call in the first place. I had forgotten about the missed calls until a while after I got home. So I decided to call just in case it was really for me. So I call and say I had received missed calls from the number earlier in the morning and the man at the other end of the line tells me that the number I'm calling is a Ministry of Interior number and he then asked me my name and I just gave him my first name and told him that I did not know that. He said that it was probably the 'net' screwing up and that was that. Except he used the technical word 'net' instead of the Arabic word 'shehbeka', which I take to be a reasonably good sign that the guy was safe. It was just a bit creepy to wind up calling the Ministry of Interior.

I should start studying for my finals. Today I haven't studied anything. Today was a holiday, as of tomorrow I will begin to dedicate time to studying for my finals.

1 comment:

BrianFH said...

Just 2 quick economics principles for you to hold on to:

Appreciation of the dinar means it's easier to buy imported goods, and harder to sell your exports.

If government spending is attempting to buy goods or services in short supply, their prices will rise. And support program distribution of money puts more in circulation, allowing retailers to charge more. Hence inflation. So the government has to target spending and distribution carefully so as not to set off spirals like that. Really, the only thing that restrains inflation is vigourous competition for customers and government contracts. So the more businesses and retailers you have, the more prices will moderate.