Archive for September, 2009

Happy Birthday Sun Ray!


The main product I sell, which keeps Mrs Saul in the life to which she is becoming increasingly accustomed, was ten years old on Wednesday.

Happy Birthday Sun Ray!

Straight to the point


I’ve always liked Oracle’s adverts.

There is no wittering about ‘passion’ or other nebulous and meaningless terms – the term ‘passion’ in particular has always got my goat.

They give a clear, easy to understand message in nice bold type, with no need for multi-ethnic clip art of people in suits smiling at each other over desks.

I think they are particularly effective in the Middle East, where so many cultures and languages mix.

We’re fast, we’re the best, everyone uses us.

Everyone reading that gets the point pretty quickly. I don’t think anyone who’s seen Sun’s ‘passion for innovation’ posters has walked away any more enlightened about what we do than they were before.

Dubai’s new metro


Dubai’s new metro (partially) opens today.

Quite an engineering triumph – I can’t wait to ‘have a go’.

It’s going to be fascinating watching how it’s used. I can’t see myself using it at the moment – the car is simply far more convenient, although there is a stop near where I live, plus a stop near the Sun office.

That said, it’s going to be morbidly fascinating as we see what steps are put in place to make sure we use the metro. I am expecting increased car registration fees, toll gate price increases and so on…

Last sortie – another British ‘small war’


An excellent article from The National talking about Britain’s support for Oman in the 50s.

Range Rover top tips


I can only imagine the conversations that go on at Range Rover HQ.

All the experienced engineers sitting around deciding that it’s a great idea to use coatings on the door handles, steering wheel and elsewhere that peel in the heat. Then the conversation comes around to the floor and floor mats.

‘I know,’ says Phil. ‘Let’s coat the sides of the doorwell with some black stuff that’s actually pretty resilient and won’t peel in the heat or get damaged too easily, just for a change.’

‘Fine by me,’ says Dave. ‘But for balance, let’s fit floor mats with sharp metal edges that cut through that coating after a few years’ use. Customers expect consistency after all.’


Do they have a special committee dedicated to reducing resale value as much as is possible?

Have any of them driven a Lexus recently and noticed anything falling to pieces?

I wonder if these quirks have been fixed in the revamps that came after my 2003 model. I expect the answer is ‘no’.

Seeing driving sense


I was intrigued to read that Samoa is switching back from driving on the wrong side of the road to driving on the left, the correct side of the road.

The article mentions other countries that have made a switch over the past few decades, but from left to right. The UAE isn’t mentioned though – it’s my understanding that things changed here in the early 70s, just after the country’s formation, but that not all of the emirates changed at the same time, which led to some confusion.

I wonder what prompted the change here? The desire to conform to a more widely held standard, or was there an element of wanting to be able to drive some cool American cars that were left hand drive only? I can understand the reasoning behind both approaches!

This article and Wikipedia have some useful info on those countries that drive on the wrong side of the road and those that drive on the left.

A Portrait of Richmond


My father’s photobook of Richmond-upon-Thames can now be pre-ordered on Amazon!

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Not a discussion I am looking forward to…


I’ve recently discovered that an incorrectly fitted rear wiper blade on Mrs Saul’s car has been scratching the paint work every time the boot has been opened.

Over several months, this has stripped away the paint to the bare metal. You can’t really see the damage when the boot’s shut unless you look closely, but it’s fairly obvious when the boot’s open.

This has made me extremely angry – it’s obvious that the wrong sized wiper has been fitted. This would have been crystal clear to the idiot that did the work. He must have have noticed that the blade he was fitting was oversized, but was probably too lazy to do anything about it.

If this were the UK, I probably would have noticed pretty quickly, but given the rare occasions rear windscreen wipers get used here, it’s not surprising I didn’t cotton on sooner to what had been done.

Based on receipts for work carried out, I know which garage is responsible. I’m hoping the conversation will involved a quick apology and some suggestions for ways to sort the problem out quickly. I’m expecting the opposite though…

Christopher is cross.