Are You a Control Freak?

Am I a control freak? What better way to check than an internet quiz!

My results:

You Are 32% Control Freak

balance

You have achieved the perfect balance of control and letting go.
You tend to roll with whatever life brings, but you never get complacent.

You can check whether you are a control freak? too.

Via que sera sera, about whom the control freak in me wants to know if she is who I think she is.

You Are On Notice

Stephen Colbert has his On Notice board. Now you can have one too. Here is mine.

If you watch The Colbert Report, then you might have heard of Stephen Colbert’s lists.

“On Notice” and “Dead to Me”, originally phrases Colbert used as a warning or condemnation for something he disagreed with, were later made into giant-sized lists that contain a comically bizarre assortment of people and things that are supposedly displeasing to Colbert. When the “On Notice” list is full, Colbert is forced to either remove an item or move one to the “Dead to Me” list to make space. The “Dead to Me” list is shorter and is reserved for the most hated nemeses of Colbert. There are a few random and unexplained entries, such as “Owls”, to again demonstrate the absurdity of Colbert’s fixations.

Via PhotoDude, I found out that you can now make your own custom “On Notice board”. So here is mine.

On Notice Board

Yes, this will change from time to time.

سالگرہ مبارک ابو

اگست کا مہینہ شروع ہو چکا ہے جس کا مطلب ہے کہ سالگراؤں کے مہینے کا آغاز ہوا۔ سب سے پہلے امی کی سالگرہ آئی جو 4 اگست کو تھی۔ آج ابو کی سالگرہ ہے۔ سالگرہ مبارک ہو ابو!

اگست کا مہینہ شروع ہو چکا ہے جس کا مطلب ہے کہ سالگراؤں کے مہینے کا آغاز ہوا۔ سب سے پہلے امی کی سالگرہ آئی جو 4 اگست کو تھی۔ آج ابو کی سالگرہ ہے۔ سالگرہ مبارک ہو ابو!

میں وکی‌پیڈیا پر دیکھ رہا تھا کہ 6 اگست کو ابو کی پیدائش کے علاوہ اور کیا واقعات پیش آئے ہیں تو معلوم ہوا کہ ایکٹریس باربرا ونڈسر عین اسی دن پیدا ہوئی تھی۔ نہیں میں نہیں جانتا کہ یہ کون ہے مگر بس اس دن پیدا ہوئی تھی۔

August has started which means birthdays. My Mom’s birthday was on August 4 and my Dad has his today. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Other than my father’s birthday, August 6 is also known as the day the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Happy Independence Day

July 4, 1776 was an important day in world history and the Declaration of Independence has lessons for us all. Happy Independence Day!

July 4, 1776 was an important day in world history and the declaration of independence has lessons for us all:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Also worth reading is the speech Frederick Douglass delivered on Independence Day in 1852 about slavery and liberty (hat tip: Brad Delong).

The principles contained in [the Declaration of Independence] are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost….

What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the every-day practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival….

Fellow-citizens, I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretense, and your Christianity as a lie. It destroys your moral power abroad; it corrupts your politicians at home. It saps the foundation of religion; it makes your name a hissing and a byword to a mocking earth. It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers your union. It fetters your progress; it is the enemy of improvement; the deadly foe of education; it fosters pride; it breeds insolence; it promotes vice….

Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country…. While drawing encouragement from the “Declaration of Independence,” the great principles it contains and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference…. A change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe…. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated. Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other…. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Georgia Tech Student Detained

A Pakistani American student at Georgia Tech has been arrested for providing material support for terrorism.

Here is the news of the arrest of a Pakistani American student at Georgia Tech.

A 21-year-old Georgia Tech student taken into federal custody last month has been charged with giving “material support” to a terrorist organization, according to his attorney Jack Martin.

The student, Syed Haris Ahmed, a mechanical engineering major who had become increasingly religious in his Islamic faith, was arrested by the FBI March 23 and has been held since then.

[…] Ahmed was taken into custody, his family said, apparently because authorities suspect a videotape he made of a building may have been related to terrorism.

Ahmed’s family immigrated from Pakistan in 1997, are now U.S. citizens and live in Dawsonville.

There are indications that Ahmed is connected to a 19-year-old Roswell man who was arrested Monday in Bangladesh. Ehsanul Islam Sadequee was arrested by Bengali authorities after at least eight months of federal investigation into him and his family, his sister, Sharmin Sadequee, said Thursday. Federal authorities would not confirm the arrest.

[…] Both families deny that their sons have any terrorist ties.

[…] The family of Syed Ahmed said agents confiscated computer hard drives and data CDs from their home.

Ahmed told his family that authorities found a video on the Internet and apparently traced it to him. “He said, ‘I made a video but didn’t distribute it to anyone,’ ” said Samia Ahmed, Syed’s sister. The video was of a building. Ahmed’s family members said they did not know the location of the building or when the tape was made.

Here is some information about the indictment against Syed Haris Ahmed.

Two Atlanta-area men in federal custody as part of a terrorism probe discussed possible locations for a U.S. attack, including military bases and oil refineries, according court documents unsealed Friday.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta on Thursday unsealed an indictment against Georgia Tech student Syed Ahmed, 21.

Ahmed was arrested last month in Atlanta and pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of material support for terrorism.

[…] An affidavit from FBI agent Michael Scherck says the duo traveled in March 2005 from Atlanta to Canada, where they met with three men who are the subject of an FBI international terrorism investigation.

Ahmed “explained that, during some of these meetings, he, Sadequee and the others discussed strategic locations in the United States suitable for a terrorist strike, to include oil refineries and military bases,” the affidavit says.

“They also plotted how to disable the global positioning system in an effort to disrupt military and commercial communications and traffic.”

The affidavit alleges the “assembled group developed a plan to receive military training at one of the several terrorist-sponsored training camps.” It also says Ahmed traveled to Pakistan in an attempt to get such training.

[…] At a news conference Thursday in Atlanta, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said Ahmed was charged with providing material support for terrorism, not planning or carrying out terrorist acts.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said “no imminent threat” existed at any point during the investigation.

Court documents reveal the investigation included court-authorized wiretapping, recounting a conversation between Ahmed and Sadequee’s sister.

The FBI affidavit also says agents found two CD-ROMs in the lining of Sadequee’s suitcase when he was leaving the United States. One disc contained pornography and the other was encrypted with a code the FBI was unable to crack, according to the affidavit.

It also says Sadequee had maps of the Washington area with the discs.

I don’t know anything beyond what I read in the news reports, but since it is of local importance, I thought I better blog about it.

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25 Items Meme

Another one of those memes with lots of questions. I got it from Wayfarer.

Wayfarer asked me to do this 25 questions meme.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.

“often desired that processed images remain the same size as the originals. Support”

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.

External hard drive, work desktop, Treo charger and hotsync cable, SD memory reader, backpack, the book “Liberty or Death” and a printout of the dissertation “The beginnings of Islam in Syria during the Umayyad period”.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

“Barney and Friends” with Michelle. I watch more children’s programs than anything else nowadays.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?

3:05pm

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

3:03pm. Weird, I am rarely this accurate.

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

Cars outside on the street and other people typing on their computers.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

Went to a Pedodontist to get Michelle’s teeth looked at.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?

UPS shipment tracking to check if my GPS had been delivered. It was.

9. What are you wearing?

Jeans and T-shirt.

10. Did you dream last night?

Nothing. I rarely dream. Or at least I rarely remember them.

11. When did you last laugh?

In the morning over Michelle’s antics.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?

I can’t see much of the walls. Only my cubicle wall. I have a few photos of Michelle and us there.

13. Seen anything weird lately?

Does some people going ga-ga over a vegetable garden count? Do some of the comments here count? Or the fact that Michelle went to the dentist and came back happily? Actually, I can’t remember anything really weird.

14. What do you think of this quiz?

I am doing this quiz, ain’t I?

15. What is the last film you saw?

We started watching Seven Samurai yesterday, but did not finish it since it was Michelle’s bed time.

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?

A house since if I don’t buy that Amber will not forgive me. Lots of gadgets. A Porsche Carerra GT.

17. Tell me something about you that I dunno.

I am sort of afraid of heights; can’t climb trees, or dive from anywhere high, etc. However, I wasn’t afraid at all to jump from a plane, i.e. skydive.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?

Try to minimize poverty.

19. Do you like to dance?

With Michelle only. Otherwise no.

20. George Bush

I ignore him now.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?

Already happened. She is called Michelle.

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?

Nigel or Danial.

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?

Abroad? Like in away from where I was born? Been there, done that multiple times. Away from the US? Could do that as well.

24. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?

I would like God to give me proof of God’s existence.

25. 4 people who must also do this meme in their journal.

Whoever wants to do it, leave a comment or ping this post please.

Meme of Four

Another meme, this one about listing 4 jobs, movies, places, tv shows, websites, foods, etc.

I have been tagged by wayfarer who owes us an Eid party (or does she?)

Four Jobs I’ve Had in My Life

  1. Design Engineer
  2. Intern
  3. Research Assistant
  4. Teaching Assistant

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over

  1. Lord of the Rings
  2. Star Wars
  3. Moulin Rouge
  4. Spider-Man 1 & 2

And a lot more. However, some of the best movies I have watched are a little too depressing to be seen over and over (for example, Hotel Rwanda).

Four Places I Have Lived

  1. Atlanta
  2. Wah Cantt
  3. Tripoli
  4. Piscataway

And a few more.

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch

The only one I watch regularly is the first one, but I am putting a few more that I catch at times nowadays.

  1. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  2. Firefly (watching on DVD)
  3. Good Eats
  4. Coupling (watched a season or two)

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation

  1. France
  2. Germany
  3. Istanbul
  4. England

Four Websites I Visit Daily

  1. Urdu Mehfil
  2. Urdu Planet
  3. The Head Heeb
  4. At least a few other blogs and news sites on my blogroll

Four Favorite Foods

  1. BBQ ribs
  2. Roast lamb the Balochi way
  3. Rabbit
  4. Ras Malai

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now

  1. Playing with the kid
  2. Hiking the Appalachian
  3. Sleeping
  4. Italy where we have been planning to go since before Michelle was born

Four People Whom I Tag Next

Whoever wants to pick it up

نیا سال مبارک

نیا سال مبارک۔ یہ وقت ہے کہ سوچیں کہ گزرا سال کیسا رہا۔

آپ سب کو نیا سال مبارک ہو۔ امید ہے 2006 آپ کے لئے اچھا ثابت ہو گا۔

Happy new year, everyone. Hope you will have a great year.

This is a time to take stock of 2005. I started 2005 with a new year resolution to reduce my weight and improve my fitness. Let’s see how I fared:

Measure In Jan 2005 Target In Dec 2005
Weight 168 lbs (76.2 kg) 165 lbs (74.8 kg) 158 lbs (71.7 kg)
Body Fat 20.5% 15% 17%
Rest Heart Rate 51 45 48
Waist 35.5 in (90.2 cm) 32 in (81.3 cm) 33 in (83.8)

I am now completely comfortable with my weight and would not mind if it increased a couple of pounds. My rest heart rate has won praise from my doctor. However, I still need to shed about 4-5 lbs of body fat.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Well, may be not the turkeys! Hope you enjoy your turkeys.

This is the first time in recent years that we are not having a thanksgiving party at our home. Usually we invite friends over but this year we are invited to a friend’s.

How Much is Your Blog Worth?

A quiz telling you the worth of your blog.

Hey, my weblog is worth something (hat tip: Al-Muhajabah):

My blog is worth $41,775.96.
How much is your blog worth?

According to current estimates, my blog will earn that much money (gross income) through Google ads in a little more than a century.