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About Me: My grandparents were born in the Indian Territory / Oklahoma. My parents were born in Oklahoma, as was I, my wife, my children and my grandchildren. I was an irresponsbile teenager (it was the 60's, what can I say?) but managed to mature a little. I attend the University of Oklahoma and got a BA in History and went to work for a Fortune 500 company where I was unhappy. Eventually, I went back to OU for my MBA and PhD in MIS (ABD). I became a contract programmer because I programmed much better than I published. I also became a VAR for a firm selling accounting software written in a computer language called dBase that was designed for the Intel 8088 processor. I stayed firmly seated at the grindstone and in the first years of the new millenium I decided I needed a change. I figured that if I was ever going to to do all those things I said that I wanted to do, I'd better get going. In 2005 I sold my house and business and went to truck driving school. I now drive a Big Rig - mine - and I try not to work more than 6 months a year. I make an effort to spend at least 3 months a year outside of the U.S. I'm married. My wife and I have 6 kids and 9 grandchildren. Maybe that's why I like to travel so much.

Postscript: In December, 2010 I hung up my Driver's cap for good. The road had taken its' toll. I was no longer willing to drive 180 days a year, regardless of the money and the ability to work when I wanted. I had seen America. I was tired of being gone from home for 9 months a year. I needed a rest. In 2011 I sold my truck and trailer and was unemployed for the year. However, I wasn't inactive. I traveled overseas to Asia and South America for several months. In the fall I enrolled in an online course to to become certified in Oracle, the world's preeminent database. I want to go back to work sometime in the near future as a software developer or administrator. Even though I programmed for 20+ years, my skills are dated. Fortunately, I have a little flexibility as to my future.

RollingOkie OKC, Jan 1, 2012

Africa 2012     Posted: August 11, 2012

Africa 2012   Click for larger images...

I spent the summer of 2012 wandering around Africa in an overland truck. We camped out for almost two months, living in tents and eating camp food. Showers were taken less often than I would have liked, but at some point we stopped caring. This is a map of where the truck went. I heard that we covered over 9,000 kilometers. That would be over 5,000 miles if it was correct. It was an interesting trip, to say the least. I had never been to sub-Sahara Africa before. I have now been there. At the end of the trip I stayed in Cape Town to acclimate myself to civilization again. I also stopped off in Dubai for a visit on my way back. Ramadan in 115 degree heat is... well... special. There are 260+ blog entries that follow that are about my trip. There's a quiz at the end. Good luck.


Burj Khalifa - Dubai     Posted: August 8, 2012

Burj Khalifa - Dubai   Click for larger images...

It's the tallest building in the world. This one isn't open for debate. It's a beautiful building. Truly. Dubai is blessed with tall buildings. Sometime in the near future I'm going to do a study of how the city ranks in terms of the number of high-rises versus other cities. There were just too, too many buildings over 50 stories. Martin said he lives on the 30th floor and used to live on the 60th floor of 80-story building before he moved and scaled down a little. I tied to think of how many cities in America had apartments on the 60th floor and above. I couldn't think of a whole lot in the United States. Only Asian cities came to mind as potential candidates.


Burj Al Arab - Dubai     Posted: August 8, 2012

Burj Al Arab - Dubai   Click for larger images...

It's supposed to be the only seven-star hotel in the world. Of course the seven-star designation is just made up. There really isn't such a designation, as least as far as I know. I was told that rooms start at $7,000 for a night and go up from there. Why would anyone admit to paying those prices? Why not just spend $400 and give the rest to charity. I understand living well, but I think there's a point where over-indulgence should be frowned upon. Of course those people who over-indulge would disagree with me. They would say that it's not possible to over-indulge. I do not agree with that philosophical position. However, I will always say that it's their money and they should be able to spend it the way they want. It's just that I also feel that such over-indulgence gives the Bolsheviks the philosophical justification they need to revolt.


Dinner with Friends - Dubai     Posted: August 8, 2012

Dinner with Friends - Dubai   Click for larger images...

We had dinner at one of the local Filipino restaurants. Junie, one of the local CS members from Manila took Martin and I to a local buffet that is frequented by his fellow country-persons. The fish and chicken were really good and the tea was some of the best I've ever had and they kept it coming and coming. One thing that is clearly obvious is that CS has a very active Dubai chapter. From what I could gather they get together often and they have a fairly good-sized group. I highly recommend getting ahold of some of the group to arrange some time with them.


Busy Airport - Dubai     Posted: August 8, 2012

Busy Airport - Dubai   Click for larger images...

I'm being cynical. The airport was not busy at all where this picture was taken. Of course it was 11:00 at night. My plane left at 2:45 AM and the check-in ticket counter didn't open until 10:45 PM for check-in to the flight going to the United States. What kind of flight leaves out at 2:45 AM? A weird one. There was no way that I wanted to fly out of anywhere at 2:45 in the morning. That's just silly. But, I did it. And, to tell you the truth, the Dubai airport turned out to be very busy at that time of the morning. The boarding started at 2:00 AM and I went to spend my last three dollars at about the time boarding started. What I noticed was that I had to make my way through the crowd to find a shop that would sell me some food for 10 Emirati Dirham or less. It was truly busy at that time of the morning. I couldn't believe it. Where were all those people going at that time of the morning? Who knew?


Dubai Metro     Posted: August 8, 2012

Dubai Metro   Click for larger images...

This is a picture of me on the Dubai Metro. I caught the metro from the airport into the center of town and then took a bus to the hostel where I was staying. The metro was cheap. I bought an all-day pass for $5 and it came with unlimited rides on the metro trains and the buses. The Dubai Metro is one of the best metros I have ever been on. It was very modern, very punctual and it was the first metro system that I had ever been on that had wi-fi on the metro trains. The picture is one I took when the train was relatively empty. It was rarely as empty as you see it here. I found that I often had to stand on the metro. It wasn't as packed as I've seen some metros but it as often well occupied, especially in the more heavily traveled sections of the city.


Dubai Apartments     Posted: August 8, 2012

Dubai Apartments   Click for larger images...

This is a picture of the area of Dubai out near The Marina, a section of Dubai that has a lot of high rise apartment buildings. This is just a picture of a few of them. There were dozens and dozens of building like these. Dubai is an up-and-coming location. They have had a building boom that can only be characterized as spectacular in the last 10 years. There was ample evidence of it everywhere.


Dubai Mall of the Emirates     Posted: August 8, 2012

Dubai Mall of the Emirates   Click for larger images...

I rode the metro to the Mall of the Emirates and got off. This is a must see attraction in Dubai if for no other reason that it contains Ski Dubai, a ski slope in the mall. It is also a large, over-the-top mall in Dubai, a town that specializes in large, over-top-malls. This is one of the two malls in Dubai that I knew I must see. The other mall was Dubai Mall, the mall that some people argue is the largest mall in the world. It turns out, if you are trying to decide what is the biggest mall in the world, there is more than one way to measure the size of a mall. Anyway, the malls in Dubai are special. One of the characteristics of the city of Dubai is that it is a shoppers paradise and the malls are a component of that characteristic. Go shoppers!


Ramadan McDonald's - Dubai     Posted: August 8, 2012

Ramadan McDonald's - Dubai   Click for larger images...

This is a picture of a McDonald's taken at noon on a Thursday at the Mall of the Emirates. Notice that there is no activity. Now I need to tell you that it is located in a large food court at the mall. The reason it is not open is that it is Ramadan. During Ramadan, no one is allowed to eat in public anywhere in Dubai during the daylight hours. This means no one. As a matter of fact, if you are caught eating or drinking in public during daylight hours during Ramadan, you are subject to a fine. This isn't a joke. During the time I was in Dubai I saw no one eating or drinking anything other than people who were in a car with me and I refuse to divulge their names and addresses. It's really that serious. Restaurants are closed during this period. Grocery stores are open and do business as usual, but no food is consumed there in public. I can't tell you how serious this is.


Mall Walker - Dubai     Posted: August 8, 2012

Mall Walker - Dubai   Click for larger images...

I've done a little mall walking in my day. Not a lot, but some. It's good exercise. This is a picture of a mall walker in Dubai. The malls are so special in Dubai that being a mall walker in Dubai takes on a whole new level of significance. This is mall walking on par with anywhere in the world. Anywhere.

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