Do not pass go, do not collect $200/
My wife got back from her driving lesson on Monday 11 May 09. She had been anxious to do her driving lessons as she was to have her Part 2 driving test early next month. She passed her Part 1 on her 3rd attempt. The oil drums behaved themselves finally and did not lurch out of their line to hit her car when she was reversing.
Her driving lessons were postponed a few days. But her driving instructor finally got out of jail after 3 days.
He was caught running red light by a plainclothes police with a video camera. His alibi was not accepted that his view of the lights was blocked by this humongous truck ahead of him.
The authorities in Muscat have a heart. You do not get thrown into jail immediately. You can chose , within a decent time, when you go to jail.
Apparently any of us will have to go to jail for 2 days, but he being a driving instructor had to go for 3 days.
The instructor said he was not alone there as 2 policemen were with him for the same kind of traffic offence. But being policeman, they were jailed before he went in, and were still there when he came out. Apparently, it was 7 days for them as they supposed to know better.
And another guy was in jail too. He was caught driving too slowly. Don’t ask me why or how. I am just a mere reporter.
Hopefully this report will inspire people in Oman to drive even better in Oman. Perhaps readers in other countries might be inspired to drive better too.
cutting entangling line //
In my last entry, I wrote about our pulling the car off the Sur-Muscat coastal road to admire the fading twilight when another car pulled up to us to offer help as they thought we were in trouble.
My wife told me she took a photo of me telling them that we were ok.
The camera intensified the light. So you can imagine how beautiful that fading twilight was to have persuaded me to pull off the road to let that beauty sink in.
I mentioned in last report about using the knife 3 times to cut out of entangling of lines after we came back from Taiwan with the rod/reel for Riamfada.
I did not make myself clear.
With the rod/reel ease of line release and retrieval, and also with Raimfada greater familiarity with me and flying skills, I used longer lines and greater distances. In addition to that, I deliberately flew Riam in places with overhanging trees and bushes as well.
That was to 'educate' Riam to understanding more on line and branches. In open places, Riam chose to fly more and more spectacularly to me, going past me and looping back to land on me. She might fly and blitz our poor part time maid Maria as she was walking down the neighbour hood road causing her to duck as her parroty joke. I apologise to Maria of course after that.
Riam flew under and past this tree in my backlane to me
More photos in
(including gory gifts from Katie and Dommie to us)
Riam had to fly through branches in recall to me at Jebel Akbar.
More photos of Riam flying to me in Jebel Akbar including flying through holes in walls.
And Riam understood enough of the limitations of her line and not entangled it since that last report.
This is a procedure that started by accident with Tinkerbell in the past. At that time, I thought it was good to get Tink to understand the limitations of the harness line in relationship to trees and branches in the school ground next to my apartment. I learned when I should shortened the line, and also when I should let the line go to allow her to fly around the tree to me. That was prior taking her to fly in forests and parks in Taiwan. Tinkerbell clearly knew of the limitations. Tink knew enough of the entanglement of line to deliberately entangled herself by flying round and round tree trunks when I 'pulled' on her line to 'persuade' her to come to me. She taught me very clearly never to pull on her line. Tink knew enough of accidents, and when I stumbled or caught her line accidently and pulled her, Tink would just fly to my shoulder and not take offence.
You note that other for that incident at Bantienyen, Tink was never caught in trees and branches during the time she was with me.
It wasnt all obstacle course flying for Riamfada. In the usual neighbourhood walk, Riam would be cued to fly to me down the road
From time to time after the neighbourhood walk,
we would drive to the beach a few minutes away for her to fly freely.
more photos in flickr folder here
Katie threw tantrum
The summer was getting hotter and hotter. So much so weekends made us wanted to go to mountain tops where it was so much cooler. Except the place we liked in Jebel Akhdar was where 3 roads came together and with a lot of people at times. While that was ok for us and Riamfada, that was not too good to bring the kitties. Not many cars were there, but knowing Murphy, there will be convoy of cars charging down those roads just when Katie or Dommie got stoned by kids in that little park.
Kitties could only be brought to places with little of no people and no roads.
We had taken Dommie to Al Felaij dam a couple of times. But I have a soft spot for Katie even if she was stupid and had tried to kill me many times with her figure of 8s weaving around my ankle. She never been to Al Felaij and I felt sorry for that.
So two weekends ago, I thought the day might be cooler and the whole lot of us went to Al Felaji dam. The last time we were there we were at the lake bottom. Little breeze were there and it was sweltering hot. I went this time to the top of the dam where there was this tree on top of the knoll and with some welcomed breeze.
I rigged up the back door of the SUV with loops of Dyneema thread stucked on with silicon cement to create attachments to hang perch for Riamfada you can see in photo below.
The entire photoset here.
Dommie was a pro in our outings. He would love to see the scenery flashing past in the car, from front and side.
Katie was getting to like the outings too.
The day got hotter and hotter. Both the kitties appeared to be snarling and panting hard and my wife told me that was the way they tried to cool down. I thought that was ok as lots of feral cats can be seen in Muscat and they survived well enough in the heat unlike Dommie and Katie who have an aircond villa to slink back into. Katie was the one who seemed to be more affected by the heat.
We had plenty of water out for them that day. The kitties went out to scout around, and up the tree and returned into the car periodically.
It got hot enough for me and my wife to decide we had enough.
Dom was already in the car. Katie was up the tree. She had gone up and down a few times earlier. I packed up everything and called Katie to get down so we could all go home. Katie stared at me and did not want to come down.
We told her how nice and cool the car was with her still up on that branch. We pleaded with her to come down. I cursed at her to come down. I cursed her ancestry to no avail. I threatened her we leave her behind but she still remained up there.
So I went into the car to drive off the knoll, down to the main road , and up again back to Katie hoping that drive off would bring Katie to her senses and back down on ground and into the car.
She was still up on the branch. We did another round of pleading and curses. She came down to the fork and then up the other branch.
I gathered some pebbles to throw up at the branch. That did the trick and Katie came down to the ground. Instead of coming to us and the car, she moved away from us. Either Katie was getting heat stroke and did not know what she was doing or she was throwing a tantrum or both.
We thought she was sulking behind a bush when my wife saw a flash of white and black two hundred meters on the plain below. Our Katie ran all the way down. My wife followed her on the path and I drove the SUV to head Katie off.
Katie dived into the thickest thorn bush. I got out of the car with Riamfada cat carrier. I last used this carrier to rescue Katie from roof of villa 5 in Dec last year where Katie very willingly got into the carrier.
At last, Katie came out of the bush to my wife. I rushed over to other side, placed the carrier down and Katie went inside to be taken to the car and given the scolding of her life.
Katie then crawled under my seat where the aircond was blowing to cool down.
I think it will be a long time before Katie be taken to join us other than the neighbourhood walks.
If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice
NEVER EVER HAVE CLEAR GLASS WINDOWS WHERE YOUR BIRD IS FLOWN.
COVER COVER THEM PLEASE.
YOU MIGHT NOT BE AS LUCKY AS I WAS.