Monday, August 21, 2006

Hello! Boilerman!

Fret not, Boilerman is not absent without cause. He will be back shortly... until then, be good, and at the very least try to like, or tolerate each other.
And LiB team, keep the laughs coming...!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Is the Ministry of (Dis)Information Run by Aliens????




Recent reports of UFO ACTIVITY in Bahrain have alerted BOILERMAN HQ to the immediate need for informing all islanders that an ALIEN THREAT IS IMMINENT!

"It all began with the UFO a Sri Lankan couple saw flying over Sitra Causeway... then we have the Ministry of Information blocking Google Earth... following that a sighting by the Tree of Life. This SMELLS OF A CONSPIRACY," Boilerman said in a statement earlier in the day.

"Blocking access to information has most likely been instigated by aliens working in the guise of ministerial officers. Without a doubt, there are powers at work that are colluding with an ALIEN ENEMY to TAKE OVER THE COUNTRY.

"It is only a matter of time before the vision of an alien future becomes true. Before our GPS devices stop working, before our water supply is contaminated, before our children are implanted with RFID tracking chips, etcetera!"

Asked what could be done to stop the alien invasion, Boilerman pressed the need for people to pickett and demand answers to questions such as "When will the Bahrain Financial Harbor finish? Why is it taking so long, and what about all the other real estate projects? Are they fib? Are they a decoy for the true goal of constructing an ALIEN LANDING POINT/SERVICE STATION? And why does the Jawad Service Station look like a prop from Forbidden Planet?

"The aliens are coming... if we don't act fast, the skies over Bahrain... over the Furdha, over the Tree of Life over YOUR HOUSE will be blocked by the underbelly of giant MOTHERSHIPS ready to blow each and everyone of us to bits!"

BIN encourages all citizens to report suspicious alien activity as soon as it happens.

This has been an urgent broadcast message of the BOILERMAN INFORMATION NETWORK.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Block on Google No More! But is that it?

As many of you would have read and known since last night, Google Earth is unblocked! According to Al-Wasat:
عادت أمس خدمة «غوغل إيرث» إلى متصفحي الإنترنت وهو على ما يبدو إلغاء للقرار الذي صدر السبت الماضي من وزارة الاعلام إلى مقدمي خدمة الإنترنت لحجب «غوغل إيرث». وأكدت مصادر لـ «الوسط» أن الجهات الرسمية في صدد مخاطبة شركة «غوغل» بهدف حجب عدد من المواقع التي تعتبر حساسة.
"This is great news. However, we have to play it by ear as they say. Whatever is meant by blocking "sensitive" areas according to Al-Wasat's report remains to be seen. Sure, we have to protect our country's interest pertaining to national security. The keyword here is NATIONAL security. That does not mean anything else besides military installations and perhaps a few communication and backup uplink facilities here and there," said Boilerman.

Boilerman thanked all those who voiced their concerns about the block, saying that each and every one of them is a TRUE BAHRAINI HERO.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Insta-Fatwa, and Nose Picking on the Sabbath


Deliberation, competence, logic, reason and a sense of goodwill and trust in the human spirit all come together to provide the basis by which one is to follow the true path of faith offered by Islam or any other religion for that matter. And yet throughout the history of our religion, the Religion to end all religions, we have seen dileberations on subject matters at hand veer off into absurdity. Whether it's intentional malice on the part of the cleric/scholar, powerplay, or to entertain the whims of leaders, or any other reason, it is these sorts of missteps that have contributed in part to our Arab and Islamic nations disconnectedness and weakness.

True, Islam is an expanse by itself, a universe in and out of itself that cannot be fully comprehended, nor understood without serious study. Yet the basic principle of respect for all faiths, opinions and patience for those we do not agree with is clearly what is demanded of us as muslims in this day and age.

At BIN, we do not claim to know Islam in its entirety. We are, like most people, ordinary, run-of-the-mill guys with day jobs (and some with super-human powers by virtue of an accident) Rather, things like a fatwa banning internet usage, or the recent fatwa by Ibn Jibreen, are matters of consternation to us.

It is by no means an accident that the unifying theme for these "scholarly opinions" is Wahabism. From supporting al-Qaeda ("A silly organization with a bunch of confused socially incompetent losers," in Boilerman's words.) to dismissing fellow muslim Shi'ites as heretics, the Wahabi cult has done nothing but taken us back to a pre-Islam era of Jahiliyya, when the rule of one over many was the norm, and where war and aggression against even brothers and sisters was like having a weekend outing at the Seef.

"3nter and 3bla (Anter and Abla) are no more," said Boilerman. "It is time for us to wake up and smell the strong Arabic coffee, to bring back our heritage of reason in times of darkness!"

We remain optimists here at BIN. We are steadfast that the majority of muslims; both Sunni's and Shi'ites, are ordinary folk who want nothing more than to live happily and to prosper materially and spiritually according to their own convictions and beliefs. Convictions and beliefs which are maintained by the tenets and teachings of Islam.

So, before some Wahabi clerics ban nose picking as a Rabbinical directive in Israel has, let's all keep our cool and reason at hand next time we're examining what should be and should not be.

And let's remember, Islam sets out to make things better, including making the hard and trying times in life easier by means of a better appreciation of life, consequence and faith.

This is an op-ed of the Boilerman Information Network.

Monday, August 07, 2006

We'll fix it like it's our own!


That's right! After fellow blogger Mahmood's horrible experience with local repairmen, Boilerman together with Mahmood, Johnster and Ibn will change the face of maintenance and repair in Bahrain. Get ready to experience the professional difference with...
THE BOILERMEN REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE CO.
We'll fix it like it's our own!

We're the first business in Bahrain to be NON-UVP GUARANTEED! That is, we are definitely not a bunch of Unintentionally Villanous Persons (UVPs)*. Think of it as our version of the Better Business Bureau.

Boilerman said that "This is one step forward for our country.

"From lower blood pressure to a decrease in ulcer cases and happier partners, the NON-UVP program and companies like The Boilermen Repair and Maintenance Co. will greatly enhance the island's standard of living," added Boilerman.

*Not a full-fledged villain mind you, rather a dumbass who doesn’t know shit and just ends up screwing you real bad.

Crap, inconsiderate parking for an hour... but an entire week???

Some schmuck has parked his car across two parking spaces for over a week now. The park in question is at the Diplomat Hotel and is used not only by guests but also by employees in neighboring office buildings.

During peak usage, the inner lane of the car park gets BLOCKED by anyone parking behind this guy. So, it's hot and humid and all one wants is to skip a bit for lunch, yet finds another annoyance thrown in his face in the form of senseless parking.

Boilerman says "Unless this fellow has an emergency, I hope he learns that evil parking begets evil, er, parking. So, let's all be considerate next time we're in a rush to park our car for an entire week."

This has been a Boilerman Information Network blogcast.

BIX TO BLOCK GOOGLE EARTH!


Note: For those looking for a way to access Google Earth from Bahrain or other places where it has been blocked, try
JAP Anonymity and Privacy.
علمت «الوسط» ان بدالة البحرين للانترنت، وفي ثاني خطوة لها بعد غلق المواقع الاباحية، قررت أمس اغلاق خدمة «غوغل ايرث»، التي يتمكن من خلالها متصفحح الانترنت من مشاهدة المعالم الجغرافية والخرائط الطبيعية لاي منطقة في العالم.

وليس من المعروف فيما اذا كانت بتلكو ستنفذ هذا القرار اليوم، خصوصاً وانه يرتبط بنوعية خدماتها وبعلاقاتها بشركات كبرى مثل «غوغل».
ويعتبر هذا القرار ­ في حال تثبيته بصورة دائمة ­ منافياً لحرية تدفق المعلومات، وستكون البحرين من الدول القلائل في العالم التي تمنع احدى خدمات «غوغل» الرئيسية. وفيما لم يتسن الحصول على رد رسمي بشأن حجب هذه الخدمة، توقعت مصادر ان يتم الزام بتلكو بتنفيذ القرار، خصوصاً مع غياب المساءلة البرلمانية او الامكانات الاجرائية لمنع اصدار مثل هذا القرار
.

Well, well, well... the gestapo mindset seems to be at it again! According to Al-Wasat, The Ministry of Information has ordered BIX to BLOCK GOOGLE EARTH! As of 0900, it still works. However, it's only a matter of time before Batelco implements the ban.

According to fellow blogger Mahmood, the block is active on ISPs directly connected to BIX such as Kalaam and 2Connect.

UPDATE: GOOGLE EARTH HAS BEEN BLOCKED BY BATELCO.


Boilerman is distressed at this situation. "What great minds might be at work here? Is our country to be relegated to the backwater of information freedom and connectivity? The Censorship State is far from over.

"I'm continually gobsmacked by the futile approach that is taken against technological progress. From having people register their Bluetooth and WiFi devices (now that's genius, call the Noble Prize Committee,) to this debacle with Google Earth, it seems that Bahrain is heading into a self-imposed 1984," Boiler said, refering to Orwell's dystopic vision.

"What is there to hide in Bahrain? The lack of public beaches? The destruction of the seafront when we have vacant land on the island in abundance? The underdeveloped villages and shoddy housing compared to the new residential super developments? Etcetera! Here's news for the government: WE KNOW ABOUT ALL OF THAT ALREADY. BLOCKING GOOGLE EARTH WILL NOT MAKE US FORGET.

"So far the block has not been implemented by Batelco. However, this by no means suggests that people should not petition against censorship and baby-handling by the government," he said, adding that Boycott Batelco seems to have its work cut out for it for a very long time to come.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Plant a tree for every car sold!

Let's not even start about why Bahrain; an island, doesn't have a single decent public beach. Boilerman is peeved about Manama and it's lack of a properly maintained park. Sure, you've got Al-Andalous; but when was the last time you had a get together in that place, honestly? (Perhaps an 80's style concert is due? Simon and Garfunkel, anyone?)

Sure, the weather might not be conducive to outings during several months of the year. Yet Boilerman pities those comfortable, chilled weeks scattered here and there during the year's end that are spent indoors, mall ratting and coffee shop hopping.

Besides, wouldn't a properly designed park counteract the effects of hot weather and other unpleasanteries?

"Even in the new up and coming Seef District, there is no evidence of any public park being planned. Just concrete after concrete being piled up! It's a pity that even real estate developers in that area continue to turn a blind eye on public access green spaces around their buildings. They're just going for the maximum FlOORSPACE PER LAND SQM they can get. What about GRASS PER LAND SQM?"

Veering slightly off course, Boilerman stated "Believe me if you will or believe me not, yet I have a certain feeling that a conspiracy is at play here. Right here before our eyes. The good people of Bahrain are being tricked into spending 99.9% of their lifetimes indoors, refrigerated, cryoincinerated willingly in their 15 degrees celsius containment units; rooms, offices, shops, malls, even cars!

"And that just makes them spend more. Rather than enjoy the free, beautiful sights and sounds of nature, they're forced to just shop, gulp-down coffee, shop some more... even when they're driving, their A/C units increase petrol usage, making them spend more money on that as well! And wait... you see, the cycle comes 'round right here. The petrol fumes pollute the air, cause a greenhouse effect in cities like Manama, and you see... it's a vicious cycle! Lack of parks -> indoors -> spend money -> drive around with AC to another mall -> pollution -> greenhouse effect -> Lack of parks!"

Ending, Boilerman said that "Something has to be done. We have to campaign for more parks and proper city and urban planning. We need parks. And don't tell us it's the environment. We're in control of our environment somewhat, and we're making it worse by polluting it! For evey car sold, car dealers should vow to PLANT A TREE!"

With that, Boilerman's
PLANT A TREE FOR EVERY CAR SOLD
campaign is on!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Disco is Dead


Here you have it folks. According to Boilerman, leaders of Arab states and their cronies are no different from all the other news characters. Whether it's Hosni or Groovy Kadaffy [sic], they're up there (or down there) with Olmert, Bin Laden and the rest of the nasty crew. They'd put their interests before those of the people.

"Even hardcore twisted murderous freaks like Bin Laden and Zawahiri who purport to serve the truth and the Islamic umma are doing it for their own egos and nothing else. Bin Laden says 'I do it for Islam' Olmert says he does it for realizing the 'Zionist' goal of a Jewish country. In the process, they both pilfer and kill with their terrorist activities," Boilerman said. "They're both in the same boat. As to some other leaders, they're in that same stinkin' boat as well. Subservient to their Swiss bank accounts and the feeling of never having to deal with credit card debt."

I asked Boilerman about his credit card debt problem. He said: "Well, it's something I have to live with. But I'm working day and night in the hope of eventually decreasing it to 15% of my income. However, as to the leaders of Arab states, their debt far exceeds mine. They are indebted to their people that they have dismissed as nothing more than just a minor concern. Their anachronistic ways are futile, however."

"The funny thing is, the puppet
masters in all of this are those who can lobby the best. You might think King Abdulla is leading the second coming of the Village People. But it's Olmert that's got the puppet master's hand up America's wazoo and America in turn has it up everyone else's wazoo."

Boilerman expressed his regret for the inability of Arab peoples to collude and lobby effectively. "We have bloody oil for goodness sake. We have a people that are more worldly aware than any out there. And yet we have governments that will entertain only those who agree with their anachronistic ways of tribal coallitions and bars of gold."

Ending, Boilerman stated that the current state of world leadership and affairs is no different from disconcerting 70s Disco LP covers. "It's time to move on. Disco is dead."


From Zero to Hero: Becoming Boilerman

It was not long ago that an ordinary Bahraini workman was minding his own business, trying to get through life one day at a time. Not until a month ago that is. Until that fateful evening. An evening that will be forever remembered in the annals of Bahrain's history.

By now, you might be wondering as to who might this Boilerman fellow be. You might ask what are the super-human powers he possesses, and who is he? Rest assured all will be answered in due time. For I have managed to convince Boilerman that although his good deeds are done neither for fame or fortune, they have to be known, to be told and retold so that Bahraini's all over can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that out there is a True Bahraini Hero (TBH.) A TBH that will do his utmost best in defending the rights of the underpriviliged and helping our small island country become a Better Place for All (BPA.)


So rejoice, dear reader, as I present below the first of many conversations and communiques with Boilerman.

Please note that I have NOT seen Boilerman in person. Our communication is strictly by means of telephone, messaging and at times via a certain khabbaz (local baker) in the Northern Area of Bahrain. Perhaps one day we'll meet in person.

The following conversation took place via 256-bit key secure VOIP late last night.

BIN: Boilerman Information Network, BM: Boilerman

[BEGIN CONVERSATION TRANSCRIPT]

BIN: Boiler, thanks for agreeing to this. I know it took some pestering on my part to convince you that it's important to let people know about your adventures, trials and tribulations.


BM: Absolutely. I agree. And you're welcome... it's strange, now that I'm Boilerman. It seems that I could speak and people will listen.


BIN: Well, it's only me at the moment. Let's just hope more people find out about you. I'll do my best to spread the word.

BM: True. Although it's been only a month since I've become Boilerman, I have a certain feeling that my life will be... will be one hell of a book if someone wants to write it. I just feel it. There's so much more awareness in my head now than there ever was. So much more clarity of thought. I see it all now. I see the truth, the lies, the mistakes, the spite, the greed, the futility, the hope, the love...

BIN: Right. Well, if you wouldn't mind, let's start with Who is Boilerman? Who are you, Boilerman?

BM: The short version is that I was an ordinary guy who minded his own business then one day gets hit on the head (figuratively speaking), develops super-human powers and becomes a fully-fledged by-the-book superhero. You know, your basic superhero story. At least it is for most of the superheroes out there, apart from some like Superman who are born superheroes.

BIN: Well, can you be more specific. Tell us about who you were before getting hit on the head and what happened and all of that. Details! Details!

BM: Of course. I'd love to... It all began a little over a month ago. I was a workman at the Hidd Power Station (HiPS.) Just a low level workman, doing ten hour days six days a week. It was a tough job. But I loved it. I've always been mechanically inclined, and since I was assigned to Turbine Monitoring and Maintenance I enjoyed it immensely.

The pay at HiPS wasn't that great. You see, I'm a school dropout (had to, my dad was getting old and I along with my three brothers and two sisters needed money more than ever.) I worked at a farm and the market until I was eighteen or so. Then I had the opportunity to get vocational technical training by virtue of support from my elder brother. It wasn't that bad, I was good at math and physics and liked machines and noisy things with lots of steel and smoke and whatnot. I loved it, I tell ya.

So, that's how I ended up at HiPS following the completion of six or seven courses on basic mechanics and maintenance. Then...

BIN: I guess this is the long version, eh?

BM: Listen, you want the whole story or...?

BIN: I'm sorry. Go on, at HiPS, what happened?

BM: I was working the late shift. It was about quarter past one in the morning. Not a single soul in the station apart from one or two guys in the control room, and six or seven on the field checking that everything was in tip-top condition. I myself was tasked with one of the Turbine Control Systems.

Everything looked fine. It was a perfect evening, not too hot and the humidity was low. Unlikely for June... I was busy thinking, or rather being eaten up, about my credit card debt, my broken down Datsun 120Y, my receding hairline, my sick mother, my estranged second brother who has been missing for two years, my best friend whose been incapacitated for the last five years after a drag race accident, our two bedroom house with rusted water pipes and exposed electric wires that power three bulbs, a tv, satellite receiver and a fridge. In short, I was broding about my condition and wondering how I could change my life with whatever I'm getting. Which was all being drained by the credit card bills and medication for my mother.

The weather started to seem very hot, humid and all round unpleasant.

And then BANG! Bam-ba-BOOM! I turned around to look at the control system, it was frying up badly, smoke everywhere, sparks flying here and there. I tried to run away, but I tripped and fell headfirst onto the hard concrete floor. As I got up, a swinging cable crashed down on me. It was live. I don't know how many volts. I have no idea. All I know was that for ten or fifteen seconds I was encased, enveloped, almost suspended in the air within an electrified sphere. It was beautiful. It hurt somewhat. I thought I was dead. It seemed to me that I was dead, since a certain numbness ran down from my head to my toes. And then I blacked out.

I awoke three days later in the Salmaniya Medical Center intensive care unit. My entire body felt lighter than before. I ached somewhat, my muscles where sore. Yet I felt more alive than I ever was. It was strange, sort of like having been born again. Funny thing was, I lost all my hair. I was electrophorized I guess. Smooth as a billiard ball. So much for worrying about my receding hairline.

BIN: What happened then, did your family come over, workmates?

BM: Well, they did. My sisters and brother (except for the missing one.) The thing was, the tragedy of it all, my mom died a day before I awoke. She died worried sick over me. She died because I didn't wake up early enough. She died when the doctors were already giving up on me, telling her that I am practically braindead and that they could harvest my organs as a last resort for deliverance.

BIN: They did?

BM: That's what I learned later on. That they talked to my brothers about it. They refused, saying that if all that power surge didn't kill me, it could also mean that I'd wake up at any moment... the docs didn't mean any harm, I know. I mean, I was apparently braindead. My noodle got cooked.

BIN: So how come you're still...

BM: I don't know. All of a sudden it seems that my brain cells started replicating. It was a miracle. It was something that never happened to anyone before. My entire brain was back to its normal self in the span of three days.

BIN: Damn...

BM: I tell you, it was strange. And yet, I have to say, it's like getting a whole new clean slate to work on while having the old one to look at. You know, I still had a grinding credit card debt and down-on-my-luck sort of crap hounding me, yet I had also this entirely new perspective now. A new perspective that made me see it all so much clearer. I just felt that I could take the world all at once and... okay, this is a bit corny... and right what's wrong.

BIN: How would you do that?

BM: Once I left the ICU, I went back home. The strange thing was, nothing fit. I tried my old clothes, nothing. I borrowed a thobe from my brother and that was just barely okay. I mean, I was all bulked up. It was strange. Ripped. You see, I was a scrawny 5'5" guy, that after the accident was a... not so scrawny 5'5" with some serious muscle.

BIN: Damn...

BM: A week later, my supervisor at work was kind enough to bring me a new boilersuit. My old one had disintergrated during the accident. He told me to come back to work whenever I felt ready.

BIN: So did you?

BM: I donned the boilersuit. And at that moment, at that moment when I took a good look at myself in the mirror, the strangest feeling came over me. I felt empowered. I felt I could do whatever I wanted to do.

For the next few days, I went to the local gym in my new boilersuit. All the guys there knew me as the part-timer who would oil the machines and test the cable pulleys. Now they couldn't even recognize me. I tackled each weight machine one by one. From 20kg I now could lift 200kg. It was fantastic. I had super-human strength. Strange as it may seem, the more I pushed myself to the limit, the more I felt I had more power.

It was then that I realized I was no longer my old self. I was this new person with a new superbrain and a new superbody. A combination that would enable me to right what's wrong. To finally have a say in this world I was born in... a world that I was born in for a second time.

BIN: Now, would you say that your family was okay with your new you? What about your workmates?

BM: You see, that was it. My brothers and my sisters each had their own life, they each lived with their own family. I lived with mom. Now that mom was no more, I was alone in our rundown house. Each of my brothers insisted I move in with them, but I refused. I'd stay. I'd be where I was because that was the only thing that really allowed me to see who I was before the accident. The house I was raised in. I had a certain attachment to the decripit two bedroom place. It would be my new, my new, well, I'll fix it up, and it'll be my... Boilerman's HQ. As to my superpowers, I'm not sure any of them noticed. Apart from my lack of hair. That was all they could notice. The same goes for my workmates. "You're bald, yet so young, what a pity! Hey, welcome back and glad to have you working again!" they would say.

So, as you see, I still keep my job at HiPS and live in the same old house. And it seems that the only people who notice I'm superhuman are the one's who did not know me before.

BIN: That was almost a month ago. During the intervening time, what happened? Did you use your new superhuman powers to help someone?

BM: Oh yes. Lots and lots of times. You see, I don't sleep much anymore. An hour or two is all I need. And then I'm off scavenging the country for wrongs to right. No matter how small or large the problem, I'd always try to help. I'd have my say. Id' use my brain and brawn to change things for the better.

BIN: Sweet. SO, tell us, what was your most exciting adventure to date?

BM: My most exciting... or rather most altruistic and helpful endeavor must have been when I stopped a secret plan to take over a certain government organization. A plan that could have had drastic effects on the future of Bahrain.

[END CONVERSATION TRANSCRIPT]

Stay tuned for one of many Boilerman adventures. In the next instalment of Boilerman: Operation Umm Groon. In the meantime, let Boilerman know of any problems our beloved country might be facing @ boilerm***N0_SPAM***@gmail.com (remove ***N0_SPAM*** before emailing.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bahrain's first...

This is not a fib nor a lie. Bahrain's first superhero has risen. Superman, Batman, Spidey; move aside. Bahrain's first superhero (yes, I said that already, but it just sounds so damn cool) is here.

Do not ask me how I came upon him. All I can say is that in the past week certain events have transpired that have led to the creation of this blog. A blog about a man who stands steadfast in the face of adversity. A man whose courage rips through obstacles. A man whose entire life is devoted to protecting the truth, to dispel fear, misunderstanding and misinformation. A man who once was an ordinary man. A man who is now a super-human. A man endowed with super-human powers. A man who is a true S U P E R H E R O.

Ladies and gentlemen, the good people of Bahrain. I am nothing more than a reporter in this most unusual of circumstance where fact and fiction intermingle. Where life seems to imitate art and art seems to have become all there is to see. Where a double take confirms rather than refutes that out there, out there in this tiny island of ours lives a man unlike any other man. A man who has become Bahrain's First Superhero.

That man's name is... B O I L E R M A N