Last week I finally got the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification! I made this decision early 2007 but at the time I wanted to go for the CAPM (Certified Associate PM) first, which is basically PMP Lite. However, after going through multiple on/off phases to study; I made a decision last year to go directly for the PMP. Once again I found myself studying a few weeks and then slacking off and the thing with the PMP is that you need to focus on it in a dedicated mode and then appear for the exam soon after (that’s what I feel anyway).
I scheduled my exam for last week and then started going through the course material, I used a couple of books and the sample questions at the end of each chapter were very helpful. Maliha also helped me to go through the questions and revise.
I thought the exam itself was pretty tough and even though you only need to get 61% of the questions right out of 175 within 4 hours; its extremely difficult to single out the ‘more’ correct answer out of the four provided (its computer based and multiple-choice oriented) unless you’ve gone over the concepts and material thoroughly. There are also 25 additional pre-release questions that do not count towards your score but you don’t know which ones they are.
Needless to say I felt ecstatic the moment the screen displayed my passing status. Now I need to make sure that I apply what I’ve learnt in my job.
Since passing I’ve celebrated by watching 25th Hour, Body of Lies, Gran Torino and Killshot! All of them pretty good and recommended movies. Next on my list is Crossing Over.
Got back from our trip to Istanbul this Friday. We all had a great time and the weather was just perfect (ranging from 12-17 C with light rains). I would definitely recommend it and if time permits; one should also include Antalya in the tour which is also a major tourist attraction of Turkey.
The package was arranged nicely and went smoothly as per the provided plan. It accounted for three days of our six day tour and we visited different places during the remaining three days and I have a good friend to thank, for giving me all the right details.
I’m going to list down our activities during this week-long trip which others could consider if they are also planning to head out there.
- Day 1: Guided tour of the city. We were taken to the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar.
- Day 2: A ship cruise across the Bosporus and we got off the Asian side and were taken by Bus to a nice veiw-point that also had 53 variety of tulips and an excellent view of the coastline. After that we were taken to some souvenir shops and a mall (the mall can be skipped, they are all the same).
- Day 3: A ship cruise to one of the Princes’ Islands. It was very peaceful and scenic with lots of cafes and stalls and a nice horse carriage ride through the island. Spent the evening on our own exploring the Taksim area and buying souvenirs and stuff.
- Day 4: Visited Istiklal Avenue that has a lot of shops and stalls. They also have a street that is filled with shops selling musical instruments of all sorts. Almost bought a mouth-organ there.
- Day 5: Visited the Dolmabahce Palace and then walked over to the Ortakoy Pier right under the Bosporus Bridge. Later on bought tickets for and attended a mesmerizing Sufi music and dance show that consisted of swirling dervishes and a sufi band.
- Day 6: Visited the Ayasofya Mosque and then the Basilica Cistern (Sunken Palace). On the way back we also went to the Spice Bazaar.
I would definitely recommend one to get hold of a city map and then utilize the excellent mass transit system they have to move around. Everything is nicely interconnected (subway, trams, rails, etc.).
More pictures, here.
It had been a while since we last went on a proper vacation. So I took off a week from work and we’re now in Istanbul, Turkey. The weather here is amazing right now and slightly chilly in the evenings. That’s a welcome change from the heat that’s finally rearing its ugly head back in Kuwait.
The package consists of 3 days of arranged activities and 3 days free for us. So far we’ve been on the Istanbul city tour yesterday and the Bosporus cruise today. Both were pretty good and you can tell that this is a major tourism hub because there’s a lot of tourists here and the guide says that its pretty much how it is throughout the year. The city tour consisted of a trip to the Blue Mosque (that has six minarets – an interesting story in itself), a visit to the Topkapi Palace and a few hours at the Grand Bazaar. The Bosporus cruise was very scenic and the cool breeze was amazing. Rohail had a great time after displaying some dislike for the cruise boat initially. Tomorrow we’re due for a trip to the Princes’ Islands.
The very first day was a surprise because it was May Day (Labor Day) and apparently they have some violent protests here in Taksim where our hotel is also situated. There were loads of riot police all around and there was a lot of violence going around. We just whiled it out inside the hotel till it was over by evening.
The police patrolling Taksim due to May Day protests
We’ve done our fair share of souvenir shopping and overall the trip is going really great. We plan on visiting Istiklal Avenue on one of the free days to check out the markets and stuff. Amongst the popular stuff we’ve noted here are leather products, carpets and lamp shades. The ‘evil eye‘ or ‘nazir’ is also very commonly seen around here and I’ve also picked up one fridge magnet version of it.
An evil eye product
This weekend, I along with a few colleagues and friends had a boy’s night out (it was more of a lukewarm, boy’s evening out). We booked the tickets at the Avenues cineplex and later had dinner at TGIF. There was a lot of mall roaming involved and checking out stuff at Alghanim Electronics (I just love doing that).
‘New model. Original Parts.’
That’s the slogan of the fourth and latest Fast & Furious installment. It brings back Vin Diesel and Paul Walker from the original cast and the results are – not that great.
So back to the movie – watching it on the large screen definitely brought out some scenes, especially the intro scene which I personally enjoyed a lot (even though it was a little too, ‘come on! they can’t do that!’). In addition to that it was just fun watching it with friends with comments flying all around. There wasn’t anything unique or fresh about the plot and most people were there just for the ‘ride’. Unfortunately they didn’t have that awesome camera-work from the 3rd part where it was running from one car to another mid-scenes. They also had a few chase scenes inside a mine but you couldn’t make out much because of the tight angles. The movie also caters to muscle car fans and ricers. I belong to the former type.
I’ll only recommend this to fans of the series and if you enjoy watching elaborate (yet somewhat shaky) car chase scenes.
By the way, TGIF has this deal going on whereby you get a 15% discount on your bill if you show them a ticket of the same day from the cineplex.
Published April 21, 2009
Tags: oracle, sun
This is pretty big news. The headers on the websites of both Sun and Oracle are as shown below. Not saying the same thing exactly.
Click here to read what Sun is saying about it.
Published April 21, 2009
Kuwait , News
Tags: electricity bills, Kuwait
My building haris (caretaker) informed me today morning that there’s a notice from the ministry saying that electricity bills must be paid every month.
People from almost every other country in the world must think its the most natural thing, but here in Kuwait we are used to paying our bills once a year or even once every two or three years! If this is the case, I hope they enable online KNET payment otherwise it would totally suck having to go there early in the morning, get the guy to come home and take the meter reading and go back to make the payment – every month!
Yesterday we went over to the Avenues to watch the latest hindi thriller – 8×10 Tasveer (picture). I’m not a huge fan of hindi movies but I must say it was a refreshing watch.
Th movie was quite different from the standard fare and I have a suspicion that the content is a rip-off (which is usually the case when you get a ‘different’ movie coming from Bollywood).
It stars Akshay Kumar and the story revolves around him where his father has just died in an accident on a boat where some other friends and family members were also present. Soon a murder conspiracy starts and we follow the hero through the plot twists and turns. The interesting part of his character is that he has a supernatural power through which he can look at pictures and psychologically transport himself to any person in that picture at that moment in time and see what happens from that person’s eye-view for about a minute. Its portrayed to be a potentially life-threatening skill that for some reason leaves him needing a blood transfusion almost every time he does it.
A view of the inside of the new Avenues multiplex. Very nicely done design which I couldn't capture properly.
I won’t say much to ruin the plot, but its definitely a fun watch that had us guessing and re-guessing the culprit. Rohail was pretty much alright through it with an occassional comment, though there was this guy sitting a few seats from us continuously burping!