Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bush proposes fighting global warming with nuclear winter

Following last week's summit, leaders of the G8 nations announced some creative steps to address climate change.

"When you look at the projected costs of reducing carbon emissions with new energy technology, or not using oil or coal," President Bush explained, "that's a lot of money that would be taken out of the pockets of hard-working Americans. As I've said before, we must protect our economy as a first priority."

Leading up to the conference, it was clear there was a difference of opinion on the matter of climate change. While the Europeans were pushing for setting definite goals such as halving carbon emissions by 2050, the United States had indicated a clear reluctance to do anything. Facilitated by George Bush's negotiating acumen, the attendees hammered out a compromise: they would pretend to do something.

While careful to point out that a new "Cold War" would not lower temperatures on its own, President Bush said the consequences of it could indirectly have that effect, noting "this solution uses technology we already have at our disposal."

Scientists have long suspected that a massive exchange of nuclear missiles would loft enough particulate matter into the upper atmosphere that it would block enough sunlight to decrease the global temperature by a few degrees.

Hanging over the summit from the start was tension with Russia from proposed U.S. missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic

The Russians are afraid the installation is the first step in a defensive shield that would nullify Russian missiles, seen as a step in nuclear escalation. The White House claims that is a misunderstanding.

"All the tests so far show this system won't even fulfill its stated purpose - which is intercepting a missile or two from a rogue nation," a White House representative said. "So Russia should just chill out."

The German government has mixed feelings about global warming. On the one hand, the country has made a substantial investment in renewable energy. On the other hand, vacationing at the Baltic beach resorts, such as the one where the G8 summit was held, requires a certain stoic tolerance for wind and cold. German applications to host Spring Break festivities for MTV have been continually passed over in favor of balmier destinations such as Miami or Majorca

Herlock Sholmes

Sunday, March 25, 2007

President Bush is now sober!

WASHINGTON, DC - President Bush has been sober for at least two weeks now, say White House officials. The claims of sobriety come at a critical time for the embattled president, who faces mounting criticism at home over the war in Iraq.

"In the past the president has occasionally liked to open up the doors of perception, and really think hard about the problems of state," said White House spokesman Tony Snow. "The president has found that a tot of some good old fashioned awareness-expanding soft malt whiskey has been a boon and comfort to him in these dark and difficult days of his administration. Moreover, it has brought clarity and clear-mindedness to issues that many others find boring and complicated, issues like war and abortion, and helped him understand them completely, rather than only partly, which is how the democrats understand things."

Critics of the president claim that spending his days drunk in the White House does not make for the most effective leadership strategy. Tony Snow, however, rejects these allegations. It is a sign of how well things are going in Iraq that the president has been able to unwind a little and celebrate," he said. "It would be better if all of us were a little bit less critical of the president right now, and instead focused on all the things that are going right. "This negativity doesn't do anybody any good, and doesn't help us defeat terror."

The President's new-found sobriety, however, may represent a sea change for American foreign and domestic policy. President Bush has made numerous public appearances recently without trying to exit rooms via cupboards or slurring incoherently. On one occasion, the president Bush also seemed to know exactly where he was.

The White House denies the significance of the president's new-found state of sobriety, and discourages the public from looking too deeply into it. "A president being sober is perfectly ordinary, and nothing to make a big deal out of," Tony Snow told press. "People should just get on with their lives and let us do our jobs in peace, without all this prying”

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tales of two cities

I lead a double life. I have a life in Dubai in which I have a home, a dog, a garden, and everything else that makes life the way most people know it. Then, I have the life on the road where Home is a hotel room, lunch and dinner are mostly club sandwiches in front of TV, moving around means smelly taxis, a night out consists of a beer and conversation and most of my time is spent wearing a suit and tie.

I have exactly 6 places in the world that I call home. My house in Dubai, The Intercontinental Vendome in Lebanon, The Four Seasons in Riyadh, The Marriot in Athens, The Meridien in Paris and the recently added Grand Hyatt in Cairo. Each of these places offers something unique to me. Be it a memory, a particular meal that I crave from time to time, a comfy bed or simply outstanding service that makes me want to go back and back again.

Yesterday I was trying to come up with the list of countries I have been to in my life. I stopped at 53 despite knowing that I probably missed a few. The world is a big place but after a while you get the feeling that you have seen what there is to see and your interest moves away from seeing to sharing. These days, seeing the smile on the face of someone who is discovering a place for the first time is, by far, the most pleasurable thing about traveling for me.

There are still a few places that I would like to see before I die. Not many, but there are a few. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is on top of that list. Recently the person I’d like to share this place with told me that she had no interest what so ever in going there. So, Rio is out. The second on the list is Costa Rica. Considering that this is a place with Beaches, Sangria, sun and is where my cousin lives, I am quite confident that I will be able to convince her to go. The third place is Luxor in Egypt. Yes, yes, I have never been to Luxor. I would like to see it before I die and/or before it is destroyed by pollution, the Nile, tourists, or Egypt.

Sometimes, I just crave the comfort of home. I miss the familiar shower, the comfortable toilet seat, the fridge having my favorite kind of beer, the right pillow, the AC at the right temperature, my dog on the bed next to me, my favorite channels on TV, my couch, my set of fork and knives…. The little things that make home what it really should be: Comfortable and familiar

Herlock Sholmes

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why are you not married?

Every now and then, I have to travel to Israel for work. Every time this happens, I get stopped at the airport for security for anything between 4 to 6 hours for questioning. It used to bother me to be treated like a common criminal for 6 hours, but now, I just got used to it

Yesterday, I arrived at the Ben Gurion airport at 5:30am, having not slept at all the night before and having had very little sleep the previous few days. At 9:45am after over 4 hours of interrogation, I was getting tired and in a bad mood. I was thinking that enough was enough.

For those of you that have never been to Israel, it is worth clarifying that ALL, absolutely ALL, the security officers at the airport are girls. They are ALL between 25 and 35 years old. ALL of them, I tell you. It is as if every good looking, young Israeli girl is working at the airport. Quite a sight actually. So, 9:45am, no sleep, gorgeous Security Officer (SO), asking me the same questions for the 100th time…

SO: “How long have you been living in France?”
Me: “I told you 6 times already, I live in Dubai”
SO: “Why are you coming to Israel?”
Me: “Come on, enough of this! I answered this question 25 times already!! Business”
SO: “Are you married?”
Me: “No”
SO: “Why?”
Me: “huh?”
SO: “Why are you not married?”
Me: “I am not gay! Do you think I look gay?”
SO: “So, you are not gay”
Me: “No, no, not gay. Not gay at all”
SO: “Are you sure?”
Me: “Sure? That I am not gay? Yes, I am very sure”
SO: ”So why are you not married?”
Me: “Not because I am gay”
SO: “Why do you keep telling me you are not Gay? Are you gay?
Me: “Gay? No, not Gay”
SO: “So why are you not married”
Me: “Is that relevant to me entering Israel?”
SO: “Yes”
Me: “Why?”
SO: “Because I want to know”
Me: “At what time do you get off?”
SO: “That’s none of your business, please answer the question”
Me: “Oh, I thought you wanted to get together afterwards.“
SO: “Excuse me?”
Me: “Well, you asked me if I was gay, why I am not married, you took my phone number, I thought you wanted to call me afterwards”
SO: “No no, it is my job to ask”
Me: “Your job to ask if I am gay and why I am not married? Give me a break, you want to go have a drink don’t you?”
SO: "No, I don’t! answer the question please
Me: “I am free tonight you know”
SO: “That doesn’t concern me”
Me: “How come? You asked me 7 times so far what I was going to be doing in Israel. I am telling you I am free tonight.”
SO: “Please, lets get back to the questions”
Me: “What questions?
SO: “Why are you not married?”
Me: “Why do you keep telling me that I am gay? I am not gay”
SO: “I am not telling you that you are gay”
Me: “Yes, you are, you keep asking me why I am not married”
SO: “huh?”
SO: “Answer the question please!”
Me: “Okay, Okay enough torture, I admit, I am gay”
SO: “no, you’re not”
Me: “Yes, I am. What do you mean I am not. Are you going to tell me what I am and I am not”
SO: “Sir, you are not gay, this is getting annoying, I will have to deny your entry if you don’t answer me, why are you not married”
Me: “what makes you think I am not gay?”
SO: “Sir, this is your last chance. Why are you not married?”
Me: “Ok, ok, Because the girl I love and have loved since I was 5 cheated on me last year with my best friend and we had to break up over it. Then we got together again a few months ago and we thought that this time it was for good. I proposed to her and bought her a beautiful diamond ring from Tiffany’s. The ring cost $11,291 and she accepted the ring as a token of our love. She cried when I gave her the ring. We spoke to her parents. They were also very excited and it was a really good time for both of us. I had almost started to forget the betrayal..”
SO: ”Okay, I see”
Me: “No, no, you asked, now let me finish. So, the betrayal was almost behind us when our best friend came to me with stories of more betrayals. I had to hire a private detective who came back to me with some damning pictures. But when I looked at the pictures they were a bit blurred so I couldn’t tell
SO: ” Enough sir! Don’t force me to deny your entry!”
Me: “Well, okay, to conclude she was cheating on me again and I lost faith in the institution of marriage”
SO: “Okay”
Me: “So you see, I am not gay, I just don’t believe in marriage anymore. It was a traumatic experience
SO: “Okay Sir!!”
Me: “Anymore questions? I have all morning and nothing to do tonight”
SO: “No, that will be it. Welcome to Israel!”

Herlock Sholmes

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I have been tagged for 10 things you didn’t know about me. As a very private person there are a million things to choose from. I choose these:

1. In 2000, I quit a cozy, 6 figures job as a tiny Kahuna in one of the world’s largest IT companies to go teach Scuba Diving on a beach somewhere in Australia. I was literally in the taxi on the way to the airport when I got a call from a head hunter for another of the world’s largest IT multinationals that convinced me to go to the interview instead of the airport. To this day, almost every night, before falling asleep, I wonder what my life would have been like if that call had come 30 minutes later. Isn’t it amazing how small and seemingly insignificants the events that shape our lives are? A simple phone call transformed my existence.

2. I hold the highest certification that a Scuba Diver can hold. I am certified to certify instructors who can certify instructors (was that even English?). There is no activity in Life that I love more than Scuba Diving. None! There is no place on earth I would rather be than in the sea. Yet, I have not set foot in the sea for 2 years, 1 month and 6 days. I have not dived in 2 years 8 months and 17 days. I will not dive for another 3 months, at least.

3. I am extremely happy with my life. I go to sleep with a smile on my face every night. I have the job I want to have, I live in the place where I want to live, I do what I want, when I want, I am simply happy.

4. I can only put the phone on my left ear. I have always used my left ear and now my right simply can’t hear what is being said

5. The woman I loved more than all others only started dating me because I pursued her relentlessly, every day, for 5 months. She only accepted to make me go away

6. I don’t like going out in large groups. 4 is my maximum. More than that, I feel uncomfortable. Unless I know the people really, really well. Having said that, I never say no to going out

7. I only learned English because I was dating an American girl in university. I spent the first month listening and saying preciously little. Our first true conversation with more than 2 words from my side was after we made love the first time. We talked about what I was going to cook for dinner. I didn’t have the words for Mashed Potatoes, or Roasted Lamb. I cooked anyway, and we had to order Pizza hut afterwards.

8. I enjoy listening more than talking. Most people have interesting things to say.

9. I’ve owned a motorbike since my 14th birthday. I won my first one in a bet with my father

10. I don’t like speaking on the phone. I much prefer face to face, email or sms

Herlock Sholmes

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Leading Vs Managing

Currently, I have been trying to hire a Tiny Kahuna for our office in Greece. Over the last few weeks, I have been interviewing several candidates. This morning the following transpired:

Me: “So, Kyros, tell me, what do you think the difference is between a Leader and a Manager”
Kyros: “Errr, a Leaders leads, a manager manages”
Me: “Yes, but what is the difference?”
Kyros: “One manages, the other leads”
Me: “Yes, Yes, I know, but what is the difference between leading and managing?”
Kyros: “I am not good at English”

Needless to say that we are still looking for a tiny Kahuna…

However that got me thinking. What is the difference between managing and leading. You see, I had asked the question just to get a conversation going, but I didn’t have a specific answer in mind

In my view, Managing is a subset of leading. You can’t lead if you don’t manage. Every true leader needs to manage in order to lead. Many people think that a leader is someone who has a vision. This is true, but not enough. A leader has a vision, but he also has a plan to manage his team into that vision. He will make sure that the entire team buys into the vision, adopts it, breaths it, lives it and basks in it. A leader will never push his team towards the vision; he will not need to, his team will want to go there, they will see why it is the right way to go.

A manager, will concern himself only with today’s problem. How are the numbers going? How can we close this deal? He will ensure that things run smoothly and efficiently. He will refine the process, remove the obstacle. But, he is not taking his team anywhere. He is not showing them the end goal, the finish line.

So, what makes a good leader? This is an extremely difficult question to ask. Some will tell you charisma, some will tell you knowledge. I think a good leader is someone who is not afraid. A good leader is not afraid to think outside the box, he is not afraid to innovate, he is not afraid to boldly go where no one has gone before. A true leader has the courage to do what is right. A true leader has the ability to make others see and share his vision. A good leader never tells, he communicates; a true leader rarely talks, he always listens.

A good manager makes his numbers. His team is well organized, efficient and motivated. A good manager communicates effectively up the ladder and down the ladder. A good manager has things under control, all the time.

I interviewed a second person this morning for our Greek office

Me: “So, Marco, tell me, what do you think the difference is between a leader and a manager”
Marcos: “You lead, I manage”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Marcos: “Well, you are the boss, you lead me, I will manage the team to make your vision happen”
Me: (Hum, that guy is good!!)
Me: “And how do you plan on managing the team?”
Marcos: “In which ever way you think it appropriate”
Me: (Hum, my ass is getting humid)
Me: “So, you would do what I tell you?”
Marcos: “Of course, you are the boss, I will always follow what you tell me”
Me: (Stop licking my ass, my underwear is getting sticky)
Me: “What if I am not reachable?”
Marcos: “I will wait for you to lead me”

Are you a leader or a manager? Do you lead in you life? Or do you manage? Do you lead your wife/gf/husband/bf? Or do you manage? Do you lead or manage your parents? Do you lead or manage yourself?

Herlock Sholmes

Monday, February 12, 2007

Many of you have been following the adventures of Herlock Sholmes for quite a while now. For those of you that are new, let me introduce you to the characters that make up my life:

Huge Kahuna: This is our company’s CEO in the States. A nice man, very tough, hates my guts
Big Kahuna: Our President. A nice man, extremely soft, Love me to death
Medium Kahuna: My Boss. An asshole. Totally corrupt
Small Kahuna: Me. Nice Man, Great Moral values, Completely honest. Superbly competent, highly efficient
Slaves: My team. They work for me and their sole purpose in life is to make me look good in front of Medium Kahuna
Better Half: Need I say more?
The bitch: My Dog. Completely loyal, Scared of her shadow

Those are the actors in my life. From time to time an extra will be introduced. But, like all good extra, they will be killed off pretty quickly.

Herlock Sholmes


Welcome to the Blog.

I will be writing stories about My Life, My work, My Boss, My Better Half, My thoughts, My dreams, My farts, My opinions and anything else I can think of.

It will be funny, sad, tragic, glorious, glamorous and most of all, entertaining

Herlock Sholmes