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IRAN: Mr Behi/Steve

Friday, January 26, 2007

For sure

Hey there...it's been a while.
I was just updating my old band website and remembered about this blog. I read through some of my old posts and also Mr Behi's. I love the comments people left - even when they were being nasty! So I thought I'd log in and write a new blog.
It's the beginning of the new year and all is very busy again. I got back from Sweden today. I was over there completing a crash test (the same one I mentioned in a post from last year). It went really well and it looks like we are on track to deliver the product we have been developing. I was staying in Gothenburg and crikey was it cold... -9 degrees centigrade, I tell you walking about my ears began to freeze.....brrrr.

If anyone reads this from Gothenburg I'm going to be in your local paper tomorrow! We did a bit of sightseeing this afternoon and whilst in a shopping centre (mall) these people approached me and asked me what the best thing about Gothenburg was, I said 'That you can pay taxi's by credit card' which frankly is a pretty poor answer considering I'd just been looking around the harbour and at the opera house! But what the hey! SO they took my picture and said it'll go in tomorrows paper!
Last weekend me and Rachel went to Bristol to see my best mate Ben. He got engaged and invited loads of people down for a meal and a night out - it was excellent, I really love Bristol. Bought myself these ace sheepskin gloves (which are probably very unfashionable - but I like them) they are super warm.
Decided to restart up the www.mrben.com band. WE hired a new guitar player a few weeks ago and started rehearsing, it's all going really well, playing some great new tunes...more Killers, Zutons, Kooks etc.... check out the site soon.
I'm on my own at the moment as Rach has gone to see her friend who's not too well...all personal stuff...so I have Ugly Betty and Big brother for company (both are pretty much rubbish).
I've been thinking a lot just lately about politics. In the UK we have a labour government (supposedly socialist and left wing) headed up by Tony Blair. In Coventry over the past couple of years we have lost the Peugeot assembly plant (4000 ish jobs) and the Jaguar Browns Lane assembly plant (1000 ish jobs). That's a lot of jobs...and the government basically did nothing to intervene, to be honest even the unions were pretty poor in there responses. It seems bizarre to me that this could happen with a supposedly overtly socialist government.
Then I started thinking about my situation. I am basically on the cusp of the higher tax bracket for the UK, if I get paid overtime or a small pay rise I'm going to be paying 40% tax on my earnings. I have a pretty massive mortgage (for a pretty basic British house - OK I realise this is better than 90% of the worlds population) which has just gone up by half a percent and will almost definitely increase again this year. I'm paying 90p+ for a litre of petrol (about 70% tax), my wife is a student and has to borrow money to pay for her education. Should I be looking to get involved with the right? I mean things couldn't get much worse for me could they?

  • I can't earn any more as I'll have it all taken off me in tax
  • I can't afford a bigger house or a new car even though I'm degree educated in a science with 7 years professional experience
  • All of my friends and the dads have lost there jobs
  • My prime minister isn't interested in my nations opinion on the war in Iraq
  • I'm afraid to go on aeroplanes/trains and buses in case some one blows me up because my socialist prime minister helped invade there country.
  • People think I'm as obnoxious as an average American
I think maybe I need to 'opt out', maybe become a nomad and hitch hike my way across the US....actually not the USA (just got Lou Reed running round my head)...maybe Russia - that seems like a sorted out democratic non-corrupt place to be.....hmmmm....

I'm going to write a top five list that always cheers me up. OK what'll it be...? How about top five women.

OK - just to set the story straight, obviously my Wife Rachel is number 1 - but no one will no her so I'll just put famous people in...
  1. Meg Ryan - Incredible - When Harry Met Sally
  2. Julia Roberts - Have never gotten over that foot being the same length as your forearm in Pretty Woman
  3. Audrey Hepburn - ridiculously beautiful
  4. Juliet (from dogtanian and the three muskerhounds - massive crush aged 8 - never forgotten).
  5. Jennifer Aniston - like her more now she's been dumped a few times - used to think she was a bit snooty...
Crikey that was a terrible blog....

posted by Steve @ 9:50 PM    0 comments

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

121 to unite

Mr.Behi will start a trip to UK in a few days and I will write as soon as I can about places I will be visiting over there. Last time I was in the UK, I had a couple of posts.

London Tube (subway), A moving exhibition of diversity

First Lottery ticket won!

Meal of the day; London (Scrambled “World” served with “British” Flavour)

Oxford; modern life built on pillars of ancient wisdom

What a nice thing would be if I can meet Steve this time. 121 to become one...


posted by MrBehi @ 5:43 PM    1 comments

The fist of the Earth

Damavand
Last weekend, Mr and Mrs Behi enjoyed the time and went out of town to the east where one of the Iranian most famous natural symbols is proudly sitting on her thrown.

Damavand has always been the symbol of strengths and proud to all Iranians. We have it’s face on our bank notes, they show it to us with some national themes on TV when they need people to like them, and she has her footprints all over the place in history and culture. This 5670m high giant is a relatively young volcano with it’s latest eruption dated to be around 7300 years ago. The beauty, the pride and the magnificence of her edifice always grab my eyes and fix my attention and I remember the times I spent up around her northern glaciers. The roar of the ice falls around mid-day, the steep cliffs and the high rising birds and hours of climbing with only three sounds, wind, my breath and my steps.
There is a fantastic poem about Damavand made by Mohammad Taghi Bahar and it starts kind of like this.
You, the captive beast
You, the dome of heavens, Damavand
From silver a shield over your head [the glacier]
The iron belt around in the middle
You are the fist of the Earth
Left over from rotation of centuries
No, you are not the fist of the Earth
Dear mountain! I am not happy about what I said
You are the lonely heart of the land
Bulged a little because of it’s pain
….
And the poem goes on where the content becomes a little bit political and the poet talks to Damavand asking it to rise and finish the cruelty and injustice.

posted by MrBehi @ 5:36 PM    0 comments

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Back from the beyond...

Hello, and apologies for the lack of blog activity over the past few weeks.
This is going to be ashort one I think...
The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur for me, work has been non stop, I've been working over pretty much every day as we have a massive deadline coming up in a few weeks time.
I've had some fantastic weekends though. I went to Bournemouth at the weekend to see my youngest brother who is at University there. It was great fun as my other brother and his girlfriend went aswell so there the three brothers and their girlfriends/wife! My yougest brother, Bob is studying script writing, he wants to be the next Ricky Gervais. The weekend before Rachel and I took our son to London to the Science museum - which was probably more for me than them!

Read a lot of stuff about Iran in the UK news this month, testing times ahead...I hope it all ends well, but with Mr Bush you never know. What non of us want is another conflict. I realise that with censorship and monitoring it is difficult for you to transcribe any opinion but I wish you and your nation well Mr Behi. Reading your blog it is clear to me your are very a proud Iranian and your messages remind us that Iran is a great nation of people. Sometimes I think the western world overlook the eastern nations and forget that your people are the not so different to us, the same worries and concerns and the same ultimate hopes for peace.

Wishing you the best.
Steve

posted by Steve @ 8:14 PM    0 comments

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Take the true image yourself

Yesterday, I was in in a subway train to go home from work. I was listening to a podcast while seated when a group of Swiss tourists entered the train and attracted attention. The train was so crowded but no long time passed before one good man gave his place to one of those tourists who was a lady.

As soon as she seated, one of the passenger who had a good command of English started chatting with her. I have realised lately from listening to the same kind of conversations between Iranians and foreign tourists that one of the very first question people ask is "How different is Iran from what you used to think when you were outside?" and always the answer is "Wow! absolutely different!". I think that makes sense and shows a very irritating sense of dissatisfaction that Iranians have about the image of the country presented in media and it is always a happy moment when they talk to visitors and make sure that Iran is better that what they used to see on TV.

This lady continued that with her companions, they had already visited Shiraz, Isfahan and even climbed mount Damavand (easy to expect from a Swiss). She was surprised by the friendliness of people, openness of culture and mentioned that she had thought of Iranian society to be very fundamentalist. Then she proudly showed her camera. "I have taken so many pictures from life in Iran and will show this to people of my country", she said while mentioning her family had called her crazy when she decided to travel to Iran.

The moral of this story for me was that despite all these technological advances in the media, the true image of other people or places is still not easy to get. Perhaps, this is one of the motivating factors of blogging.

This was my view of the world@ 18:48, April 29, 2006. My eyes got shifted from the accelerating lines around the subway train going into the tunnel, to the steady efforts of the steps of the escalator pushing me up. My ears again took refuge from the subway station crowed to the voice of some other people far far away in another podcast.

posted by MrBehi @ 3:55 PM    2 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ground control to Mr Behi

Well I hope your OK Mr Behi - haven't heard from you for a while.

So it's Friday night and I'm at home. Rachel has gone out with her work friends for a meal and drinks as one of them has to leave work as she has just found out she has a brain tumour. Rachel is really worried about her.

So me and J (my step son) are chilling out with a Dominoes (Aye Carumba Fajita no less) pizza and Batman Begins on Sky Movies. To be honest I'm not really watching as:
A. I'm writing this.
B. It looks pretty average - I'm sure J will assure me otherwise but then we watched the Fantastic Four a couple of weeks ago and other than Jessica Alba is was pretty much less than Fantastic.

So work has sucked this week. One of my team has taken a couple of weeks off, he has to go see his family in Venezuala. One family member is very unwell and he thinks this may be his last chance to see them. He seemed pretty worried about it.
It couldn't have come at a worse time for the rest of the team - we are absolutely over loaded with work at the moment and if I'm honest I'm struggling to cope.
The problem I'm having is we are pushing the limits of the technology we have. We are being asked to make predictions to very close limits and we don't really have the capability to make them. Engineering is not an exact science. It relies heavily on assumptions and generalizations which are either untrue or have a huge amount of variation.
It's also pretty complicated. I was in a meeting today and I'm sure the rest of the people hadn't got a clue what I was on about. It's a very male dominated environment and there are a lot of ego's - so you tend to find rather than saying, 'I haven't got a clue what you're on about, could you please exlain it to me' people just nod and change the subject to something they understand, usually so setting themselves up so they can spiel off a few anecdotes in front of some managers.
I'm feeling pretty cynical today - can you tell?


I was talking to my brother about all of this sort of stuff a couple of weeks ago. He's a really intelligent person. I was trying to explain how I feel at the moment. When I was younger I really thought that I was going to make a difference to something and as I get older I realise I'm falling into the rat race.
Is that a bad thing? Only if I carry on taking all this crap at work and have a heart attack before I'm thirty.

Hey, did you know that this site is recommended in the 'blogs of note' thing on the front of www.blogger.com ! That's pretty cool really as I thought I was probably just talking a loads of rubbish. Must be Mr Behi's doing! Good effort though.

I love all the comments - they're really brillinat so thanks everyone.

I'm going to sign off with another top five because everyone seems to love them! Opinions opinions opinions....


Top five cars:

1. Delorean DMC12
2. Lamborghin Miura
3. Jaguar E-Type
4. Mini (original one not the new BMW one)
5. Ferrari 250 GT California

I know the Delorean was essentially a crap car but I can't stop loving it. My first exposure wat Back to the future, but I love the whole John Delorean story. FOr those who don't know about it, he was basically areal high flyer at GM in the 70's and tried to go solo with the DMC12. The plan was flawed as he wanted to make the car rear engined. Anyone who knows about the Porsche 911 will explain how Porsche have spent 40 years trying getting the chassis to handle the poor weight balance of sticking the engine in the boot. He ripped off the British government who subsidised the factory in Northern Ireland, it all went belly up and then to top it off he was caught doing some dodgy deals, I think to do with drugs. They should make a film of it.
Of the other choices, the Miura is just the best looking car ever made. Th E-Type and Mini hark back to the glory days of British engineering and the Ferrari is in Ferris Buellers Day Off and from age 9 to around age 25 I basically wanted to be Ferris Bueller. Unfortunately I ended up being Cameron. Watch the film.

If you're not interested in cars sorry for boring the pants off of you.

Steve

posted by Steve @ 9:53 PM    14 comments

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday Rainbow


The weekend is coming to its end and I'm gearing up for another hectic week at work.
Today we saw a great rainbow - I haven't seen a rainbow for a long time. This one was crystal clear and you could see both ends of it. It was incredible.

I've just finished watching McLibel, which is a documentary film about two protestors who took on McDonald's after they (McD's) issued a writ against them regarding the content of a flyer they were distributing. It was a really good film and shows how that people can take on the big multi-nationals, but it takes some doing.
Check out: www.mcspotlight.org

I had a listen to your Podcast Mr Behi, it's cool to hear your voice and a some Iranian music. Great news on winning the iPod - is it the big one? I have a 4Gb mini (which I've yet to fill up).
What is interesting about your new year and the your cleanup is that we also cleanup in spring time (it's known as spring cleaning), there must some cultural tie in from
our ancestors?!? Also I was going to comment that our new year (31 Dec - 1 Jan) also coincides with the earth completing an orbit of the sun - but some other smart arse has put it on the comments! I guess that new year could start and finish any day of the year really - what dictates you start/end point? Do you use a different calendar system?
I did some spring cleaning yesterday. Trying to sort out the garden, painting fences and stuff like that.
This morning I got up at 5am and watched the Australian Grand Prix. It was a great race. I was a little bit disappointed in Jenson Button (who is the top British driver at the moment), he qualified his car in pole position (1st) but was fairly unimpressive in the race. He would have finished sixth but his engine blew up spectacularly on the last corner before the finish line.


Today was the 152nd boat race. This is a 8 man rowing boat race which takes place on the river Thames in London between teams from Oxford and Cambridge University. The course is around four miles long and they normally row it in about 16 minutes which is pretty incredible. Today it took a lot longer as the river was very rough and choppy. The Cambridge team were favorites and were deemed to be a smoother team, the Oxford team were classed as more powerful. In the end the Oxford won by a decent margin, perhaps helped by the choppy conditions.

Anyway I'm going to sign off with my top five films (as the top five tunes got me loads of good comments and I'm getting sick of the crap comments which just link to peoples porn finder sites...)


1. The Usual Suspects
2. The Shawsank Redemption
3. Goodfellas
4. Back to the Future
5. Star Wars

Nothing too high brow in there eh?!? I really wanted to put Sleepless in Seattle and It's a wonderful life, but I'm in a macho mood tonight!

posted by Steve @ 8:16 PM    14 comments

Friday, March 31, 2006

Back from new year vacation

I am now back from my new year vacation in the country side, east of Tehran. We spend so many days in a small mountain-side city with apple gardens that are still not in bloom. It was a good period to sit back and relax for a while and forget about the dust and rush of Tehran. I will write back soon but for now, listen to my latest podcast
http://mrbehi.blogs.com/i/files/BehiBC_02.mp3

posted by MrBehi @ 5:24 PM    6 comments

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