I am moving to the United States and the end of yousefq8.com

Dear blog readers, yousefq8.com fans and everyone else, I am happy to announce that I am moving to the United States for new opportunities and that yousefq8.com is coming to an end.

I started yousefq8.com back in 2010 as a fun way to document my life on my return to Kuwait. I was studying in the U.S. for three years before then. I returned back to my home country of Kuwait, changed my major and started blogging. Since then I’ve graduated at the American University of Kuwait and started working, which is mostly where I started slowing down with the blog. At times I was really active on the blog and making posts daily, and at other times I was posting once every couple months. The truth is, life has caught up with me. Now that I’m married and pursing a full time career, I find it harder and harder to keep up with blogging. I had a ton of fun blogging. sharing my opinions and making new friends with yousefq8.com and it will always be dear to me. I am moving to the United States with my wife for new opportunities and a new life.

I’ve transferred the entire blog over to the free wordpress.com website over at https://yousefq8.wordpress.com/ where it will be archived, hopefully forever.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Awesome New Tech Review YouTube Channel: Sara Kay Tech

My wife thinks she’s got what it takes to make awesome YouTube tech reviews. Inspired by the likes of Marques Brownlee, Austin Evans and Unbox Therapy, she wants to bring fun, high quality tech reviews that are short and sweet. I’m helping her out on the technical side, but she’s the one with all the talent. Watch the first episode on the LG G3 and if you like it and want to see more videos in this style on the latest tech, make sure to subscribe!

Sara Kay YouTube channel page: Sara Kay
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarakaytech
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sarakaytech

My Funny Fossil Watch Review

I was feeling extra creative the other day and wrote a funny review on amazon.com for a Fossil watch I recently purchased.

The text is followed and the link to the page where my comment is live is underneath it.

I was strolling along in the mall without a care in the world when at the corner of my eye I witnessed what was to be the beginning of my manhood. It was a Fossil watch, bold, beautiful and made of sexy leather and metal. I asked the employee at the watch store if I could try this marvelous device on, and that’s when everything changed. As soon as I buckled the strap, hair burst out from my chest, my biceps grew 8 inches in width and my nether region became a gallant bulge of respectable girth. I instantly changed into the manly man I was destined to be, and from that moment onward I started receiving an exhausting amount of phone numbers from women all around me. The day I put on this watch was the day I became a man. My own father shed a tear when I came home with this watch on, “Son, the respect you’ve been looking for all your life from me… you’ve got it… you’ve earned it.” My father has never hugged me before, but he did that day. It was the most beautiful moment of my life and it’s all thanks to this glorious Fossil watch.

I am giving this watch 4 stars because unfortunately I cannot get the strap to the correct length.. It’s either too tight or too loose. Sprinkle some magic Fossil dust on the next version to make the strap more versatile and you’ll have in your hands a chronograph that can once and for all make all boys into men instantly. I just wish I could wear it all the time, but I simply cannot keep up with all the women who throw their numbers at me.

How To Fix Kuwait’s Driving Problem

Kuwait has one of the highest deaths per car accidents rates in the entire world with an average of 1 death per day due to car accidents. How do we sole this serious problem? Here are my thoughts.

The Arab society and culture is all about being kind and welcoming, but put one of us behind the wheel of a car and our true nature shows. The funny thing is that people only drive like this in Kuwait and not in other countries. I’ve seen tons of my friends/family completely obey the law and drive courteously in the United States.

The following is the reasons I think Kuwait has such dangerous roads:

  1. Lack of law enforcement.
  2. Poor driving tests. The test to get your driver’s license is a single page with 10 circle the right answer questions. Then you go parallel park your car, or at some places you drive through an S turn or reverse. That’s it.
  3. Lack of education when it comes to proper driving techniques. 95% of people driving behind me tailgate me, people use the wrong lanes to turn at lights, etc.
  4. Entitlement, which is encouraged from lack of law enforcement and wasta. They drive as if they own the road, they flash you to get out of the way, they take the emergency lane like its their right.
  5. Wasta. No need to even take a driving test, just get your uncle who’s a police officer to pass you. Get a ticket? Your uncle can take care of that.
  6. No responsibility and spineless behavior, encouraged from wasta and entitlement. I’ve heard thousands of horror stories of people getting into accidents with fellow Kuwaitis and they never show up or absolutely refuse responsibility that they’re the one who caused the accident. I’ve heard stories of people forging documents so that they don’t take responsibility. And the funny thing is a lot of times its just for minor things that will take only 20-50 kd to fix, but they’ll do everything in their power not to take responsibility for it.
  7. Poor road infrastructure that cannot withstand the amount of cars on the road, not to mention the quality. Last year when it rained the entire Fahaheel Expressway was completely messed up and all over Kuwait people got rock chips on their cars, and the Gulf Road was the same way. It wasn’t fixed for weeks! Notice all the speed bumps we have and they’re all differently shaped and too close to each other? This is what happens when we take the lowest bidding contracts and get no education Afghanis to do all our road work.
  8. Large amount of foreigners from other third world countries will little to no education in driving/proper rules.
  9. Horrible management. The traffic lights constantly are messing up, etc.

How do we solve these issues? Here’s my take.

  1. Progressive penalty fee system. If your salary is 500 KD and you get a speeding ticket, it should cost 100 KD minimum. If your salary is 1000 KD, the fee should be 250 KD, if it’s 1500 KD, it should be 500 kd, if it’s 2000 KD, it should be 1000 KD, etc. etc. Absurd you say? They already do this in Europe:http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Speeding-fines-being-linked-to-income-in-Europe-3275939.php
  2. Increase the difficulty to get a license by 100x. Make it mandatory that prospective drivers must complete 1-month of driving school and they have to pass with at least 95% rating to even try for the test. Make the test then very difficult to pass where they have to be tested in a variety of ways to make sure they know all the laws. They already do this in Europe and some parts of the USA. Make all expats who come to the country have to take the same extremely difficult test. When I went to the USA they didn’t take my Kuwaiti license and I had to do the computer and driving tests like I was a new driver, and I passed them with flying colors because I studied the DMV books. Why can’t we do this in Kuwait?
  3. Since wasta is a huge issue, make everything computer automated. Get a ticket from a speeding camera? Make it impossible for anyone to be able to remove it, except by inserting a court order that proves you’re not guilty of it, which can take weeks or months to get, or by simply paying it.
  4. Ramp up law enforcement. They already tried this last year with a head hancho police general at the helm, but around the rumor mill I heard he was kicked out because of pressure from people getting pissed at getting so many tickets.
  5. For goodness sake, someone start up a towing company that will service malls and other places! Someone park crooked or block you? Call them up and within 3 minutes a car will come and tow them. Europe, the USA and Japan already do this. They need to take photographic evidence that shows their license plates so that if they try to contest it they will have evidence that they cannot talk themselves out of. On top of the towing their car, give them a 500-2000 KD fine to get their car out. How much you want to bet that when word gets out about this that overnight people will start parking properly?
  6. Get better companies/contractors to build and maintain our roads at the highest level of standards.
  7. Build a proper car race track and drag strip. Literally every other GCC country has this except Kuwait. This will stop or help reduce the 18-25 year old mustang and corvette drivers from using the public roads as their race tracks.
  8. Redo all the traffic lights in Kuwait with a modern system.

It’s crazy and tough, but I think that is the type of reform we need here in Kuwait to solve this issue. I think it’s worth it because Kuwait has a horrifying amount of accidents and an absurd amount of people die every year for a country with such a small population. If you think it will cost way too much to do, all the new revenue we will be getting from the increased fines will pay for it. Cities in the US get profits from traffic violation fees, and if we implemented all of the above today, it will pay for itself or reduce the cost of doing it to an extremely low cost.

Local Metal Band Divine Disorder Release New Album

Divine Disorder, a progressive orchestral death metal band from Kuwait, have released their new album Garden of Dystopia. They posted an album preview on their facebook page and it completely kicks metal ass. If you want to hear more of it, grab the full album at this link: http://divine-disorder.com/store/

We need a reassurance in the Kuwait metal scene, and its awesome bands like Divine Disorder who are going to raise the metal horns in Kuwait once again.

Check out the album preview right here:

Hello to Ello!

I was reading a thread on reddit about the new social media website Ello and I became very interested. The new start up recently announced that they’re declaring themselves a “Public Benefit Corp” which essentially means they won’t sell any user data, put ads on the website and if anyone buys Ello, they have to follow the same terms. That’s something that I really admire and it gives them a head up against Facebook and Google+.

I wanted to check it out, so I PM’d a fellow reddit user about an invite and he politely sent me one.

So far I like the minimal design and simplicity, but that kind of design is not for everyone. Maybe if they spruce it up a bit with some color and a nicer font it could look a lot nicer. Ello started with the right intentions, and only time will tell if this is the next big social media site.

Want an invite? Comment below.

New Guitar – Ibanez RG8

I’ve always enjoyed bands that use 7 string guitars, but I never really had the desire to pick up a 7 string guitar. My recent discovery and enjoyment of bands like Meshuggah and Animals As Leaders piqued my interest and curiosity got the best of me. I bought this lovely Ibanez RG8 from Salmeen Music who were gracious enough to bring one into Kuwait for me.

The neck is a bit thinner compared to Ibanez Prestige guitars, and it’s very wide. It took some getting used to the girth of the neck, and adjusting to where the strings were also took some time, but now I can play it just the same as any regular guitar. The quality is okay, with the fret work being okay to bad, but hey, its one of the best priced cheap 8 strings in the entire world right now, so I’m not going to complain that much.

I did some upgrade to the guitar. First I switched out the extremely bad stock pickups with Dimarzio Ionizer pickups in white. The sound dramatically changed from being crappy to being amazing. These pickups are very tight and resonate the 7 and 8th string very well. I also changed out the tuners to Hipshot locking tuners which gave it a lot more tuning stability. Finally, I threw in a Bourns push/pull pot to allow pickup coil tapping for nicer clean tones.

Now that I’ve had the guitar for a couple weeks, is 8 strings for me? I’m not sure yet to be honest. A lot of times I find myself utilizing the two heavier strings to make heavier riffs, but aside from that I can accomplish the same things on both 6 and 8 string guitars. One thing I do like is the extended range of the instrument which makes fret distances a bit bigger, and therefore, easier to play. It matches my large hands. I’m having fun with this new instrument and recommend trying an 8 string out if you want something new when it comes to guitars.

Destiny Beta – Kuwaiti Player Review

My character dancing with some friends at The Tower.

When I first heard about Destiny I dismissed it. I thought, yeah, just another Call of Duty shooter but in space this time made by the creators of Halo. I didn’t give much attention to it, but two days ago one of my friends got beta access and invited me over to check the game out.

I was so so so wrong about Destiny.

Destiny is a first-person shooter game with role playing elements. You can choose between three classes, the mage like warlock, the aggressive/defensive titan or the agile hunter and level them up to get new abilities, new grenade types or augment your current skills. Its the bread and butter of role playing games these days and Destiny does it really well. You have different game modes, story where you play through missions for the story, explore where you can walk around a map and explore areas, find missions and do public events (rare events that randomly happen where anyone around you playing online can join in on), strike where you and team members have to fight really tough boss characters that can take up to 30 minutes to destroy, and the pvp mode called crucible, featuring modes like capture that is the only mode available in the beta currently.

After the long wait for the 13 GB download to finish, I started the game up as the the hunter class because I was going to play with some friends and they already chose the other classes. After 1 or 2 missions of the story where you get the full tutorial completed and get everything you need to start the game, you’re free to join others.

I joined up with some friends online and we blew through all the story missions including completing them on hard mode. We connected via voice chat and were coordinating the whole time, making wins that much more satisfying. Along the way we won some great weapons and armor from the missions we completed. I like the scout rifle and sniper rifle for my hunter because it matches the play style of the character.

On top of all that fun player vs. enemy content, there was still pvp to try out! We played pvp for hours and were having such a blast. I think its amazing that they found a great balance between the different class abilities so that in pvp nothing feels overpowered. Class design is done exceptionally well and don’t forget the multiplayer maps are really good designs too.

What we have here dear friends is a game that encompasses the multiplayer experience. Great gameplay, great game modes and great rewards for playing with friends.

Here are the things I like most about the game so far:

  • Every gun feels distinct, and I’m not just talking about from gun type to gun type, even the same gun types with different stats handle differently. If you have more impact you notice it, and if you have a higher rate of fire you notice it. The gun play is very well done.
  • The strike modes are sooooo fun. Battling really tough enemies that take upwards of 15 minutes to destroy with friends is really enjoyable. I played the strike mode in the beta maybe 6 times so far and haven’t gotten bored of it yet. I really hope they put a lot of strike modes in the final game.
  • At first I thought the hunter’s special move, the golden gun, was under powered, but after playing pvp I found that all the special moves for every class is very well balanced. They’re all strong in their own right and have good cooldown rates where the matches are not full of them. You have to use them strategically because you can only use them once or twice per match.
  • The loot system is done very well. You’re not overburdened with loot like in games such as Diablo 3, where you constantly get crap loot and have to keep teleporting back to town to sell them all or just throw them on the ground. With Destiny, enemies and bosses rarely drop any items and you only usually will get something as a mission reward, and even then they will only give you a max of 2 new items. Plus at any time you want you can open up the menu and dismantle and old or crappy item and it will instantly give you glimmer (the game’s currency). This is so much faster than having to go back to the main town to sell stuff and it is a really smart way to handle loot in general.

Another amazing feature of the game is special events. Last night they had an Iron Banner special event for PVP where you can get unique items that are only available during that time period. My friends and I played our best and we kept winning a lot. I ended up winning a legendary hand canon that is named after the Iron Banner event, and my friend won a legendary ship! If they have special events like this every weekend then it will entice me to play all the time and get the best gear!

And now for the most important face of all, which to me can be the deal breaker of playing a multiplayer game in Kuwait.

There is little to no lag in player vs. enemy. 

Seriously. At first I was put off that the game is entirely played online, and with Kuwait’s Internet that means its going to lag. We constantly have to play with lag in games like Diablo 3 and League of Legends, where 150-200ms is normal. But surprisingly in player vs. enemy, I feel very little lag, to the point where its negligible. Even with pvp its not that bad, where only a handful of enemies I ever played against I noticed were laggy. The net-code done for this game is amazing.

Do I have any criticisms? Yes. First, when my friends and I make a team to play pvp, every other game it disconnects either one one or all of us, forcing us to recreate a team again which can be a time drain. Bungie have already acknowledged the issue on their blog and hopefully it will be fixed by the time the full game is released. Second, although the special event was awesome, there was very little information given to the player about it. I didn’t even know how to join the event until I searched everywhere for it and finally found it. Also it turns out that there are special pvp bounties you can get at The Tower only during the event, and a special shop is open only open during the event also. I had no clue and only found out when I read about it online on forums. For the full release I really hope they put an announcement in game at least 24 hours before a special event starts with full instructions.

Destiny is the multiplayer experience. Getting online with friends, exploring new areas, kicking ass and getting awesome loot. Destiny is seriously contender for one of the best multiplayer games I ever played and I am so hype for the full release. Plus they didn’t even give us a raid mode in the beta where you have to team up with 6 of your friends to take on really even tougher bosses! I can’t wait for the full release!

The Best Socks in the World – Darn Tough Socks

I find it tough to find good socks. Firstly because it’s tough to find a pair that fit my large feet (size 14 wide), and secondly because its tough to gauge the quality of a sock until you’ve worn it a couple of times, and when you buy a 3 or 6 pack and realize they’re not as good as you hopped, you’re kind of stuck with them.

So I’m strolling around The Avenues Mall and I walk into Carbon Fiber. I notice on the socks rack a sock named Darn Tough Socks and the features entice me. They’re made in the US state of Vermont, they’re made of high quality materials and they offer coolmax technology that keeps your feet dry even during the hottest weather, plus they make a sock size of XL that fit my feet, which is tough to find even in Kuwait!

I purchased two pairs of the 1/4 coolmax cushion socks and after wearing them just once I fell in love. They feel great and don’t slip in any of my shoes. They’re also padded so comfort is great, and I can attest to the coolmax technology because I’ve been walking around outside when its over 45C and my feet have kept from sweating.

Now they are a bit pricey compared to other socks (5 KD per pair), but trust me, the price is justified. And by the way, if they rip or get worn out from use, you can actually return them for a brand new free pair with their lifetime unconditional warranty.

You owe it to yourself to check out Darn Tough Socks.