September 20, 2014

Sleepless nights

Sleepless nights, this bed feels wide, too much space to hide in, to be unseen by the romantic moonlight. Emotions run loose in the night, silence everywhere but in my mind. A genuine look, a magical touch, breathtaking sights of beauty to melt the thickest of hearts. When sleep becomes cruel, mornings lose their delight. For every sleepless night the heart yearns to make things right. In a flash the dream is cut, in a flash the dream can be uncut. Let us dream tonight, dreams of beautiful sadness and vivid delights, for what was once may be again, on a different night, when the dream is uncut.


September 18, 2014

Onno VS Captain Davis | How "No Garlic No Onions" upset me

No Garlic No Onions is a respected food blog (more here: http://www.nogarlicnoonions.com).

Onno (restaurant) is a rare gem humbly surviving in a country dominated by fast food chain restaurants and American-themed (mainly Burger) diners.



Captain Davis is, according to No Garlic No Onions, an amazing new restaurant in Sin el Fil.

The Problem: No Garlic No Onions's rating for both places: Captain Davis 92.5/100 | Onno 76.5/100.
This large ratings difference mostly comes from NGNO's poor rating of the "Architecture/Decor, Music/Ambiance, Service" categories for Onno, which damaged the overall rating and ... my feelings.

I have been to Onno twice, I have never been to Captain Davis, and without even going there, I am most certain that Onno deserves more recognition than 76.5/100. To be fair, NGNO wrote highly about Onno's food but I still felt bad enough about the situation to decide to write about it.

Thing is Onno does not wish to be this neat big restaurant with expensive decor, TVs on the wall, expensive chairs, waiters to serve and ask you if you "need anything? you good?" every 2 minutes.

Onno is an experience, it's a wonderful visit from start to finish. The narrow stairs leading to the second floor, the homely feel, this middle-class home vibe that takes you back to the old days, when Burger King was not even a prince, where people went to eat and enjoy themselves, not to stuff their faces with Burger/Fries/Coke without a hint of a mutual social experience. The only person you will see at Onno is the guy who will take your order, serve you, bring you the bill and thank you on your way out. This is brilliant.

To me, this is a 10/10 to start with. I hate the American-styled waiter who asks you if you are okay every 2 minutes, or the random manager who comes to your table and introduces himself and then asks if everything is okay, again. I am sure Captain Davis with their 9/10 service (according to NGNO) have this, it's because this is "the professional standards", a la Americano. Onno easily beats Captain Davis by being GENUINE, it's a family restaurant, you will see some cracks on the wall, some old folk art painting, misplaced stuff here and there, the nearby sounds of Borj Hammoud, a person serving you instead of a waiter (no waiter outfit, no waiter personality, no waiter fake positive attitude, no waiter name you can't remember 2 seconds later). It is not perfect, it is not the standard bullshit and this is where the beauty lies.

At Onno, you won't probably hear music playing in the background, and that's AMAZING. I am terribly annoyed by this standard of having music (annoying radio hits or any other music) in the background, TVs playing some sports event or whatever. This takes away the attention from actually enjoying your time with the people you're with.

At Onno where there's no music being played, you actually talk with the people you're with, you share plates, you laugh and smile and anxiously wait till your friend tries one of the dishes for the first time, you rate the awesomeness together, you COMMUNICATE and enjoy yourself. You don't even notice the absence of music. A WIN for the old times when eating together was something to look forward to, not just stuffing your face for 10 minutes and then leaving.

Let's keep going, the FOOD, I do not care if Captain Davis makes the best Burger, Fries, Pizza, Sandwish and Sweets in the world. They are still that, things you can get for similar quality (or even better) in many many many other places. On the other hand, there is no other Onno, seriously, you will not find a place like this anywhere. So the rarity of the food being offered gives it an advantage over the common food being served elsewhere, and we haven't even talked about the food quality. I have never had such a wide range of palettes served to me in one single dining session, and I was never this happy while eating. Onno easily beats Captain Davis by being unique and having Magic in the food, the menu is self-explanatory.

Of course, financially speaking, Onno beats the crap out of Captain Davis, you will be shocked when your bill comes. I usually regret paying 20$ for a Burger meal anywhere, or a good pizza or a sandwich or whatever. It feels too expensive even though I am full and it tastes good. At Onno, there are no regrets. In fact you pay the bill and you feel ashamed that you are paying so low for such an amazing time, you end leaving more tips than you usually do. Well deserved tips, not mandatory tips for the waiter who annoyed the shit out of you. You are tipping because you freaking want to.

I will go to Captain Davis, I am sure I will enjoy some good food, but it will be a deja-vu experience, just a night out at some good restaurant, but the Magic is missing.

To "No Garlic No Onions", this food blog I never heard about until my friend told me it rated Onno less than 80% while Captain Davis was rated at 90+: you might write some good reviews, and I am glad you enjoyed Onno's food as much as I did, but imagine how it would be if we had no Onno in the world, I am sure it is worse than having no Captain Davis, for the next day you will find a new "Captain Davis" somewhere else, yet again offering the same menu, maybe slightly different but still lacking .. MAGIC.

My Ratings:

Onno: 95.5/100 (after 95/100, every 0.1 slowly builds into a physical orgasm with 100/100 being food you literally have orgasm while eating)
Captain Davis: ------

WE NEED MORE ONNOs IN THIS WORLD.

May 26, 2014

The amazing Evan Peters as Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Every few years, we witness the rise of a new generation of movie stars. They start off with secondary roles alongside your favorite movie stars, and slowly but surely grow on you as they eventually become the "new favorite movie stars".

Even Peters is a young actor who will definitely make it big in the movie industry, a la Johnny Depp.

From the acclaimed series American Horror Story where he pulled off complex and dark characters, Evan proved that he has that rare combo of Dark Comedy and Drama, that weird grin which either scares you or makes you laugh.

In the wonderful movie "X-Men: Days of Future Past", Evan Peters plays Quicksilver, a mutant who's simply ... quick. While Quicksilver only plays a small part in the movie where Logan needs help rescuing Magneto from a heavily guarded Pentagon prison, I can honestly say that those scenes with Evan (especially that kitchen scene!) are the funniest most brilliantly shot scenes in the entire film.

Check out Quicksilver:



Here is his character video:


Thank you Evan for your brilliant acting!

May 19, 2014

Useful Resources for Web Developers in 2014



>> Last Updated on May 19th 2014 <<

Here are some resources for Web Developers which I find useful (not listed in a particular order):

1- Google Chrome's Developer Tools: F12, Inspect Element, the Console, viewing Network calls, Editing HTML/CSS are the ultimate Trial/Error teaching method for programmers. These tools are your new best friend on both local and online environments.

2- Fix that Float Clear dilema: we've all been there, a couple of floated children inside a parent and the need to clear that parent. Just add this CSS class to your parent div and use the following CSS definition in your stylesheet:

      .clearfix:after {
        content: ".";
        display: block;
        height: 0;
        clear: both;
        visibility: hidden;
      }

3- PHP Mailer: simply better than PHP's native "mail" function: github.com/PHPMailer/PHPMailer

4- TCPDF PHP class for PDF documents: sometimes you just need to create some PDFs, this is what I personally use: tcpdf.org/examples.php

5- CSS Minifier: minify your CSS for production at cssminifier.com

6- CSS Unminifier: unminify your CSS for development at mrcoles.com/blog/css-unminify

7- Get Started with node.js, express, jade and mongodb:
cwbuecheler.com/web/tutorials/2013/node-express-mongo

8- Use a Hex Color Tool to get slightly lighter or darker colors from your primary color - very useful for Link hovers, background variations, etc, all of which revolving around the main Color Scheme: hexcolortool.com

9- Find and replace text in MySQL table (very useful when manually exporting your Wordpress website to a new domain name):

           UPDATE wp_posts set my_table_name = replace(my_table_name, 'Text To Change', 'New Text')

10- Country list with ISO code for dropdowns: textfixer.com/resources/country-dropdowns.php

11- Security Enhancing with htaccess: askapache.com/htaccess/securing-subdirectories-with-htaccess.html

12- Snazzy Maps (Google Maps styles): spice it up to match your website's Color Scheme. Meet Snazzy Maps: snazzymaps.com

13- My favorite color scheme designercolorschemedesigner.com

14- Use morris.js for good looking chartsoesmith.co.uk/morris.js

15- Remove empty lines from text (very useful sometimes): textmechanic.com/Remove-Empty-Lines.html

16- Validate JSON with JSON Lint: jsonlint.com

17- My preferred website speed test tooltools.pingdom.com/fpt

18- My favorite jQuery Image Slider > FlexSliderflexslider.woothemes.com

19- Modern HTML/CSS: Bootstrap getbootstrap.com, Flat UI designmodo.github.io/Flat-UI, Foundation foundation.zurb.com.

20- Meta tags for Facebook developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/howtos/maximizing-distribution-media-content/#tags and debug your URLdevelopers.facebook.com/tools/debug

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If you enjoyed this post, you are welcome to add your own resources in the comments.