Friday, December 27, 2013

What do Amarillo and Dubai have in common?

by Cindy

So, what do Amarillo and Dubai have in common?  Aside from dust and a lot of flat land - Amarillo recently tried to copy one of the logos from a Dubai company. You can draw your own conclusion but the Amarillo paper had this to say:

The design, city officials said, was an original one developed by city staff after meeting with focus groups, reviewing other designs, receiving information from surveys and interviewing residents about what they wanted in a new logo.

The city will not identify the staffer who created the logo, but Gross said the person remains employed with the city.

The city has replaced its logo with the city seal while the issues are researched.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Camel Milk vs. Cow Milk

by Cindy

I was at a coffee shop recently and they had this comparison of milks.  I think the idea is if they taste the same then you should go with camel milk as it's better for you.  I don't think camel milk is readily available in the US but if you ever come across it, I encourage you to give it a try!  It just might do your body (more) good.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Appropriate, don't you think?

by Cindy

I think this is a pretty appropriate brand name for our household!  (On a side note, the Al Baker family is pretty prominent throughout the region so we always joke that we are distant relatives.  Everyone gets a good laugh and no one ever believes us...)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2013 Bake-a-thon

by Cindy

I have yet to find a culture that doesn't love American cookies.  And really, who doesn't love refined sugar, right?  It's come as a surprise to me that apparently American cookies are not very easy to make.  Many other cultures don't really bake like we do in the US (in China they don't usually have ovens, they boil everything) so the idea of baking cookies is a bit daunting.  Plus the ingredients are not necessarily common in households.  As a result, I get a lot of requests to bake (a lot of) cookies.

One of the many things we love about our life is that we live with all the same people with whom we work.  It makes for a great community - one that we hadn't expected prior to arriving.

So, in the American tradition, when Christmas rolls around I bake for my friends and colleagues.  For me, those groups are one in the same, and it is one large group.  This year the initial list (it always grows) was 72 people.  If I put 6-9 cookies in each bag...well, you can do the math.  I'll be baking quite a few cookies over the next week!

This year the cookies will include Oatmeal and cinnamon chip, Peanut butter, Traditional chocolate chip, Espresso chocolate chip, Pumpkin biscotti, and the all time favorite, requested every year, Gooey Butter Toffee cookies.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dubai to Host Expo 2020!!!!

by Cindy

The official announcement came a week or two ago but Dubai was awarded the Expo 2020.  The city "announced" its win but setting off fireworks from the tallest building in the world, it was really pretty cool.

I was out to dinner with a bunch of friends and we all started cheering and clapping and turned around to tell the table behind us - they are just stared at us like we were from space.  Oh well, we were excited.  This is a great opportunity for the city and our students are especially excited as it means more job opportunity for them.  (It probably also means that rents will rise but you have to take the good with the bad.)

The most recent Expo (or World's Fair) was held in Shanghai in 2010 and the next one (every 5 years) will be in Milan in 2015.  You may know that the Eiffel tower was built for the 1889 World's Fair, with the intention of tearing it down after the fair.  Let's hope Dubai does something just as memorable!

Congratulations Dubai!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cool Advertisement

by Cindy

I saw this random promotion in the store today.  They want you to buy the washing machine soap to wash your clothes, but specifically, they are targeting locals and the local dress - I thought it was a creative way to advertise!

Bottles of laundry soap covered in cloth "advertisements"