Prosecutors say Craig Stevens, 55, started sending out emails in January 2014, telling people that franchises of the popular West Coast burger chain were available at $150,000 per location, with royalties costing $250,000 a year, the Los Angeles Times reports. This scheme brought in $4.27 million, charging documents say, and Stevens allegedly committed wire fraud last June by sending a counterfeit In-N-Out licensing agreement via email to an investor in Lebanon. He pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud on Monday, and is free on $10,000 bond. [Source]
I wonder if he sold the franchise to anybody in Kuwait as well?
Thanks Susan and Angel
This happened two weeks ago but I just found out about it now. The employees response after the fall was pretty poor, “get water” instead of “call an ambulance”. Supposedly the girl didn’t break anything, she was just badly bruised. [YouTube]
I’m a big Discovery fan and have been one ever since the late 80s when I watched a Camel Trophy event on TV. Watching those Discoverys tackle ridiculously insane terrain led me to really respect the car. So when I heard that Land Rover had launched a completely brand new Discovery, I contacted the dealer and asked them if I could test drive one.
I passed by the dealer Thursday afternoon and picked up the car for the weekend. My first impression wasn’t that great. The Discovery was a lot smaller than I was expecting it to be, it looked more like a crossover than a proper full fledged SUV. I couldn’t figure out why Land Rover would shrink the car so much, I was confused. And then I realized something, this wasn’t a replacement for the large LR4, this was a replacement for the smaller Freelander and then everything made sense.
Land Rover have the large Range Rover and then they have the smaller Range Rover Sport. They’ve now gone and applied the same naming scheme to the Discovery which is what confused me in the beginning. So now you have the large Discovery (LR4) and also the smaller Discovery Sport. I was never a fan of the Freelander, I thought it was just one of the most hideous looking SUVs you could buy and mostly because I just hated how the rear of the car looked like. The new Discovery Sport has design elements taken from the Range Rover family and so it ends up looking like a baby Range Rover. It’s a much much better looking car than the Freelander and this time around the rear of the car is probably my favorite thing about the car. Suddenly, the Discovery Sport didn’t seem bad at all.
Since it’s a Land Rover I decided to take the car to the abandoned military barracks in Bnaider. I wanted to test the cars offroad capabilities a bit as well as take some good photos while I was at it. The test drive vehicle I was given had only two rows of seats but you can also get a third row as an extra option. Since I was taking my wakeboard with me, I dropped the second row seat down so it could fit inside. Although the car is small it’s got a pretty large trunk and once you drop the second row seats down it becomes very IKEA friendly. I finished loading up my gear and headed off to Bnaider.
The interior of the Discovery Sport is simple but tasteful. It’s borrows a lot of elements from the Evoque like some of the switches and the circular gear selector that sleekly pops up when you start the car. The Discovery Sport also shares the same 4-cylinder engine and 9-speed transmission with the Evoque as well. The model I drove had a large panoramic roof which really helped make the interior look a lot larger and spacious than it actually is. My car also had the optional Meridian Audio sound system fitted which sounded fantastic. The user interface of the cars 8inch touch screen is also very tasteful and nicely designed. The screen looked a bit low-res and pixelated but it was generally pleasant to use and helped give the interior a more premium feel. The interface was definitely much sleeker than the last few cars I test drove.
Although the car has a 4-cylinder engine I didn’t find it slow at all on our flat roads. It was very easy to pick up speed and I was actually turning on the speed limiter on most of the roads since I found it very easy to overspeed. Once I got to Bnaider I shifted the driving style program from “general” to “sand” and headed offroad towards the abandoned barracks. The ride on hard packed sand was pretty loud and bumpy because of the large 20″ wheels that were fitted on the car. The low ride height also made me more cautious while approaching obstacles but once I got to the barracks things got a lot easier. The abandoned barracks have basically been turned into a small offroad circuit which I decided to explore in the Discovery. Even with stock tires I didn’t have any issues at all traversing the deep soft sands and I also didn’t face any issues tackling the extreme uphill and downhill descents. I highly doubt anyone would use this car for anything this intense but if they did they’d know the car can handle it. Actually the only thing that was an issue was when I climbed a curb in the parking lot behind Pick Yo in the city. While climbing back down from the curb I actually hit the bottom of the car because of the poor ground clearance.
Whenever I take out cars for test drives I always ask myself if I’d want one for myself. Most of the time its yes but other times like on this occasion the answer is no. In this case it has nothing to do with the Discovery Sport itself, I think the car is very capable and the most accessible Land Rover since it starts at around KD15,750. But, it’s just not for me. If I was looking for a compact SUV I’d choose the much more sexier looking Range Rover Evoque for example. The Discovery Sport is more of a family oriented car since it’s slightly larger than the Evoque and can fit a third row of seats in the back. It’s a practical everyday car that’s easy to drive especially considering it has helpful features like parking assist where the car parks itself for you. So yeah I think its definitely aimed towards soccer moms and the like. If you’re interested in the car then you should definitely pass by the dealer and request a test drive.
On my way to Khiran yesterday I noticed a few of the speed cameras on the 30th had been rotated to face the front of the cars instead of the rear. I didn’t take a photo but a reader sent me the one above and told me he had spotted rotated cameras on the 5th, 6th and 7th Ring Roads as well.
At first I thought they might have something to do with the emergency lanes being available for the public to use but I don’t think thats the case anymore. I found rotated cameras on parts of the highway that didn’t have any emergency lanes so that theory didn’t work. My best guess now is they’ve just rotated some cameras so that people can start slowing down much sooner than before.
Up to 45 patients have been transported to hospitals and clinics by the new airborne transportation service since its launch in January, a Ministry of Health official said on Sunday.
The ministry has prepared specially equipped helicopters to transport patients or people hurt in accidents from the scenes to hospitals or health centers, thus shortening time needed the transfer time needed and evading road traffic. [Source]
The local air ambulance initiative was established by former servicemen, security veterans, and firefighters and went into service early this year. I spotted the air ambulance a couple of days ago flying over Kuwait City probably heading to the Amiri Hospital. Kuwait already had one of the best ambulance services in the region and having the chopper now as part of its arsenal is obviously beneficial to everyone. I’m not sure what kind of situation merits the use of the air ambulance so if anyone has details on that please leave it in the comments.
There are a couple of videos on YouTube of the helicopter, I’ve shared two with this post.
Recently I’ve started using the anonymous social media app Yik Yak and I’m loving it. It’s such a random space where people post whatever they want anonymously. This isn’t the first anonymous social media app but it’s probably one of the best ones I’ve used. For one thing users can up vote or down vote posts so there is a bit of quality control and the app also works depending on your area not just what country you’re in. So in Salmiya it’s usually posts by AUK students while in the city it’s usually posts by people who work there. There is a pretty active community and there is always something interesting to read.
Obviously when you have a bunch of anonymous guys and girls leaving messages you’re going to get lots of dirty stuff and a lot of gossip, but you also get a lot of personal posts like the ones I’ve screenshotted above. So if you’re looking for a social media app where the number of followers you have isn’t important and everyone is equal, give Yik Yak a try. It’s available on both the iPhone and Android devices.
Awhile back a reader on the blog mentioned that TEC (Touristic Enterprises Company) were building a skatepark, so I emailed the person asking about it as well as a few other things and this is what I found out:
– The new skatepark will be located next to the ice skating rink in Kuwait City. There will be a new sports complex built there and the skatepark will be a part of it. The project is currently on hold because TEC is working with the Diwan Al Amiri to integrate the whole area which will include a new ice skating rink and a new musical fountain with water screens and fire shows. Initially they wanted to build each of the projects separately but the new TEC CEO wants to combine them all into one large project and make it as great as Al Shaheed Park which is right next door. The new project will have to work around the existing Discovery Mall building.
– Regarding the Kuwait Towers, the Amir wants the Kuwait Towers to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site so all work on the interior had to be put on hold. Work will continue after a meeting with UNESCO in Paris where they will receive the rules and specifications required to be approved as a UNESCO site. UNESCO doesn’t mind the exterior as much as the interior but the original plan of the towers had a disco dance floor as well as a bar so they’re waiting to see exactly how much of that can be changed.
– As I previously posted, Entertainment City is shutting down. They’re bringing in a firm to do a feasibility study so they can rebuild the park from the ground up. My contact didn’t mention Six Flags and he literally said “we will start re-building it” so my guess is the park will remain with TEC.
– TEC is currently considering turning Shaab Park into a LEGO Theme Park
– There are still around 12 other projects in the pipeline including a world class water park
I found all this very encouraging and exciting except for one aspect, the ice skating rink. I really hope they don’t demolish the current one, I think it’s as important to Kuwait’s History and landscape as are the water towers and Kuwait Towers. I wasn’t able to get access to the 3D renderings of the sports complex project because the contracts with the design firm hasn’t been finalized but if anyone here has them by any chance please email me them.
If I find out any more information on any of the above projects I’ll make sure to share them here on the blog.
Entertainment City photo by Ahmed Al Bather
A friend of mine who owns a sporting goods shop is importing a new brand of sneakers to Kuwait. So I was over at his place a couple of days back and asked him if the sneakers had arrived yet since I was looking to pick up a pair for myself. My friend told me that they had arrived to Kuwait but they’ve been held in customs for a month now. I was like why? He told me you’re going to laugh at this but basically the sneakers are made in China, and the certificate of origin says they’re made in China. But, the customs officer is refusing to clear the shipment because inside the sneaker tongue it says Made in China but it also says US, UK and EUR. He says it’s misleading and so is holding the shipment at the port.
At first I thought he was kidding but he was actually serious. Obviously the customs officer is looking for a bribe to release the shipments but he could have at least come up with a better excuse for not releasing them.
This weekend is an interesting one not because of the amount of the events but because of the wide variety of events that are taking place. The biggest thing happening this weekend is GAME Expo 2015. If you’re into video games or cosplay then pass by this event since it’s the largest of its kind that takes place in Kuwait. On Friday my neighborhood gym Desert Fitness are holding their first Olympic Weightlifting meet so I’ll probably be passing by there. Finally if you’re into pilates theres a session taking place this Saturday morning at Al Shaheed Park. Check out the full list of events below: