africa, part 1.lost

so, jeni and i are in south africa!

we wanted to blog about it here so that our loved ones could keep up-to-date with our travels. it has been a bit problematic at times, but nothing unbearable and nothing we couldn’t overcome with patience (as jeni continues to teach me).

i had written a lengthy post about the initial travels that lead us to today, but in the process of dealing with our technical difficulties, we have lost that post and will attempt to re-write about the first 2.5 days of our travel when we get a chance.

to give a short history:

  • we left orlando at around 9am on monday, landing in washington / dulles with a 6.5 hour layover, had lunch at harry’s tavern in the airport (an unpleasant eating experience), and then left for a 16 hour flight to johannesburg.
  • our flight with south africa airlines was filled with old people on group tours to safari, which was less than enjoyable for a variety of reasons, not just because the older age of most of the passengers but also because of dirty pillows, lack of proper climate control, and the stop in darkar, senegal.
  • jeni and i would both like to go into more detail about the preceding events, but would rather enjoy our vacation right now. we’ll update  more as soon as we get a chance.
  • we made it to jo-berg and caught a connector to cape town. thinking the worst of our travel over due to our pre-planning, we encountered technical diffculties upon our arrival that led to much frustration, but we overcame. (the next blog post will cover this in greater detail)
  • we haven’t really fought, which is a relief to both of us, and the trip continues to bring us closer together.
  • we stayed in the wonderfully accommodating westin in cape town’s V&A district, but instead of our planned relaxation and exploring were forced to continue to resolve more technical difficulties, which we solved with patience and cooperation, meaning we had to sacrifice our massages we scheduled. but it was worth it to have a working phone and internet to make the rest of the vacation more enjoyable and less stressful. it is mystery how people were able to explore a completely different continent without these modern conveniences! (google is our unmentioned third traveling companion)
  • we had a scenic drive on sir lowry’s pass and have at every turn been amazed with south africa’s beauty and hospitality
  • after making contact with our understanding hosts, we now reside in a remarkable and unique home. the house has had its share of problems, but has been worth it. jeni’s impression of the home is a vintage (hipster) photographer’s delight, and has unique and memorable feel
  • today we explored hermanus center. we had lunch at ocean’s basket, an original (and delightfully tacky) seafood restaurant. they’re slogan is “the sole provider”. their selection of platters are something to behold and should be enjoyed by anyone visiting the region. jeni calls it “south africa’s red lobster”,
  • that takes us close to where we are, and we’ll followup with more details tomorrow with the rest of today and tomorrow’s shark cage diving and more pictures from before.

let’s at least pretend guys buy stuff….

…. just saying.

i wear a lot of sandals and flip flops. don’t hate. i don’t really like wearing constraining or uncomfortable shoes, and i live in a warm climate. luckily, i have an employement situation that allows me the freedom to dress as i choose (most of the time).

it is one of the perks i really do appreciate.

so, due to the frequency, i tend to wear through sandals & flips fairly often, and replace them a few times a year. and you can generally tell pretty well when you are soon to be in need of a new pair. this is the situation i found myself in the other day, at target.

i figured target would have at least a decent selection of flips/sandals due to the low price, the summer season, the large retail space (supertarget), recent renewed focus on competing affordable fashion,  and the fact that it is florida. walmart’s choices , i figured, would seem to plain, mainstream, cheap, or outrageously endorsed. the off-price retail stores, or second-hand department stores as jeni would call them (like ross, marshalls, tj maxx, etc), are too hit and miss when you need a sure size or availability. i didn’t have time to go “shopping”, i just needed a nice cheap pair of flips.

target surprised me, but not in the positive.

guess guys aren’t supposed to want decent shoe choices.

there was a wall of women’s flips & sandals.





there was a whole row of additional women’s flips & sandals.





there was an endcap of women’s sandals.
there was even a sprinkling of women’s sandals in other rows of women’s shoes!

kids got a sandals/flip-flop aisle too. they were in baskets to dispense easier.

what did the guys get?
they got 6 choices in the far corner, out of the guys section, in the end of another children’s row, after a sprinkling of more children’s sandals/flips.

you can try to count the 6 or so mostly pastel unisex flips squeezed between the children’s river shoes and the baby’s crocs. but i don’t. those super cheap flips aren’t really used by anyone except people who are going to get so drunk at the beach they don’t want worry about losing their shoes or people who haven’t discovered how uncomfortable they are until they are broken in.

the women’s choices numbered close to a hundred.
the children’s about 25-30, due largely to the space taken by such a range in sizes.

and guys get 6?

way to go target.

kohl’s had over 30 styles, for 2-3 dollars cheaper, in a wide variety of styles. and the endcaps used to display them only took up about twice as much more room as the target display.

and this doesn’t even begin to discuss the difference in just regular shoes…

needless to say, target will not figure into any of my future shoe shopping plans.

(where, by the way, is the in store kiosks for ordering-to-store for products that aren’t carried locally. this wouldn’t have saved my purchase, but would help transition the less-technical to buy more. disclaimer: i haven’t looked so i may be foot-chewing later. )

and for those that may not relate, i’m pretty f*ing manly. but i should still be able to buy a decent pair of flip-flops at target. i felt like i was in the twilight zone and target has become women’s walmart.

background on sad kings…

so, for the x number of you readers out there (x = 0, in case i was wondering) confused to my reference to sad kings, i figured i’d do a refresher of our previous site.

my girlfriend has a sharp wit and varied interests. she also doesn’t stay on topic long (a trait we share). she has a great and different way of seeing the world which is often quite refreshing and unique compared to other people  (especially considering how humdrum most people are and how most share regurgitated views from few sources). in an effort, between jobs, to keep her more occupied and entertained, i established and setup this website to allow her a creative outlet. she greatly deserves it and the world deserves her shared views…..

on the flip side, i tend to be full of a lot of nonsensical and sensibly bullshit, spread over a wide range of topics. at times, i’ve even been known to express original and enlightening observations. also, i speak computer, badly but often. so i help out / carry the weight around here.

we got thishere site what-one-could-call-operational, and were getting a kick out of it. after a few weeks, however, my girlfriends heart got stomped.

a man (no gentle, but arguably gentile) by the name, i assume, of Firas Wleed hacked our site and filled it with crappy animated gifs of the iraqi flag, iraqi-themed fists punching through an american flag, a picture of a hooded thug with a gun, and other poorly chosen & placed items, including messages in mixed font sizes/caps & colors.

this jerk appears to be from iraq and possesses some skills with computers. he managed to find a vulnerability that allowed him access to our crappy wordpress and make it his, the specifics of which i don’t know and could care less about. what bothers me is his actions upset my girlfriend and destroyed the outlet i had provided her to be expressive.

i don’t know this firas wleed, if that’s a real name or person. what i do know is he runs/ran a site called (don’t go there, if only to keep his ego down). he seems to have a pattern of hacking novice-established websites to illustrate that he can (“well done! you outsmarted people who don’t know what they’re really doing on computers!”), utilizing their former websites to advertise his hacking skills and leave what would quite possibly be his most impressive accomplishment in his entire life. in essence he is a punk.

i’ve never really been actively outspoken on the internet before, but recently i’ve become interested in getting more involved, if only because the discussions with others pertaining to relevant and important matters both on and off the internet seem to have de-evolved into uneducated and poorly thought out dribble (on their end, where else? couldn’t be me too… nah…). more talking is always better. we have less time to fight.

so, i don’t really know what firas’s deal is. maybe he is an iraqi displaced by my country’s misguided and unjustified occupation of his country. maybe even worse, he lost family or loved ones. this might be his non-violent attempt to strike back at america. maybe he isn’t iraqi and is a crazy terrorist. maybe he’s just a stupid kid and isn’t associated with iraq at all. i don’ t know.

here’s what i do know:

  • i never supported the iraq or afghan invasions or occupations. i still don’t.
  • i’ve always believed that those actions, and most of the military actions america has made in the past 100 years are not in the best interests of the american people or the receivers of that military might.
  • war crimes were committed by the manner and method of america’s recent intrusions, and i wish the parties responsible, especially those who were or may be in the government, were held responsible, including through jail and/or criminal punishment
  • no one listens to me, so this changes very little in the current geo-political world

so punk firas wleed, here’s what it boils down to:

  • if you attacked me because of something my country did, you’re following in the behavior of the people who are your enemy, by attacking a person who had nothing to do with it. in fact, you’re attacking someone who probably agrees with you more than disagrees. stupid of you!
  • if you attacked me because of something someone else did, you are spreading the damage they caused on you by damaging me. shame on you!
  • if you attacked me because my website is insecure, fuck you! you could have just sent me an email or comment with some advice. instead it took me months to work up the interest to set everything back up (with automatic backup) because i hate to see my hard efforts destroyed by meddling fucktards.
  • if you attacked me to prove you could hack my shoddily established wordpress blog utilizing your crazy hAcK3rZ sKi11z, you should probably jump off a cliff now or at least find someone nearby with the common sense to end your worthless life. hacking a crap wordpress is about as impressive as tuning a sitar (most could do it, even if they didn’t know how, given enough time, but the real question is “why?“)
  • if you attacked me to raise your notoriety, FAIL! i’m blogging about how dumb you are…. how’s that help you? (targeting me will probably only make this worse).

i mean no disrespect. only to enlighten you on the errors of your ways, which are probably many, if your behavior towards me is any indication.

i don’ t know you. nothing i have personally done has been to harm you or anyone you know. attacking me was dumb and counter-productive. please don’t come back here, proclaimed “king of sadness“, its a waste of your time and talents.

if you are a gifted hacker, put it to good use attacking worthwhile targets.

if you aren’t, put your computer skills to use developing apps, etc. that will improve the world for everyone, you included (in more ways than profit).
better yet, be a more productive member of the society you live in whatever way you can.


why waste your life trashing crappy websites no one reads?




this is the guy, may he never return. let his reputation sink lower by his own actions: 
Firas Wleed
14 Ramadan
Phone:         +964.7700778964
Email Address:

updated site

thanks for stopping by the updated site.
feel free to browse and let us know what you think.

also, if you are a “king of sadness”, or any other jaded iraqi hackers, please move along. heaven help us if we spread our thoughts without a “sad king” wasting his obviously honed skills to wipe our message and replace it with crappy animated gifs.

more to come. sorry about the roughness….