Monday, November 29, 2004

Is It Monday?

It’s difficult to imagine that just ten short days ago I was running vicariously through the savage savannahs of Africa, braving the wild and untamable Australian deserts, and navigation the sometimes perilous Amazon rainforest, while taking the time to quietly reflect upon God’s intricate designs. It seems like only yesterday I was having lunch in Mongolia and dinner in Istanbul.

OK, at the risk of sounding overly poetic, I just felt like taking a moment to reflect upon the Thanksgiving break. I must say that Pebbles and I had much fun doing things like taking the road trip to Ohio to cooking and baking up an extraordinarily delightful meal highlighted by the most succulent turkey ever (Gracias Sunshine!) to spending time together watch a variety of movies—everything from Bridget Jones 2 to The Day After Tomorrow.

I walked into class today after barely being able to sleep last night, since my entire sleep routine has been destroyed by a few late nights watching Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. It turns out that half of my first class didn’t show up and the other half were still drunk on turkey, stuffing, and too much Black Friday shopping. Anyhow, it’s two weeks out from finals and I’m pretty much running out of stuff to teach, much to the delight of my students. Ten more days of class and I’ll be off like a bullet, for 3+ weeks of sand and sun in beautiful Jamaica. It’ll be good to catch up with the family and see how much the little sister has grown, plus it’ll be sort of interesting to see how well my dad takes it when I tell him that I’m planning to pursue a PhD. In truth, I sort of broached the subject with him this morning, and he seems to be quite enthusiastic about my aspirations of being a lifelong academic, so we will see what we will see. Among other things, my dad told me that my younger brother has gotten his drivers license, so the road will once again be unsafe for Jamaicans (as if it were ever a safe place to drive)!

Anyhow, as you can tell I have nothing much to say today, but I just wanted to drop a quick hail up to all my readers and please don’t be shy to drop a comment or two in the little comment box you hear!


Saturday, November 27, 2004

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Break

Hmmm, is it Saturday already? I guess time really does fly when you're having fun! Sorry for the lack of updates in the past few days, but I felt somewhat compelled to take a short break from my blog to enjoy the holiday with Pebbles. Besides, blogging, like weight-lifting, tends to be more rewarding if you take a few days off to rest every now and then. Hope you guys didn't miss me too much though, though judging from my comment box, Dr. D. either misses my writing or must be really bored! I suspect the latter still.

Anyhow, Thanksgiving came and went and I am proud to report that our turkey was quite successful. Yep, it took us just a little bit over 3.5 hours to cook a nice little 10 lb butterball turkey (Oh Lord, Pebbles and I are going to be eating turkey from now until her graduation in May!!). Didn't really feel like entertaining, so we decided to have a quiet dinner by ourselves. I have pictures of our food, but I cyaan bodda find the USB cable to connect the camera, so unnu get lef. I'll probably post those tomorrow.

Anyhow, as I had said in my previous post, we went to Columbus to visit a friend of ours and had a great time. The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Columus Zoo, where I got some really nice pictures to share with you all. Note that you can see larger views of the photos by clicking on the image, but slow bandwith users beware: these pictures are HUGE!

First, we came across a little pond with some ducks and swans, but there was this one swan that stood out above all others. She was so elegant and so tame, came swimming right up to the camera with a big grin on her face. Reminds me of the story of the ugly duckling.

Next, we came up to the Giraffe and Zebra display. Who knew that Giraffes and Zebra could be such good friends? I guess it makes sense that they can co-habit considering that they are both herbivores. Wow, Giraffes are such tall, goofy looking creatures, yet they are so agile...hmmm, reminds me of a girl I used to date!

Somewhere along the line we came across a huge African Lion and his Lioness. Amazing creatures to be sure! We showed up just in time to see a bit of Feline Porn, though I must say that he was in and out within 30 much for the King of the Jungle accolades!

Next we came to the White Tiger's den. The animal was definately all about putting on a show that day and believe me, he wasn't shy by any stretch of the imagination. He'd come right up to the glass enclosure and push his head against the glass (see picture in previous blog). Lovely animal to be sure, but I feel bad for him being trapped in a zoo display for the rest of his life. I know that the fire inside him will soon die and he'll become dejected and lose the will to be active. Such is the life of zoo creatures.

Saw a cute pair of Giant Geckos. They looked like really large croaking lizards. Somehow I don't think Dr. D. or several of the other Jamaican bloggers would like to see croaking lizards of these proportions hanging around in their backyards!

Right next to the Giant Geckos was a Chameleon, just sitting in and blending in with his environment. Somehow I took to calling him Boy George, go figure. Really cool looking creature still, but I doubt if I'd like to have him sitting around in my backyard!

Saw lots and lots and lots of snakes. I have to say that my skin crawls when I see these creatures, though I feel better about them now, since a zookeeper actually allowed us to touch a small Mexican snake (relax, it's not poisonous and I did wash my hands after), though I'm still not going into the snake-charming business anytime soon.

The snake pictured above is a Python from somewhere in South America. Very scary and extremely lethal.

This is another form of Python, a huge monster of a snake. The scariest part was actually seeing this thing breathe!

Finally, the snakes pictured here are a set of rattlesnakes. I just thought it was really cute that they would cuddle together like a happy little couple (hmmm, sorta reminds me of me and Pebbles in some sort of strange way).

Well, that's it for the zoo! I hope you enjoy seeing these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. Anyhow, it getting sort of late and I have a dinner appointment at the home of a fellow professor (gonna eat us some Indian food) and I still need to do the 3 S's (S#!+, Shower, Shave) before we hit the road.


Monday, November 22, 2004

Back from Columbus!

Greetings one and all! Pebbles and I got back from Columbus a few hours ago, so we've been hanging out around the house all day watching TV and looking at the trip photos. Our friend Mikey was in great spirits and we had much fun with him and his finacee, Irene. Got into Columbus around 9:30pm on Friday night, a dead easy 3.5 hour drive. Got to Mikey's apartment complex and got lost for about five minutes, but a short cellphone call and a few hastily conceived directions soon set us right once again. Our trip did entail quite a bit of activity, including a trip to the zoo, dinner at several exotic places, and a movie. I'll post picture and give you all a nice, long description of the weekend tomorrow, but right now I have a major migraine headache, so I don't want to sit in front of the PC for too long. As a teaser, here's a picture of a White Tiger that I got at the zoo...notice how dedicated of a blogger I am, staring right into the face of the beast, just to bring you, my audience, a view of this noble creature as seen from my own eyes! Click on the image to get the full-sized one in a new browser window.

Speaking of which, I was watching the Today show on ABC this morning. Matt Laurer did an interview with a blogger named Queen of Sky who happened to work for a large airline and who was complaining about being fired from the company because of certain suggestive pictures that she had taken in her uniform. She claims that the airline was discriminating and she was unjustly fired. I say bullcrap, I read her blog and it wasn't really anything spectacular. In fact, she claims that her blog had been getting 100s of readers since she started it in January (as a form of therapy for coping with the death of her mother). Well, the blog has only gotten many (i.e. > 10) comments since the legal action came into the light and she spends much time talking about her *somewhat raunchy and marginally interesting* adventures in and out of the sky. Speaking of which, she actually told Matt Laurer that the images had been removed from her site, yet I still found the link to them just now. Go give her a look at:

and tell me if you think they were justified in firing her. Frankly, I think they were and I totally abhor people that utilize their blogs for the purpose of celebrity and/or financial gains, especially when they really have nothing of interest to say!


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Columbus, Here I Come!

It's finally here! Thanksgiving break! No more teaching for the next 10 days! Can you not feel the excitement being broadcast from my fingertips to this electronic thing we call a blog? We're headed up to Columbus, Ohio for the weekend to visit an old friend. My ulterior motive for making this three hour pilgrimage is that I want to stand on the same ground that the Reggae Boyz made their last stand against the USA in their futile quest to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. A quest which, alas, ended in defeat...don't worry fellows there is always 2010 so here's hoping that we'll be more able to join the rest of the world in this the most prestigious football competition. Until then, I shall go to Columbus and cuss two claat, drink some beer, eat some food, and feel irie!

Speaking of food, while I am in Columbus, I must make sure to visit my favorite eating spot in the US called BD's Mongolian Barbecue. The unique thing about this restaurant is that all the food is raw!!! Yes iya, you walk around and pick up your raw meat (beef, chicken, pork, seafood, you name it!), vegetables and salads, and herbs and spices. Once you decide on the food you want to eat and choose the appropriate seasonings, you take it to the chefs who make it into a stir-fry on a huge, circular grill. Voila! Voici! Your own stir-fry, complete with tortillas! Vegetarians beware!

Above is a picture of what the grills look like at the restaurant. Hey Dr. D. as a lover of "Chiney" food, shall I bring you back a plate of stir-fry from BD's? Speaking of which, I think I might just try a franchise in Jamaica...on second thought, remember when Wendy's tried that all you can eat salad bar? Us Jamaicans never made fun to nyam [eat] it out business in short order. I don't think our economy is quite ready for the all-you-can-eat lifestyle [i.e. unnu too damn greedy!].

Listen, unnu can gwaan idle and read my post if unnu want, but Pebbles is in the kitchen cooking up some paella for dinner, so I going to take my leave of this blog. Don't worry, like the good doctor has done on his blog as well, I shall do my very best to attempt to find a few nice shots of the Columbus cityline with the Kodak. Anyhow, mi nah tarry tonight a blow wow, unnu have fun, and drop a little comment in my box if you have the time--after all, the blog is free, and it helps to know that my writing efforts are not lost in this vacuous alternate reality that is the World Wide Web.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Strange Day

Greetings all bloggers and friends. Now, yesterday was what I would term a strange day. See, I left home just in time to make it to work at the exact time that I needed to be there (give or take two minutes). Anyhow, do you ever notice that when you try to be just in time for some event, you're never on time? I'm not making sense, am I? Well, what I'm trying to say is that if you don't leave sufficient room for error, chances are karma will catch up with you for some prior event that you were late for. Do you ever notice that everyone else seems to drive slow when you're late? It's a known fact I tell you! First of all, I got stuck behind a truck for a good 20 miles. Now, normally the speed limit is 55mph on the road to work, and these trucks tend to do anywhere between 60 - 70mph! It just happened that this truck was loaded down with sheet rock and could only manage 30mph tops [5mph going up hill], plus the road is windy and there is very little room for me to overtake (remember that my car only has +/- 92hp, so I really don't have the power to overtake many other vehicles unless I'm going downhill].

Anyhow, I finally shake the truck and just when I'm ready to put the pedal to the metal as the Americans would say, I get stuck behind a soccer mom's Dodge Caravan minivan *aargh*. She turns off a few miles up the road, so I'm thinking that life is good from here, how wrong was I. All of a sudden a Yugo, yes, a freaking Yugo pulls out in front of me and begins this slow as hell ascent up a 3 mile slope! How does one get stuck behind a Yugo? Tell me now!

Anyhow, 20 minutes late for poor students were all dazed and confused, though I did actually call ahead to let folks know that I was going to be late, so that wasn't too bad. Oh well, c'est la vie! Anyhow, nothing else to report at this time, so I'm gonna go comment on a few blogs and then do the teaching thing :(.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Lazy Tuesday

It's Tuesday. So much to do and so little time. Write exams. Presentation for the college president. Figure out my syllabi for next semester. Plan trip for weekend. So much to do and so little time. Oh well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying having all this work to do. After all, next week is Thanksgiving [10 days of not going to work!], so I can hold out until then.

Don't really have much to blog about this morning, though I want to say thanks to all of my readers for responding to my post about the seatbelt, I'll make sure to check and double check every time I get into my car--after all, I want to be around for a looong time to come. Ciya, thanks for the tip re Omega 3, I think I'm going to try it as well.

I was talking to my uncle in Jamaica last night, and we were sharing a few airplane jokes. I remember one Christmas I was on my way back to the US from Jamaica and I had to pass through Florida. Now all Jamaicans know that Christmas is the time for fruit cake and sorrel among other things. Well, there was this fellow on the flight who, being a little bit arrogant, decided that he was too good for the food being served on the American Airlines flight, so he cut himself a nice helping of the fruitcake he had in his hand luggage (using some sort of plastic card, mind you). Anyhow, he was forward enough to ask the flight attendant for a glass of ice in which to pour the sorrel (note for non-Jamaican readers: Sorrel is a type of flower blossom that we boil down into a drink that has a very unique taste, usually augmented by sugar, some form of alcohol, and ginger].

Anyhow, a little fellow was sitting across from this guy watching him eat his cake and drink his sorrel. From the look on the fellow's face, you could tell that he desparately wanted a piece of the cake. Now, the plane was delayed because of deviant passengers, so we were sitting there for hours. Trust me, you do not want to be stuck in a plane filled with hot, tired, hungry Jamaicans. The little fellow finally looked at the owner of the fruit cake and says: "You know, I think the customs officers going to take the cake away from you when you land you know." The other fellow was either stupid or had no experience taking baked goods overseas, so he says to the other guy "For real? My cake can't waste so!" So, fellow man proceeds to divvy up the cake between him and the other fellow, who ate more than his fair share to be sure.

Flash forward to Miami International Airport, the said cake bearer is overheard cussing and carrying on in a most unruly fashion. Apparently someone tipped him off that the other guy had conned him and customs really wouldn't have seized the cake, since it was a baked product! Oh well, that's what you get for being too greedy and show off!

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday Morning Blues

It's Monday, Monday, Monday and I'm just not feelin' fine. I dunno why I dislike Mondays so much this time of year. I guess it's because of the changing weather and the fact that I have to be up a little bit earlier to de-ice the car. Oh well, it can only get worse from here :(. I'm planning to join a fitness center tomorrow, I'm getting waaay to out of shape and I'm also feeling depressed these days. The good thing is that I know why I'm depressed, it has to do with the fact that I grew up in the Caribbean and am used to sunshine and the diverse flora and fauna all year round. Here, the weather is cold, the trees are dead, and the only fauna you see are deer [and they can be hazardous to your vehicle's health]. On top of that, the body doesn't move like it should in the summer months, the metabolism speeds up because of the cold, and you just feel cranky and out of sorts all day long. Anyhow, not me, not this winter, I'm gonna get my daily exercise on and beat the winter blues, yes sir I am!

Anyhow, you know I did the craziest thing this morning! My car has the automatic seatbelts that slide up over your shoulders once you turn the ignition on. This usually requires that you are seated when you turn the motor on. Of course, I didn't want to sit down, nor did I want to get my head trapped in the seatbelt again, since it nearly strangled me last week and I only managed not to die a tragic, albeit funny, death was because I was agile enough to release the belt before my head got pressed against the seat. So, this time to avoid strangulation, I released the belt. No problem. Flash forward 50 minutes later and I pull into my parking lot at work, suddenly realizing that the damn seatbelt was still loose! I had driven for just over 40 miles without my shoulder belt!! Can you imagine what would've happened to me had I been pulled over by a cop? Especially in a state where there is a strong click-it or ticket campaign to encourage the wearing of safety belts! I surely would've gotten what the duck get! In fact, imagine if I had had an accident with a deer or another automobile, I wouldn't be sitting in the far corner of my corner office in the corner of the building writing this blog to R.A.S.S!

Anyhow, the lesson to be learned from this is simple: Make sure that you check that your seatbelt is properly attached before you leave the premises! a hoa! Anyhow, I gone to do some blog reading and then off to do some work, so I will see unnu all inna di lataz, zeen!


Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Weekend Thus Far

Is it Sunday already? darn, where has the weekend run off to!? Next comes Monday, bringing with it the promise of more work and crazy students! BTW, I decided that I'm gonna start working on my PhD probably starting in the Fall of 2005. So, if all goes well, you'll all soon be forced to call me Dr. Dog [oh no, another Dr. D. in the community!]. Anyways, Friday night came and went, didn't do anything much except come home from work and made some of the wikidest roast pork ever! In fact, I can still taste the trenton. Yesterday, I didn't do anything or go anywhere [well, does going to the laundromat count as a social event?]. Pebbles, on the other hand, wasn't going to let her illness ruin her weekend, so she took her sick self out with some friends...of course she's feeling worse this morning, but that's the price one pays for having fun when they're ill. I, on the other hand, opted to sit around on the couch watching movies and thoroughly enjoying a little bit of "Dog Time".

Saw Man on Fire starring Denzel Washington last night. Throughout the movie I had a haunting feeling that I'd seen the film before. Bodyguard happens to be a counter-terrorist expert with a bunch of issues, a little girl he's protecting befriends him and shows him that it's fine to live again, girl gets kidnapped, bodyguard gets shot, survives and goes on a killing spree to find out who killed/kidnapped the kid. Of course, the plot was similar! There was another movie that came out in 1987 called Man on Fire as well! This one starred Scott Glenn though.

Now readers, can you tell me why Denzel seems to be starring in a bunch of re-make movies lately? First was the Manchurian Candidate and now Man on Fire. What is going on with Hollywood? I cannot understand why they're now taking movies that were moderately successful, revising the plot, and then adding an African-American megastar to the mix? Are they really running out of original movie ideas? Or is it that there is a trend where films, like fashion, can be recycled over time? Speaking of which, how many of you know that the Rock's latest film, Walking Tall was actually based on another movie of the same name which was based on the real life story of a small-town sherrif named Buford Pusser. Now, the name Buford sounds pretty much like a Southern, caucasian name to me. When I hear that name, I think of some small, out of the way town, in Backwoods, USA where most of the folks still belief that the confederacy should've won the war and black folks should still be in shackles working for the "massa". Anyhow, how does the Rock, a part-Asian, part-Black, part-Native American get cast into this role?

There you have it once again folks, Hollywood's secret conspiracy revealed. Take marginally interesting movie plots that were done years ago that people probably have forgotten about, cast an African-American (or some variation thereof) megastar as the hero then sit back and reap the benefits! God bless this intricate, complicated, confusing machinery that is the American film industry! I think I might start watching more films from Europe, cause they make more sense and are much more original.

Anyhow, have a restful Sunday and be sure to fill up my little comment box! It's hungry!!


Friday, November 12, 2004


Friday is finally here and I'd be an outright liar if I said I wasn't looking forward to the weekend. Seems like its going to be a bit low-profiled this weekend though since Pebbles has a cold and there's a football game, which makes it almost impossible to navigate traffic (college football is a very important pasttime in my state, especially for residents of the state). Not really much to post today, but just wanted to say thanks to those folks that responded to my dilemma post about whether or not to do my PhD. I probably will do it after all, but probably a year from now. Thanks for the vote of confidence folks.

Anyhow I'm gonna take of early, so I will talk to you folks later. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 11, 2004

To PhD or not to PhD...'tis the question

A bright and glorious Thursday morning to my faithful readers and fellow bloggers. From the title of my post, those of you that know me well probably realize that my mind has been drifting once again; too much involuntary neuron activity isn't healthy you know! Anyhow, I had a meeting a few days ago with my old advisor. Much talk about potential grants that may be mutually beneficial to both of us. The research area that he and I both share a common interest in is all but dead. How can you convince a world of Information Technologists that the portability of software is truly a necessary area of study [speaking of which, I just had a great idea for a potential research project, lemme write it down and get back to the blog].

OK, I'm back. I think I might have just answered the above question...let's see what my research advisor thinks. Anyhow, we were talking about When I was going to do my PhD. Of course, my thought was like, "huh? me do a PhD?" Anyhow, flash-forward to this morning, me driving to work and thinking about my doctorate. Arrrgh! Now I want to do it, but time and fear seem to be my two biggest enemies. With respect to time, I teach 5 days a week and most of the classes that I have to take are held during the time that I'm expected to be at work. In addition to that, I work an hour away from the university where I would be pursuing my PhD (i.e. my alma mater), so skipping out for an hour is a little bit out of the question. The good thing is that the school I work at is actually willing to pay for my doctorate, but I have to go to my alma mater. Oh what a tangled web we weave!

The question is do I quit my job, go back to school, and spend another 2-3 years trying for a PhD that I may not actually get. Oh yeah, this is where the fear part comes in. See, I have a bunch of qualifier exams to take which are based on things that I haven't seen since I was a freshman (or ever before, for that matter!). I have three attempts in which to pass the qualifiers, or else I'm kicked out of the program. Now, if I do get over the qualifiers hurdle (shudder), I will have to take 6 courses at the PhD level (discussed above) and then take a set of comprehensive examinations based on those courses. Once I get over that fence, I have to come up with a dissertation proposal and present it to my committee. If it gets approved, I'll then move into the research phase (which is not a problem for me), followed by the dissertation writeup, and finally the defense of the work in an open forum of my peers. The last stages are fine, its just the stress of the coursework that has me pulling my hairs out.

Aside from those obstacles I described, I do not necessarily desire to impoverish myself any longer than I have to. Additionally, the ability to pay bills without worrying where the money is coming from is a freedom that I truly cherish each and every day since I started working! So, here I am, suffering for my passion, yet not wanting to give up the creature comforts and pseudo-stability that I now feel in my current position. Oh well, who knows what the future will bring, and how my mind will rationalize things in the next couple months, so we'll have to see what we'll see...


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Today = Friday - 2

Is it Friday yet? According to my calendar it's Wednesday, November 10, 2004--but I've decided that, just for the sheer convenience of it all, I'll pretend that it's Friday...wouldn't that be great? a three-day work week! Monday, Tuesday, Friday! Skip Wednesday and Thursday altogether dammit! Alas, I'd probably bitch and complain about a three-day work week and wish that it could be reduced to two. Note the recursion in my complaint.

Anyhow, Arafat looks like he has taken a turn for the worst and, the last reports I heard this morning was that he was in a really bad state. Who knows what will happen to Palestine after his death, only time will tell. Speaking of which, I wonder how Castro is doing in these weeks since his accident. Speaking of which, judging from the comments received on my last post, my fellow bloggers seem to be only too happy to cast their lot in with me and start a political party. The truth be told, I think we can do a darn good job. Strainer, I apologize for not assigning you to a Ministry, but I decided that your skills would be best suited as the head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Now, to ensure that our political structure is solid and that we're on good terms with the rest of the world, I'll nominate, Maggie, Desiree, JDid, and Abeni as international observers. Their task will be to ensure that our local politics has a more global scope with respect to the issues that we must seek to address. Everyone in agreement?

Anyhow, enough of the polit(r)ic(k)s! It's beginning to look a lot like the season that I detest so much [don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years...any excuse to eat a lot in fact]. It's just that this damn winter thing has me all bummed out you see, and I really don't want to deal with the season changes. I hate having to wake up 10 minutes earlier to de-ice my car before I leave for work. I hate having to wear 3 different layers of clothing, especially when I'm already on the fat side and the additional layers make me feel even more bloated than I already am. I hate the fact that all the trees are dead and the roads are all yucky. My car told me this morning that I have to wash her every week now to protect her from the horrible salt that they use to neutralize the ice on the roads up in them here mountains! *sigh* no wonder they're always doing road work in this state.

Enough whining and complaining, time to give thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me this year. I have my health, a job to go to every morning, a girlfriend that loves me, and a set of pretty decent students (give or take a few slackers here and there), so life is pretty good I have to say. Anyhow, I shan't take up any more of your time with my needless blogging, so I'll stop here and wish you all a good afternoon. Must run off and visit a few more blogs before I teach my final class for the evening. Catch you in the morning!


Monday, November 08, 2004

The Blogger Social Movement

Howdy folks, hope you are all having a great Monday morning! Next Friday Thanksgiving holidays begin, so I'll be off for ten whole days! [underlined for emphasis to annoy certain people in the know who y'all are!]. Anyhow, recent posts from Scratchie and Dr. D. regarding the state of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) has made me seriously consider the option of forming my own political party to fill the void that the internal struggling inside the JLP is causing--after all, we cannot have a unipartite political system (and I sure won't be casting any votes for the Natural Law Party who believe that Transcendental Meditation is the solution for all off Jamaica's ills). Which is why I've decided to toss my hat into the ring and form my own political party: The Blogger Social Movement.

Now, each blogger will have his/her own ministry to handle, and the assignments I've come up with are as follows:

Name Title Rationale
Owen Minister of Transportation Has in-depth knowledge of the Jamaican bus system
Scratchie Minister of Finance The profession that he's in lends itself to this field
Dr. D. Minister of Health He's a doctor!
Yamfoot Minister of Tourism and Sports She's a famous cricket writer and island hopper
Mad Bull Minister of Technology He knows computers!
Seven Minister of Security Good surveillance skills [read her last blog!]
Ciya Minister of Information Well, she's really good at writing stuff!
Sunshine Jamaican Ambassador to Florida Well, she sorta lives in FL, but she's still sensitive to the Jamaican thing
Angry Dog Leader of the Party I have no idea, based on the fact that I came up with this idea.

Well, there you have it, the Blogger Social Movement! What do you guys think?


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Games We Used To Play

How many of my readers out in the blogland can remember playing games in high school? To avoid confusion, when I say "games" I'm not referring to sports such as football,soccer,cricket,tennis, and so on. I'm referring to little activities that we used to make-up ourselves to pass the time outside (and sometimes inside) of school hours. Growing up in an all-boys school made for some very interesting gameplay, especially when you consider the types of interactions that must've taken place amongst a tribe of testosterone-ridden, early-teenage savages constantly surrounded by other boys in the same navy blue school uniform 5 days a week, 8 hours per day.

For example, when I was in the 7th grade (1st form), all boys at school had a huge obsession with old kung fu movies. As such, we created a game called "Karachi" [a mispronunciation of the word Karate]. The objective of the game was simple: make cat-like noises, interspersed with the punching and kicking sound effects heard in the spaghetti kung fu films, choose a villian and a hero, and fight! Well, simple enough, except we didn't know our own strength sometimes and ended up hurting each other from time to time. I, in fact, had skipped school one day to go play "Karachi" in the mazes of Hope Gardens and ended up receiving a kick on my left hand that caused my index finger to be dislocated. Unfortunately, the cartilage had been ripped off and blogged the joint, thereby making it impossible to have it simply popped back in. The result: a surgical procedure, three months of pain, and a scar on my left hand that still remains to this very day. Oh well, that was the end of "Karachi" for me.

Another game that was quite popular was one called "B-Word", where you would make a pact (called joining B-Word) with another classmate and if you said any word that started with the letter B, you would get your face slapped by your opponent. Some boys took this game very seriously and, oftentimes, students would go home with their jaws swollen from the number of slaps they had received throughout the day. Oh, by the way, the only way you could say a "B-Word" without getting slapped would be if you were scratching your chin at the time. If your opponent slapped you when you were scratching your chin, you had the right to slap them back twice (I believe). My friend, we'll call him Wimpy, was a bit overzealous when it came to the game and he had inadvertently joined with all 32 students in our class. Now, Wimpy was a fellow that loved to chat and one day he was sitting in class running his mouth off, when he suddenly received a slap from a classmate. In surprise, Wimpy said: "Why you box (slap) me?", which of course lead to another slap from someone else. Out of frustration, Wimpy found himself repeating: "Don't box me! Don't box me!" Now, had it not been for the fact that Wimpy was the type of fellow that would sneak up behind you in your most vulnerable moments and slap you, he would've probably gotten off lightly, but all 32 of us started boxing (slapping) Wimpy all at once for almost five minutes. The result a very teary-eyed little boy with jaws as fat as a chipmunk's running home as fast as he could.

Another popular game for us was once called Salad-a-Kick. This game was similar to soccer, except we would stuff several empty juice boxes into each other until we had a nice, solid "ball". The goal of this game was simple: try to kick the ball between someone's legs (a.k.a: salad the person) while trying to prevent someone from kicking it between yours. If you were unfortunate enough to have the ball go through your legs, or even worse, kicked the ball out of bounds, you had better be able to run fast and grab a safety point (a.k.a. base) for the other boys would attempt to kick you as hard and as much as they could. This game got even worse when we discovered that we could wear boots and other types of heavy shoes as a part of our uniforms. In fact, I still have a pair of pants where someone kicked me and the mark is still there, practically impossible to get out!

Of course, we had games like "Money Table Tennis" where we would roll a huge 25 cent coin across an elevated surface and play our own brand of Table Tennis that way. The only problem with this game was that whenever someone "smashed" and you tried to return it, it hurt like hell...considering you were using a huge silver coin. In fact, I know many boys that still suffer from damages inflicted by one two many games of "Money T-T".

Well, those are some of the games that I used to play in high school...what about you?


Friday, November 05, 2004

Friday Thoughts: Memories

When you're someone that spends two hours per day on the road, five days per week, facing just under ninety miles of windy, deer-infested, redneck overrun mountain roads, there comes a point in your journey when the landscape melds together into a cacaphonous symphony of utter boredom. It's that time when your driving senses go into autopilot mode and you find yourself lost in a void of thoughts, desparately wishing for someone to break the monotony of the moment. I treasure these times. For these are the moments that I can lose myself in the annals of my own subconscious, the time when I can focus my thoughs as sharp as a razor and give birth to earth-shattering ideals and philosophies, most of which will never see the light of day. It is this time that I take to reflect on the past, the present, and the future. I live in a world governed by chaos; in fact, I am chaos...yet it is these few precious moments that help me to rise above the humdrum of contemporary life and take control of the only thing that truly belongs to me, my mind. For the sad truth of my existence is that this two-hour commute is the closest a person of my disposition will ever arrive to Nirvana on earth.

From the shadows of my fragmented, selective, imperfect memories I re-live events that have long since become lost in the sands of time. These few memories are all I have to remind me of who I was, where I came from, and what I've loved. Sometimes my memories torture me, other times they make me laugh, but many times they bring anger and shame to my heart. Am I a good person? do I impact those around me in a positive way? do those that I am closest to truly love me? Many times I find my thoughts straying toward these questions, yet I can never seem to find the correct answer. But, as I proceed through these epochs of my existence, I find that the answers become less and less important and I can only strive to be the best person that my heart and my soul will allow me to be.

I have done much wrong in my relatively short life, I have hurt others around me, as much as they have hurt me--yet, I find myself still paying the price for my transgressions. Does this mean that I am beyond reprieve? or does it simply mean that the soul that lives within this fragile shell will not forgive itself for things of the past? I have not the answer to this conundrum that has become the bane of my existence. I suppose it makes no sense to question these things, for I'm simply a man, and I have no time to dwell on such trivialities. For I must continue to live, though I will forever be a flawed spirit.

{nuff said}

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election 04

Well, election day has descended upon the USA. Just a few more hours to go before the new president is determined. I strongly favor Kerry and I have read several articles between yesterday afternoon and this morning that claim that most of the undecided states seem to be leaning more towards Kerry. Oh well, time will tell, and I'm definately interested in seeing the outcome of this political battle. Though I hate to say it, it sucks when you realize that the future of the world hinges so precariously on the outcome of this election. Whenever people in Jamaica vote, our decisions only affect those of us that live in the country, whereas when a larger nation votes, particularly the US, entire countries are affected by the decisions of a single group of people...such is the curse of being a superpower.

Anyhow, I'll be keeping my eyes and ears carefully peeled for the results of this election. Speaking of which, did you know that they actually have international observers monitoring the elections here? now, that's a first! I will personally be happy when elections are done. No more seeing those annoying little signs about voting for Bush or Kerry or listening to these pre-recorded messages telling you why you should or shouldn't vote for either party. But I will definately not miss the surveyors coming around to the apartment on Saturday mornings trying to determine wheter or not I plan to vote in the election (very annoying when you getting a dose of the Vitamin S). I'll certainly not miss the Bush supporters flipping me the bird when I honk for the Kerry supporters. But, above all else, I will be glad when all the political mudslinginng that manifests itself in those God-awful TV ads paid for by one campaign or the other or some unknown PAC. *sigh* The beautiful insanity that is American polit(r)ic(k)s. Long live democracy!