Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Live Without Mercy

Say congratulations to Pebbles folks, she just defended her doctoral dissertation and is now a full-fledged Doctor of Technology Education!!! You go girl! I am so very proud of her!!! In fact, to mark this historic event, I shall no longer refer to her as just mere Pebbles. She has made the transition to Professor P.

Anyhow, in my last post I talked about one of my professors dying. Still not sure when the funeral arrangements will be announced, but I definately intend to go. At any rate, his passing has made me realize something once again: Life is too short to spend it procrastinating and analyzing what-if scenarios. Fuck it, life is meant to be lived, and lived it must be! So, I've decided that I'm going to make every effort to LIVE WITHOUTH MERCY. And what does this mean? Simple, get off my fat ass and stop procrastinating! Stop worrying about every nickle and dime or every little snide remark or dirty comment someone drops my way. Stop sitting around and crying that my PhD is too hard or I'm not smart enough to do it! Fuck it, just do it.

{GRRRRROWL}

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Sad Day

I'm pretty down in the dumps today; one of the greatest professors I've ever known died on Sunday. He wasn't very old (somewhere in his late 50s-early 60s), but he had been suffering from an aggressive cancer for over three years. I remember the last class I took with him around the time he began to get ill, Analysis of Algorithms. He was the only person who I knew that could make learning recurrences easy. He was the second computer science professor I had when I first started out and he made things like swapping pointers in linked lists and traversing binary search trees seem like child's play. Most of the things he taught me still stick with me today and I see much of his knowledge manifesting itself in my own flock of students. He had a great sense of humor and could turn even the dullest of lessons into a wild adventure with his deep Texan drawl and easygoing attitude. Such is life, I suppose. Those who leave their mark upon you eventually have to fade back to the earth; but he had a good life and touched the minds of many of us...a truly great professor indeed.

{Rest in Peace Dr. Henry}

Monday, April 18, 2005

Subservient Chicken

OK, wanna see something reaaaally freaky? Check out the Burger King Subservient Chicken website at http://www.subservientchicken.com/ Ask the chicken to do anything and see what happens! BTW, it is a real live actor.

{Ruff,Ruff}

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Life Lesson # 1825: Never pull nosehairs while driving

Well, I woke up this bright and beautiful Saturday morning and headed out to my 9:40am student honors convocation ceremony. After putting on my dress, hood, and square hat, I looked every bit like how a young faculty member should look! Anyhow, the ceremony began @ 10:00 am and got done @ 11:30 am, so I was well on my way. Called up my friend Vicki and we headed out to lunch at a little Meditteranian Restaurant...had the gyro platter and the lamb was irie fi true...irie enough in fact that I bought an extra one for Pebbles' dinner tonight. Anyhow, after dropping Vicki home I decided to head home for some much needed R & R.

Well, on the way home, I began playing with my nose. After all, what else does a bored commuter do? I suddenly discovered a really long nosehair and decided to play with it for a while. So, I was stroking and stroking, when it suddenly hit me that I was doing something pretty gross and the nosehair needed to be pulled out on the spot! Now, if you've ever pulled any kind of hair out of any body part, you know that it hurts like hell...so imagine the fact that you're pulling something out of your nose which is wired to the rest of your facial nerves...of course, I wasn't thinking about that right then and there.

First pull, nothing happens, but my nose does hurt a bit. Second pull, still nothing, but I'm sniffling at this point. Third pull, still nothing, but the pain intensifies a bit. Finally, in frustration, I give a long, hard, yank and lo and behold out comes the hair. Of course, the pain receptors in my face go haywire and I can barely see to drive, now I'm thinking to myself, "what spirit of stupidity encouraged me to do that?" I have no idea, but I know that I'll never do it again...ever!


As you can see, I have nothing sensible to contribute, but is life....

Have a great day, zeen!

{Ruff, Ruff}

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Dark Meal

Yes people, di dawg deh ya again (tr: Hello folks, the dog is here once again). Things are a lot less hectic now, so I'm quite content ;). Nicely relaxing while my students busily build their web pages. I'm still a little sick, but it seems as if the sore throat isn't really as bad as this morning, so here's hoping that I'm on the path to recovery.

Speaking of recovery, I was driving in to work this morning half-listening to the radio. Suddenly there was some mention of this deadly Asian flu virus that was accidentally shipped to some 18 countries, including the US. You can read the entire article here. Apparently some of that stuff got into my state as well, so I hope they destroy it as they said they did...of course, me being slightly ill, became sort of nervous and jittery for a little while until I finally convinced myself that if I really had this virus I'd be sicker than a dog (no pun intended) and probably dead already. Oh well, we'll see...

You ever driving along and see a road sign that makes you wonder what the hell people are thinking? No, not the cute signs like KFC's "Eat More Chicken" ad (see below):



But this morning as I drove past a KFC restaurant, I saw a sign that said:
9 Piece
Dark Meal
Only 9.99


First of all, what exactly is a dark meal? and why am I paying a little bit more than a dollar for each piece of said dark meal? Is a dark meal specifically meant to attract black people to the store? Or does it mean that a black person is the meal??? Hmmm, it could also be some sort of satanic thing where you eat the dark meal and drink a quart of chicken blood then mutate into some ugly, evil, twisted creature with lots of money (e.g. Donald Trump). Hmmm, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder. Maybe the dark meal is just the so-called dark meat parts of the chicken, e.g. everything else except the breast--nah, that's too easy...

OK, let's play a little game....drop me a comment telling me what you think about when you see an advertisement like that, zeen. Alright, hold tite, the dog gone! Have a blessed weekend.

{Ruff, Ruff}

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mis-translation!!

Wow, it's Thursday? Kiss the Dread, it's Thursday! Thank God It's Thursday. What a week I've been having people! I don't have the time to blog (which I love), meet with students (which I enjoy), or conduct any meaningful research (which I need). I'm sorry for the lack of posts and not updating my blog as often as I'd like to...to those of you who still frequent this place, thank you all! It keeps me going knowing that I'm not just blogging for myself.

Anyhow, the week ends on Saturday for me this time around--why, you might ask? Well, I have to be around campus this weekend to participate in the honors convocation, so I get to wear my pretty little skirt, hood, and scholarly looking square cap for three whole hours on Saturday! Sadly, lack of rest has finally caught up with me and I'm no longer able to withstand the many illnesses floating around here so, alas, I have succumbed to a cold virus and am sitting here nursing a bowl of chicken soup, sigh, is life. Things aren't too bad, well except for the fact that my car needs a new oil pan, we had a $40,000 cluster server crash on us this morning because of a damn squirrel and a power transformer (another story for another day), and the fact that I'm sick, things couldn't be better! (I'm not being sarcastic btw).

Anyways, Pebbles is graduating come May, so we're real excited. However, she made a comment the other day that made me stop, drop, and LOL for a while. We were talking about her graduation and she made a comment to me about her advisor saying that he'd be proud to hood her at graduation and she'd love me to come and watch. Of course, being the atypical Jamaican male that I am, my first thought was why would I want to be present when her advisor was hooding (i.e. having sex with in Jamaican colloquial) her--of course, my academic sense eventually took over and I realized that she was referring to the piece of cloth that they put around your neck to say "you is a docta now, go forth and doctor-fy!"

Another incident I had with this same mis-translation of Jamaican terminology occured the other day when I heard to guys talking outside of a store and the other asked to "bum a fag". Of course, I stopped and looked for a moment--then I remembered that to bum a fag only meant that you wanted a cigarrette as opposed to the notion of beating the crap out of a homosexual. Hmmm, I wonder why my business student from Britain always refers to me as a "batty professor" or, more generally, a "batty man"...

The mis-translation thing works both ways by the way; for example, I was in the supermarket with Pebbles a while back and happened to be looking for some hard biscuits (commonly referred to as crackers in Jamaica)...so yours truly walks around an aisle, sees said biscuits, and shouts across "Pebbles, I find the crackers!" Suddenly, there was an ominous silence (not even babies cried!) and I realized that I was the only black person standing in a crowded aisle with a bunch of white folks and a chinese redneck (again, another story for another day)...had this been a few decades earlier and there would surely have been a rass lynching!!

Anyhow, as you can probably ascertain from said post I am on some serious medication, so before I keep rambling on with my fart, I am going to make dinner and eat another soup and go sleep.

Bless it up, zeen!

{Ruff, Ruff} <--Notice new signature ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Day Before Monday

Well, Sunday night is here again and I am once more faced with the prospect of going to work tomorrow morning--not that I don't like my job, I love my job in fact, it's just that I've come to really appreciate the idle life of Spring break and would definately like to spend days doing things like leisurley driving around for no reason other than curiosity, spending restful days on the couch watching television, and throwing pillows at Pebbles. Alas, life is not as easy as that, and I must actually go to work to earn a living.

Just got done watching the finale of Strange Love and all I've got to say is THANK GOD IT'S OVER!!! Don't know why I watch it...I guess for the same reason that people watch train wrecks, but Flava Flav and Brigette Nielsen are just a tad on the odd side...imagine the type of whacked up kids they'd have? On the other side of the coin, the fact that they're flaunting the reality of interracial relationships as well as the plausibility of a couple where the female is taller than the male is pretty cool IMHO. Though I don't really consider Flave and Brigette to be the "quintessential" representatives for either race, I believe that a program of this nature shows just how much we've come as a society over the past few decades. Let's hope that someday we will be able to breed out racism with understanding, but until then, let's each do our own little part to quash this great evil.

Friday, April 08, 2005

TGIF!!!

It's Friday, It's Friday, It's Friday!!! Wish it were payday, Wish it were payday, Wish it were payday!!! Good morning all? How goes so far? Are you getting ready to enjoy the weekend? I hope so! Got lots to do this weekend...some of it business, but most of it pleasure! Anyhow, I don't have much to post this morning, so I figure that I'll leave y'all with a little e-mail message a friend of mine sent me the other day called "Tricks of a credit card thief". Hope you all have a great weekend and we'll catch y'all on the flip-side!


Tricks of a Credit Card Thief

CREDIT CARDS SCENE 1

A friend went to the local gym and placed his belongings in the locker. After the workout and a shower, he came out, saw the locker open, and thought to himself, "Funny, I thought I locked the locker. Hmmmmm."

He dressed and just flipped the wallet to make sure all was in order.

Everything looked okay - all cards were in place. A few weeks later his credit card bill came - a whooping bill of $14,000! He called the credit card company and started yelling at them, saying that he did not make the transactions. Customer care personnel verified that there was no mistake in the system and asked if his card had been stolen.

"No," he said, but then took out his wallet, pulled out the credit
card, and yep - you guessed it - a switch had been made. An expired similar credit card from the same bank was in the wallet. The thief broke into his locker at the gym and switched cards.

Verdict: The credit card issuer said since he did not report the card missing earlier, he would have to pay the amount owed to them. How much did he have to pay for items he did not buy? $9,000! Why were there no calls made to verify the amount swiped? Small amounts rarely trigger a "warning bell" with some credit card companies. It just so happens that all the small amounts added up to big one!

SCENE 2

A man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit card.

The bill for the meal came, he signed it, and the waitress folded the receipt and passed the credit card along. Usually, he would just take it and place it in his wallet or pocket. Funny enough, though, he actually took a look at the card and, lo and behold, it was the expired card of another person.

He called the waitress and she looked perplexed. She took it back, apologized, and hurried back to the counter under the watchful eye of the man. All the waitress did while walking to the counter was wave the wrong expired card to the counter cashier, and the counter cashier immediately looked down and took out the real card. No exchange of words --- nothing! She took it and came back to the man with an apology.

Verdict: Make sure the credit cards in your wallet are yours. Check the name on the card every time you sign for something and/or the card is taken away for even a short period of time. Many people just take back the credit card without even looking at it, thinking that it has to be theirs.

FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, DEVELOP THE HABIT OF CHECKING YOUR CREDIT CARD EACH TIME IT IS RETURNED TO YOU AFTER A TRANSACTION!

SCENE 3

Yesterday I went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order that I

had called in. I paid by using my Visa Check Card which, of course, is linked directly to my checking account. The young man behind the counter took my card, swiped it, then laid it flat on the counter as he waited for the approval, which is pretty standard procedure.

While he waited, he picked up his cell phone and started dialing. I
noticed the phone because it is the same model I have, but nothing
seemed out of the ordinary. Then I heard a click that sounded like my phone sounds when I take a picture. He then gave me back my card but kept the phone in his hand as if he was still pressing buttons.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking: I wonder what he is taking a picture of,
oblivious to what was really going on. It then dawned on me: the only thing there was my credit card, so now I'm paying close attention to what he is doing.

He set his phone on the counter, leaving it open. About five seconds later, I heard the chime that tells you that the picture has been saved. Now I'm standing there struggling with the fact that this boy just took a picture of my credit card. Yes, he played it off well, because had we not had the same kind of phone, I probably would never have known what happened.

Needless to say, I immediately canceled that card as I was walking

out of the pizza parlor. All I am saying is, be aware of your

surroundings at all times. Whenever you are using your credit cards, take caution and don't be careless. Notice who is standing near you and what they are doing when you use your card. Be aware of phones because many have a camera phone these days.

When you are in a restaurant and the waiter/waitress brings your card and receipt for you to sign, make sure you scratch the number off. Some restaurants are using only the last four digits, but a lot of them are still putting the whole thing on there. I have already been a victim of credit card fraud and, believe me, it is not fun. The truth is that they can get you even when you are careful, but don't make it easy for them.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Be Careful What You Read

So, I was cruising the Internet last night and came across this article:



Of course I was shocked, surprised, and elated by the news of Tupac's "resurrection". Ater all. the article said it was from CNN, a reliable and accurate source for breaking news. Well, guess what, big surprise...it's not! Someone sat down and tweaked a copy of the CNN site, filling it up with their own story of the late rapper's mysterious appearance in Hollywood, CA. Of course it's an intentional spoof, but it does lead one to consider how much of the real news is being trickled down to us "mentally impoverished visceral souls". Obviously we're aware that all news has some sort of sensationalism and masking of facts, of course they do, isn't that what sells newspapers and magazines? But the question is how much are we not made aware of? I'm sure that we'd all be scared if we knew just how much was being covered up by the media! Protection? for some maybe, but for me, I'd like to know as much as possible about any subject of news--after all, doesn't current affairs affect us all?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Empty Blog

OK, so I haven't blogged in a long time...so long in fact that the Blogger interface feels strange and unfamiliar to me. Why am I not blogging? Simple question with complex answers:

  • Been too busy working on curriculum changes, research, teaching, and other stuff.

  • Lacking time and inspiration to write, but mostly the latter.

  • My life has become somewhat monotonous and I can't find cool stuff to write about

  • In the moments that I actually do come up with something interesting to write, Blogger eats my fucking (pardon my language) post.



So those are my reasons. Anyhow, today I do have something of marginal interest to write about and it has to do with the death of all these international celebrities and political figures of late. The pope was the last of them, damn I really do miss the pope (even though I'm not Catholic). Actually, he's the only pope I've ever known of in my 20-odd years of existence. Then there was Arafat, who somehow planted himself firmly in my juvenile mind as a political figure of the 80s and 90s. Christopher Reeves (aka Superman), the heroic figure who defined my childhood memories. Ronald Reagan, the president who made "Star Wars" seem real (even though it wasn't such a great idea. Of course, others have gone too, too numerous to mention...but so many people I grew up seeing and hearing about are no more. I suppose that even though I do not know the vast majority of these folks personally, their deaths have a profound impact on me...after all, they were the characters of my childhood and their deaths are symbolic of the end of my youthful innocence and my passage into adulthood. Am I being overly dramatic? Who were your childhood heroes?