Honest Tag

honest-scrap

The little trophy says “This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog’s content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant.”

I find it extremely odd that someone would find this neglected blog worthy of such a distinguished award! But thanks to Savvy our prospective PhD candidate I find myself the proud receipient of the Honest Scrap award. I honestly didn’t expect to be found with the low profile I’ve been keeping lately.

First to dispense with the rules!

 You must brag about the award
* You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger
* You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
* Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog.
* List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on with the instructions.

Now finding 10 honest things to say about myself is proving to be very very hard (except for #1) but will give it an honest attempt.

  1. I hate Tags; Its not the actual tag that bugs me but the fear of oversharing, I definately try to keep a distance between the image I potray on my blog and my true self. I have heard it said in some places that what a blogger writes in his/her blog is what is in ones inner self but for me the blog is not an accurate picture of myself but just what I was thinking at that particular moment in time.
  2. I am impulsive; Thats why its dangerous to send me to a mall with a blank cheque, from purchases to actual life, work decisions I often find myself acting on impulse and just doing what is on my mind at the moment. Obviously this can cause alot of problems especially where planning or budgeting is required. I started blogging on a whim without thinking what I wanted to do with it and just kept on going and it surprises me that I am still going on albeit at a slower pace. So I don’t really have an Agenda for this blog and I rarely ever plan or draft my posts, I simply get started and just keep on going.
  3. I prefer being in the backgroud; I”m not a particularly outgoing person and even when I am involved in something and even if it is my initiative I won’t want to make a big deal out of it, I know some career advisers will advise againisit keeping your talents in the shadows but as long as I am satisfied with my own work or actions it doesn’t bother me that I’m not blowing the trumpet.
  4. I don’t hate politics but I definately try to keep a calm composure about it after all the less said about the dunderheads that are incharge of our public affairs the better!
  5. I do dudu’s; My proffession involves keeping all manner of pests and diseases away form our greenhouses unfortunately the little critters are always one wing ahead of my efforts. Interestingly this is not what I studied, I happen to be a biochemist so I should be busy exploring metablic pathways and stuff like that.
  6. For a city kid I’m quite comfortable living and working here in shags and it’s not just because life is cheap. I guess I don’t want to be bothered with the hectic pace of life in town, I definately miss the conveniences and the vibrant social life but that can be done on weekends. It’s utterly comforting to be able to walk to the office in less than 10 minutes, have real lunch in your own house, not worry about violent crime etc.
  7. I love gadgets; the only limiting factor is my ability to afford what I really want but it doesn’t stop me from drooling over the specs of the various objects of my affection on the net.
  8. I have a weakness for sweet goodies, chocolate, blackforest, icecream etc. would be the ruin of me if it wasn’t for the unlikeliness of me stumbling upon them too often here in Embu. It makes nonsense of my efforts in taking sugarless tea or coffee lakini I guess I can get 50% for effort
  9. I’m a bit of a couch potato, nothing beats having a good movie in the evening for me, I used to read alot of books when I first moved here because in those days one could only get KBC and the DVD revolution hadn’t hit yet. It’s not a habit I would like to keep but I what is one to do with the long evenings without an easily accesible social outlet.
  10. I’m sensitive and despite keeping a cool and calm exterior will get bruised emotionally very easily. Fortunately I have avoided major heartaches and have always bounced back when I have tripped. I rarely lash out in anger and I have never gotten into a single physical fight in my life. I guess that has kept me safe till now.

Now who to victimize?

Looks like I will have to break that rule! I told you I don’t particularly like this tagging business and most of the people I would have tagged are tagged anyway.

Up Close

   


CSC_8408

Originally uploaded by Kirima

Last weekend I decided to laze around at a calm place here at the farm. We have this large water reservoir where there one can sit at the bank and watch the sun go down while appreciating a cool breeze. There are several wild ducks, Herons and Ibises but what what caught my fancy was the wide diversity of Dragonflies in all sorts of sizes and colours. Therefore I whipped out my Camera and tried to take pictures. anyone who has tried to take pictues of these insects must know how fast they are so you have to be very patient and use a long zoom lens but after alot of patience was able to make a few really cool shots after shuffling with various settings.
What I find really cool with this shot is the drop of water hanging at the end of the dragonfly’s abdomen.

Also posted on Kenyavistas

Time for THAT ONE! and other stuff

One more night before we know whether That One! will win the US presidential election, I don’t know whether it will be possible to sleep on that night as the results start trickling since I’m sure that the results will be known by 10 am Wednesday.

I have avoided making too much noise about the US campaign because after all its an American election and even if That One is of Kenyan origin (actually abandoned by his Kenyan daddy) I really doubt that it will change too much about what is on my plate here at home. What I cannot suppress is the overwhelming sense of pride at having a Black Man sitting in the oval office, it may be a frivolous or racial choice but it can’t still erase the fact that by having a man on colour taking over the official mantle of the most powerful person on earth will make it possible for all people of colour to hold their heads high and say yes we can! That aside I have always followed the US elections and have always supported the Democrats since the days of Walter Mondate, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry. The biggest disappointment for me was when Al Gore lost to Bush in the scandalous 2000 election, he is a man I respect tremendously especially for championing environmental causes which has caused him so much riducule in the US but has gained him respect worldwide.

Yesterday was a day of mixed feeling for me being my Birthday eve I was able to share a delightful afternoon with friends and enjoyed some delicious Kuku Choma and Cake. I was very much grateful for those who took there time to send me wishes, at times I think that it is high time I stopped celebrating and making a fuss over birthdays but everytime someone remembers me and sends his/her wishes it always warms the heart.

The evening however tempered my emotions when Lewis Hamilton won the F1 championship at the season finale Brazilian Grand Prix, although the guy I was rooting for Felipe Maasa won his home race and took the honours for Ferarri in the constructors championship it was the brilliant last lap from Lewis that crowned his season which took my breath away. Although I don’t support his team I take off my heart to Lewis Hamilton who has proved that a young man of colour can excel in a sport that has traditionally been the preserve of the rich elite. Next season however I hope Ferarri can iron out the mechanical and pit lane disasters that ruined their season because overall Felipe won more races but had to retire a couple of times due to purely technical and not racing reasons.

Blame it on the System

Plover

Its been a long while since I put up something on the blog, infact even reading of blogs has been a tad bit infrequent of late and I desperately need a scapegoat to blame and after reading Mboiz’s post I decided to do like Kenyans and just blame it on the system whatever the ‘system’ is.  I also note that I am not the only victim of this lethargy as this and this post also demonstrate.

So what has the mountain been upto all this time?

Well the first thing I can report is that my car is now back on the road looking as good as new. Despite my murderous thoughts over the years when paying the insurance premiums I can at least have something positive to say about them (lakini someone needs to explain to me how Excess payments are not just plain robbery). The other positive is that in my month of immobility I discovered how much expenditure is caused by just being mobile, the effect on my bank balance at the end of the month (which on normal months tends towards zero!) was amazing it is enough to tempt one to ground the car intentionally.

The office party went well this year I guess because I made sure to attend the party with someone to keep me on a tight leash. These annual corporate affairs are ussually the best excuse for employees to display their worst behaviour and the scars inflicted on reputations often take several months to heal so depite the large volume of free booze on offer I was able to leave with my head held high (until the Xmas bash in less than 2 months!). But it was still fun watching people getting down and enjoying themselves. The only thing I have to remind the HR people is that watching Kayamba Africa every year tends to get boring since their repetoire has remained static for several years now.

My Photography hobby continues to grow and have been doing lots of practice but since most of the practice has been in family and company gigs I may not be able to share much at the moment but once I get into general stuff I will post a few more shots.

On Telly I have been thoroughly entertained this week by K24 and their airing of Big Cat Live, Big Cat Diaries was one of my favourite programs when it comes on National Geographic and it was definately fantastic getting to watch how this programme is put together by the BBC fellas, it definately makes me very very proud of the fantastic scenes this country has to offer and makes me hungry for a repeat trip trip to the Maasai Mara. Taking of TV I was quite disappointed to read in the papers that the Ministry of Education is threatening to ban one of the popular local TV programmes, Tahidi High on the premise that it may be one of the causes of the school riots that plagued the country earlier in the year. Although I agree that the youth can be influenced by TV I do not think that banning a single programme can be solution to the problem, I also don’t think that the youth are so gullible as to ape everything they see on TV. Perhaps the Ministry can consider using the programme to show the consequences of being rebellious to authority. In any case the blame should be laid on those parents who have abdicated their role of parenting to the TV but not on the gadget made in China! But feel free to share your opinions on the Poll I have created at the bottom.

Sports is also on my mind with my Favourite teams not doing so well this season. In Formula one I have watched in agony as Ferarri falter race after race and now our nemesis Mclaren are at the brink of winining the championship in Brazil if Hamilton finishies Fifth or above. I have tons of respect for Hamilton its just that I cannot switch my team loyalties that easily but live with the hope he will follow Kimi Raikonnen to Ferarri one day but I’m sure Archer will tell me that is not likely. But come November second I will be rooting for another upset like last year where Raikonnen snatched the victory at the last minute from Hamilton

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Tough Week!

I’m glad this this past week is finally over!

It began with on a rather sour note which despite having a rather lucky or fortunate ending leaves me with a car that is almost likely to be written off but looking on a brighter side I am in good health and with the current fuel prices I will be saving a ton of cash by joining the “foot-subishi” brigade (EGM 2007). This weekend has also been miserty for the teams I support Man U played a lousy game and were rightly beaten by Liverpool for the first time in the Rafa reign I know that Anfield is probably the most intimidating venue in the EPL but in the past few years Man U has enjoyed the pride as being the team that doesn’t respect that ground. But since we are still the English Premier League Champions and European Champions League Champions we cand still hold our heads up.

On Formula one the Formula one team that I support- Ferrari was expected to do well at the home Italian Grand Prix and Monza especially with the phenominal Lewis Hamilton breathing down our backs Ferarri was expected to pull all stops to win the race but it seems it wasn’t to be the race was won by a certain Sebastian Vettel from the smaller Toro Rosso Ferarri team, oh well at least it is a Ferarri as well. It looks like that the F1 Championship will go down to the wire like last year only that the challenge is between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, fortunately it all ends in  Brazil where Massa should enjoy some home advantage.

On the gadget front I am now begining to get a hang of using the manual features on my Camera, I realised that I was depending too much on the auto and semiauto settings which often weren’t giving me the results I want I still have a long way to go before I get competent in handling he manual settings but I am certainly having fun.

Kingfisher

 

Fly on a Temite Mound

Colourful Kingfisher

Gerbera Seeds

Gerbera Flower

My Baboon Neighbours from afar

Finally for those who I chat with on email may have noticed an increase in my internet activity well this is because after a long time of struggling with a shared internet computer in the office the bosses were generous enough to extend internet connections to our houses so now I can boast of a fast VSAT connection in the house with a wireless access point so now I can literally blog in bed. This is bliss after after struggling for over a year with mobile connections and opera mini to blog. Currently I am securing my laptop by installing the necessary antiviruses and firewalls since I am now using Windows to connect, this is because I have had trouble configuring the wireless connection on my Ubuntu installation but since I have a dual boot on my system I can still use Ubuntu with the wired connection. 

I am also loving the new Google Chrome Browser I don’t know whether it is just me but it definately seems faster. Now they only need to release a Linux version and I will be completely sold.

Movie Time!

I remember by this time last year I was salivating at the prospect of big movies that were being released  for the summer season. There was a lot of buzz around the following movies.

  • Spiderman 3
  • Pirates of the Caribean 3 (At Worlds End) my personal favourite
  • Die Hard 4
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Transformers
  • 300

I eagerly awaited the release of these movies and watched them at the theatre as soon as they started showing locally. This year however the movie craze has been slow to catch on and nothing yet has inspired me to get a movie ticket. However today is the Worldwide Premier of the 4th Indiana Jones Move titled “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystall Skull“. One of my favourite Movie boxsets that I own is the original Indiana Jones Boxset, despite the fact that the movies were made in the 80’s I still love them to death especially the original one “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

So far the reviews I have read are favourable and I look forward to seeing Harrison Ford reprise the role that made him a star despite the fact that it is over 20 years since the last installment. The movie is being released in Kenya tonight as part of the worldwide release! How I wish I could be in Nairobi this weekend.

Other movies I am looking forward to watching this year include the next installment of the Batman series “The Dark Knight”, Sex and the City – The movie, The next 007 movie “Quantum of Solace” and the Incredible Hulk, There was also talk of Sin City 2 but I’m yet to know when the release date will be.

Onto other matters; After SUCCESSFUL (I’m really trying to avoid gloating this time round!) completion of the the EPL and Championship league I can now switch my focus to other matters such as the upcoming Euro 2008 tournament, I’m still grappling with whether to upgrade my DSTV package for just next month, which is made all the spicier with the French Open and a couple of F1 grand prix races. Coming soon is Wimbeldon is also the Beijing Olympics in August. But my most immediate concern this weekend is the London leg of the IRB sevens series where I hope our Kenyan Boys will continue to do us proud (also so that they can take up Sir Richard Bransons offer of a holiday on his exclusive Caribbean island)

Last night I also got to watch the season finale of American Idol, this is the first time I got to follow almost the entire process and I was glad to see my favourite actually take the top prize, David Cook won me over much earlier on when he did a very memorable rock rendition of Lionel Richie’s – Hello. I can now see how some of the current stars such as Jordan Sparks and Kelly Clarkson were moulded by the Idols process I’m pretty sure we shall be hearing that name in the record stores very soon. Closer to home I’ve been comparing Tusker Project Fame and East & Southern Africa Idols and my conclusion is that TPF is just a marketing  venture by EABL rather than a genuine talent search especially since I can’t recall any trully outstanding performance on any of their weekend shows, it tends to focus more on the ‘soap opera’ like goings on in the Academy rather than development of the singers. Idols on the other hand has some almost breathtaking performances every week and it is very very hard to make a choice on who is better cos they are all good. I would put my money on Idols to produce the next African pop star.

Maswali?

This post is not my usual cup of tea but just needed to get some divergent opinions on some issues that have been on my mind.

  1. When you are going out with someone when does it become exclusive? is it an agreed moment or is it up to one of them to point out that the relationship is exclusive? Is it when the relationship gets physical? or is it just because you are identified by other people as a couple?
  2. When going out you are technically both single so if you meet someone else and you decide to see him/her before breaking off the other relationship is this considered cheating?

An argument I have heard is that during the single phase you cannot be considered to be cheating because it is assumed that you are still exploring and assesing the suitability of various partners therefore the onset of exclusivity is Marriage or at the very earliest on formal engagement. Reason being before then there is no legal contract or solemn vow. This argument has mainly been advanced by guys.

The other side of the coin is that once you are seeing someone and you have declared yourself as a couple then looking sideways is cheating already. But sometimes I find you can be accused of cheating by someone who you have only shared one coffee outing or one date with if you as much as take another person on an outing.

Caution: here I am not talking about sleeping with another person, just seeing someone else.

I don’t advocate sleeping around but sometimes couples can have very discordant views of exactly what stage they are in a relationship especially in regard to the issue of seeing other people.