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

Advertisements

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

\

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.

Making a Mountain out of a Molehill + A Blogversary Celebration!

Apparently voyeurism go hand in hand with blogging otherwise where did all this tagging business have to do with blogging. Anyway since I was tagged by Half and Half and I hate to be unsportly despite the fact that I have already obliged a number of tags in the past I will attempt to do the neadfull and get it over with quickly. (oh and thanks to Modo for reminding me that a Mountain cannot lie low otherwise I had decided to totally ignore this post)

 The Rules:

– Link to the person that tagged you.

– Post the rules on your blog.

– Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

– Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

– Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website

  1. I cannot resist Choclate Eclairs: this little tofee sweets with milk choclate centers have been the total ruin of me. I keep a stash that is not so secret in my car at most times.
  2. I cannot wear a shirt untucked: Even in the house and I am alone it just feels awkward and don’t get me started on wearing pants without a belt.
  3. I hate shopping for shoes: Strange as it seems I find shoe shopping an entirely complicated affair and will avoid it until my soles are falling off. (this will sound completely strange to some of the bloggers out there who know themselves)
  4. I can’t shout: I find it terribly difficult to get loud even when when I am angry or scared, I just can’t
  5. I am addicted to caffeine: If I don’t get my daily fix of caffeine at least  cups of coffee by 10:00 am at all cost avoid me for I will be very cranky. I keep a few cans of Red Bull in the house for emergencies.
  6. I am loyal to my barber: I’d rather let my hair grow wild than experiment with just any Kinyozi I have been going to the same barber for the last 6 years .

I will tag the following just to go with the flow so sorry to:

Most other people are already tagged so that will be enough for now.

champagne-and-strawberries.jpg

Onto other intersting matters, I was scrolling my blog and realised that I have been blogging for exactly one year now so yippee its MY ANNIVERSARY. I can honestly say I am surprised that I have stayed the course for so long from that Friday evening in February last year when I was in the office and just on the spur of the moment decided to start a blog and joined KBW one day later. I hadn’t read many blogs then I didn’t understand a lot of the little nuances that go along with blogging but true to my nature of relishing challenges I learnt a lot along the way, interacted with alot of interesting folks both back here at home and in the diaspora, reconnected with some long lost friends and most of all had lots of fun.

It would be extremely difficult to mention all the good people who have enriched my blogging experience all through the year and made such a big difference in my life. I promise to continue blogging for as long as the interest holds me (yeah I know I have been a little bit out of action in the last 2 months).

So to all you my dear blogthren I bid you Cheers!

Today I’m Relaxed Finally!

After weeks of agony last night was absolute bliss.

The obnoxious bats that have been keeping me awake in the evenings have finally vacated although it had nothing to do with my desperate measures but rather we had to call in a professional exterminator – Rentokill who apparently did some voodoo which had those flying rats vacating the premises. Now that I can get my nights sleep maybe I can get back to regular blogging.

Now this post is a week too late, I had intended to do a write up on the motor show that was held 2 weekends ago but as I explained in my rant I somehow misplaced my camera cable and couldn’t download the photos but fortunately I knew someone with a SonyEricsson mobile phone which also uses the Memory Stick duo so phew!

 

total-motorshow-2007-004.jpg

The famous Hummer that everybody was struggling to touch but I found it abit overhyped

total-motorshow-2007-010.jpg

The Camry is one fine car that I would definately aspire to.

total-motorshow-2007-095.jpg

Definately what I need for our roads up here in Embu

total-motorshow-2007-063.jpg

18″ Rims that was all I could see on this beautiful Chrysler

total-motorshow-2007-034.jpg

Subaru Tribeca, Very Popular with the masses but in my opinion not very pretty

but the girls were an added attraction

total-motorshow-2007-036.jpg

My type of car!

The show was generally a good day out but I have to rant a bit about the fact that some of the brands I was looking forward to seeing were just not there. How is it possible to have a motorshow without any BMW’s, Audi’s, Volkswagen, Range Rover, Land Rover……. Surely for that ticket price I definitely expected to at least drool at the latest Tourag or X5 but sadly that was not to be.

Now who can tell me that pretty girls in short dresses have to do with selling cars I was just wondering whether the mamasita’s draped over the Subaru Tribeca did more to attract the crowds to the Subaru stand than the car, then there were the ones in hotpants and rollerblades hawking carfreshner I bet there will be very many nice smelling cars on the roads this month.

Bats out of Hell

batman-logo.jpg

Since I got back to Embu I have been literally having sleepless nights because I discovered that my house has been infested by a colony of bats! Yes those creepy flying rats that hang upside down in caves. Now I don’t live in a cave by the way it just happens that alot of the staff houses are undergoing repair especially in the roofs but since mine is relatively new I wasn’t affected. But as they worked on the other houses they managed to chase away the bats that had taken residence in their roofs and where do they all move to? Yes to yours trully so now I have got like 1000 bats in the roof of my house. It sounds ridiculous but if you stand outside the house at dusk they literally fly out in waves its incredible how so many bats can squeeze themselves into such a small space.

batsaregood_1600.jpg

What makes it absolutely worse is the fact that they have squeezed themselves in the space between the tiles and the corrugated iron sheets on the roof. (incidentaly putting the iron sheets under the tiles was one of the renovations being carried out in order to keep the bats away) Therefore as they move along the sheets they make a cacophony of scratching noises which can drive the most sane person crazy. In addition to this they make these high pithed screeching noises as night falls. You can now imagine the anguish I have to face every day when I get home and unfortunately these noises can go on all night. Another problem posed is the fact that bat shit smells absolutely horrible and the longer they stay up there the worse it gets one of my neighbours actually had the ceiling of his house cave in with the weight of the guano in his attic and they had to clear 2 wheelbarrow fulls of that stinking bat crap hence the urgency with which I want those critters out of my house.

Despite all the horror movies I have watched the thought of Vampire bats doesn’t scare me – they are only found in South America right? (I hope) but these cousins of Dracula are known to have all sorts of unpleasant side effects such as having fleas, carrying rabies and if the medical news last week is to be believed it has been found that the carrier for the deadly Marburg Fever has been found to be some fruit bats in Uganda.

So next week it will be Operation Bats Out even if it means having to rip the entire roof off and sealing every tiny hole with plaster. Once that is dispensed with the next pest problem is how to keep the pesky baboons away from my house but that is another post all on its own. (Wilderness drama I tell you!)

Despite the problem in my roof Bats are fascinating creatures and I do enjoy watching the way they are able to swoop around silently snatching up tiny insects in the dark and even when you stand where they are emerging it is very unlikely for one to hit you all you hear is the soft flutter as they fly past eerily close to you. My favorite supehero is also Batman especially the last one Batman Begins which sort of redeemed the Batman franchise after the utter disaster that was Batman and Robin.

The title of this post was inspired by an album by Meatloaf called Bat out Hell Vol. II, which contained the song “I will do Anything for Love (But I won’t do that)” which is actually the first Rock song that I trully liked what intrigues me is the ambigous ‘that‘ which he will not do, its still a mystery to me. Do you remember that song Well if you don’t here it is to refresh your memory.

This has got to be one of my longest posts but anything to get out of the house and away from those bats!