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.

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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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To Bee or not to Bee

Ok this weekend I was bored at home with nothing much to do since I wasn’t at work so other than just lazing around the house……and I will avoid discussing that game especially with Archer!……. so what better to do than whip out BOB and do some shots around the house, this time I set my sights on getting some clear shots of some bugs using only the manual settings. So after several discarded shots these are a few of the clear shots I managed to get.

bee
bee
beebee

Happy Viewing!

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.

Blog Day 2008

Blog Day 2008
I never knew that Blog day existed until I read this post by White African it is definately an interesting concept the instructions are quite simple and are posted on the blogday website.

BlogDay posting instructions:

  1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
  2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2008
  3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
  4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and
  5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link:
    http://technorati.com/tag/BlogDay2008 and a link to the BlogDay web site at http://www.blogday.org

Since I am pressed for time I have decided to do this post a couple of days early since I will not be anywhere near an internet connection over the weekend, with a few links to some blogs I like to read, they may not be actually new but to me they are. So here goes.

Wanjiku Unlimited

Written by Shiko-Msa I find this a very informative blog that tackles a varied number of topics from serious issues like the environment, Politics, Science and also light and entertaining issues like reality shows. The author is not afraid to give her opinions and doesn’t shove them down the readers throats even when they disagree.

Diary of a Mad Campus Girl

Written by Savvy this is written from the unique perspective of a student in one of the kenyan universities, its been a long while since I was in college and I remember those days nostaligically as some of the best years of my life. She has tackled several aspects of campus life including the living arangements of campus, going out adventures and even a very interesting post on how students have set up DIY networks in the student hostels. There are also some serious posts addressing sexual harrasment and student riots in campus. This Blog definately takes me back in time and reminds me of my own ‘wild’ days as a student which would make her not as ‘mad’ as the title suggests.

Rafiki Kenya

This is a relatively new blog for me and I haven’t been following it for very long but I definately find it an informative place with a varied number of topics not just business, I found this cheesy post quite interesting, I will definately keep an eye on it.

Our Kid

An interesting sounding blog title but well written with short posts on varied interesting topics, I only just recently discovered it, was much amused by this tribute to Cynthia the pretty girl on EA Idols who just couldn’t sing but didn’t we all just love her!

Crystal Balls

This is not a new blog but its only quire recently that I started reading it at first I was put off by the lengthy posts but as I grew familiar with her writting style I am now able to follow if I can keep up with her prolific writting. This blog has got to be one of the most frequently updated in the Kenyan Blogosphere the minute you think you are up to date you log in and find 3 more long posts to read. That said the posts are definately worth the time as they tackle CB’s daily experiences in Dar covering all manner of topics from single motherhood, relationships and work. She also has some fiction writting which is quite captivating.

Doing this post makes me realise that I haven’t ventured very far from my blogroll to discover new bloggers perhaps this excercise will help me identiffy many more blogs to add to my reading lists.

To all my readers happy Blog Day!

Back from the Wild

I have just recovered from a very enthralling safari to the Maasai Mara, it was my first time there and definately a wake up call tha I need to see more of this beautiful country of ours. Despite the fact that the journey was very very loooong we still managed to have loads of fun out in the wild and also experience the magic of the Mara that makes it one of the new 7 wonders of the modern world.
Despirt my initial apprehension about camping and sleeping in a tent it was actually quite comfortable except for the second night when it decided to rain and some water manged to seep in under the tent and combined with the night cold led to me almost having frostbite on my legs, next time will have to choose the spot where to pitch the tent more carefully.
The game drives were splendid and managed to catch most of the big game but for most people in our tour group the highlight was actually getting to catch a couple of lions engaging in some mating action apparently the session lasted only 10 seconds…..so much for the ‘King of the Jungle’ but apparently they can keep going at it upto 40 times a day. I have put the picture here for the benefit of Xs and other scientists who are interested in the mating habits of different species.

I also got an opportunity to try out my new Camera and was quite happy with the results thought there is definately still alot to learn.

This one is for 3TOC, you can have a ‘little’ bit of luxury while camping!


I have uploaded a few more of the shots on my Flickr page on this set here.

I Have Temporarily Left The Mountain

ON LEAVE

Another year has passed a bit too quickly and I find myself on leave yet again, I don’t know why people find it odd that I have 5 weeks of continuous leave but when you live 11 months of the year deep in shags where there are not many creature conforts or interaction with people other than workmates then it is too short a time. This week is being spent acclimatizing i.e. in bed! But I have a camping tour at the end of the week to the Maasai mara courtesy of the good guys at Bunduz this is my first time to use their services but I hae gotten some good recommendations from blogger pals who have used them in the recent past. The other 4 weeks are taken up by a series of personal projects and generally catching up with long lost pals. Also some movie watching is lined up and top of my list is the new Batman movie The Dark Knight which has been getting great reviews and breaking box office records, will probably post a review when I do watch it.

New Gadget

By now most of you who read this blog know I am a gadget freak well my latest acquisition is a Nikon digital SLR the Nikon D40 after my previous camera was permanently borrowed at a public function I have been surviving on the generous mercies of friends and colleagues to take photos, I have one of those 35mm film gadgets but trust me nothing can motivate me to use it. After admiring the intimidating gadget that EGM carries around I got interested in dSLR’s primarily because you can get more control out of them and it could be an asset at work where I deal with small little critters that you either can’t approach closely or won’t sit still and pose for a photo. Of course the brand debate kicked in (Nikon vs Canon), the specs   (Megapixels etc), accessories (Zoom lenses) and I finally settled on the Nikon D40 or the Canon 400D which are both entry level dSLR’s for non professional consumers and hobbyists, I settled for the Nikon D40 primarily cos of price and the fact that I was able to get a bundle offer with a kit lens (18-55mm) and a Zoom (55-200mm) at a very attractive price this is enough to get me started and I believe with a bit more practice I may decide to upgrade and get a better lens preferably upto 300mm and with Vibration Reduction(VR) for those long distance nature shots.

Here are a few Day 1 shots I managed to take it took ages trying to downloading despite compressing them and cropping, the birds were particularly had to take with the zoom lens but i trust I will learn the art of tracking moving objects.

ps:  to Xs The geese are not gay but I am attempted to bring in another female and see if we can get a menage a trois going!