Saturday, December 03, 2005

Work continues

In one of my classes we were given half the exam as a take home and the other half we would do in class.So the prof asked how we wanted the two to be graded, I campaigned that each should count for 50% ie the take home 50% and the in class exam 50%.Did the rest of the class vote with me?Oh no they didn't most of them decided to go for 60% take home and 40% in class exam.Guess what!The take home portion is just one question that is as hard as hell!Dumbasess.Anyway as I struggle with that and my other take home exam here are some interesting facts:
10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Kiss Anyone
Except Your Dog

1.More than 100,000,000 microscopic critters live in a human mouth.
2.Bacteria hang out there.
3.Fungus grows in the oral cavity.
4.Mouths have viruses that may cause disease.
5.The white blood cells from another person's spit will attack in your mouth.
6.Little leftover bits of food will go into your mouth.
7.Everyone's spit contains a little bit of urine from their glands.
8.Yellow teeth tartar is sickening.
9.Because the nose drips into the back of the mouth, you may get nose muscus mixed with a kiss.
10.Dog mouths contain many enzymes for fighting infections.
Stick to kissing your dog.

Did you know..............
That the smell of onion and garlic breath does not come from the mouth, but from the lungs. The smelly part of onions and garlic gets into your blood, and when the smelly blood reaches your lungs, you breathe out flavoured gas.

Owls have no teeth, so they swallow their meals (mice for instance) whole, fur, bones and all. Several hours later, they spew up a bundle of fur,feathers, teeth, claws, and bones, called an owl pellet.

During the Middle Ages, bathing was not in style. Not having to bathe was a sign of wealth. Many rich people bragged about avoiding the bath waters. One Englishman did not take the plunge for 13 years. This didn't mean that people didn't sweat or stink. People covered up their stench with perfumes, oils, and spices. A stinky time was had by all.

Back to the grindstone then.....

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS day

Today is World AIDS day.Given the fact that I am in a small town in the south here AIDS isnt taken as seriously as it is in the bigger cities.Here in uni it is the ANGELS volunteer assoc that deals with AIDS awareness that are making an effort.There is a table on front campus where people can get pamphlets,info and badges.I got badges and gave them out during the intl students meeting yesterday.
Here in the states AIDS is still a disease for minorites and gay men.The rate of infections among minorites is 8 times that of white people.I am not going to point fingers but here unless something affects white people in large numbers the powers that be dont do too much about it.What they dont seem to know is that AIDS knows no color,nationality or boundary.
As for back in Kenya I dont know about the lates figures on the battle lines but I have always held the church in great contempt.The Catholics have been vehement in their stance against the use of condoms and birth control.Yes they say that people shouldnt be fornicating.But what should happen and what happens are two different things.They say that giving condoms would encourage people esp the youth to be promiscous, well the lack of condoms has never prevented many people from having a roll in the hay.I would rather my fall to the lust in the flesh happen when I have a condom and be a mere stumble then it to happen without a condom and result in my death.Church folk have also been known to ostracise many among their number for having the virus even though in some cases they didnt get infected due to immorality but by blood transfusions, use of unsterilised equipments or rape.It is known that there are an increasing number of men of the cloth who have the virus.Message to the churches who are doing nothing, You are so heavenly minded that you are becoming useless to the people on earth.
Another thing is that change begins with me and you.Infections are only going to go down when people change the way they behave.I am a firm believer in the ABC program Abstain, Be faithful and use condoms.But with the high rates of infection and the wanton way people act I am a firm believer in just C. Too many people think that it cant happen to me, well guess what?That is what most of the other people were thinking.It shocks me to think that there are still people who think that AIDS is not real even when they see people around them dying from it.
I used to work for an ngo that dealt with PLWAs and let me tell you that I used to hear so many different hear breaking stories that I became a stone.I had to turn to humour to deal with it most of the time.This isnt meant to be funny but I am going to say it anyway.I dont know if any of you used to play those story book games where you had to choose the route for the main character and it would shape up into a different story eg You are a young woman living in the country life is hard and you dont have much do you A) go to the city?Turn to page 4 B) stay in the country and work in your farm turn to page 8 C) stay in the country and try to find a husband?Turn to page 11.
Well if you chose to go to the city you would find that making it in the city was not as easy as you thought it was.You have the choice of going to work in a factory for minimal wage go to page 21. Or you can become a prostitute at a city bar go to page 24.If you chose to work in the factory after a few months you find that the other girls in the factory are being promoted to higher positions despite the fact that you are a harder worker.You talk to one of your colleagues and you find out it is because they are having sex with the foreman.If you choose to do so go to page 25 if you say no go to page 27.If you said yes, you go ahead do so get your promotion only to find yourself falling to mysterious maladies day affter day.You go to the clinic and find out that you have HIV.If you had chosen to be a prostitute one day a client offers you several thousand shillings for unprotected sex.You go ahead and have sex with him as you know you will not see that much money in a long time.You start getting sick some months later, go to the clinic and you know the rest.These and many other scenarios involving men and women I know are the basis for that.I met a young guy who used to take part in HIV awareness, do the test to show people how harmless it is, do peer counselling that sorta thing.This guy got a girlfriend and got infected the first time he had sex!Yes it is a sad state of affairs.These people are more then numbers at the end of the day.
I think I have derailed myself.What am I trying to say?Well when it comes to AIDS ignorance cant hurt you, it will kill you!
Well I have said enough about individuals now comes the government.I think the government is far from showing sufficient conncern in this area.Yes they have set up testing centres and doctors in public hospitals are being trained on how to treat HIV.But the health facilities in Kenya still cant meet the demand of people suffering from every day illnesses and accidents.Good healthcare is the preserve of the rich and well connected.In Kenya if you either have to die or auction off your belongings to pay your bills.It doesnt help that a large number of unregulated HMOs crashed with Kenyans money and that most of them and insurance companies are still at a loss when it comes to dealing with HIV.I think there has to be a total overhaul when it comes to dealing with HIV at higher levels.Some private sector companies ie HACO have made efforts to treat their employees which I applaud.I think the government should know that a sick company is not a productive nation and if people are not productive that means a whole lot less taxes for them to use to buy new mercedes benzes and build houses in Muthaiga for their families.As for NGOs!There are several hundred of them in Nai alone dealing with this issue yet we don't seem to be moving?You know why?Coz many of them are cash cows for some greedy individuals.There was an audit of NACC and it was found that some seats that were bought for a project were furnishing a bar owned by a committee member.I mean it is one thing to steal from healthy people but if you can steal from the sick and dying that's down right despicable!
Anyway I think I am on the verge of rambling.On a lighter note during Christmas it is good to sacrifice so that others can have, with Christmas round the corner I have decided to sacrifice strokes.Seeing as my one source of strokes has decided to go to Kenya on vacation I cant predict when the next strokes will come my way; so that is my heartfelt sacrifice for the under priviledged out there.........

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Order please!

If anyone knows me they know that I am of the old school belief that children should be seen and not heard.Do I dislike children?No not at all but I do dislike out of control wild children.I dont like being somewhere where I am captive ie in a train or a bus and have to sit next to a mama with wailing kids.I also dont like being in places like restaurants where people come in with toddlers and seem to have little or any control over them.That is why I like Dan McCauley, he looks out for people like me!
CHICAGO, Nov. 8 - Bridget Dehl shushed her 21-month-old son, Gavin,
then clapped a hand over his mouth to squelch his tiny screams amid
the Sunday brunch bustle. When Gavin kept yelping "yeah, yeah, yeah,"
Ms. Dehl whisked him from his highchair and out the door.
Right past the sign warning the cafe's customers that "children of
all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when coming to A
Taste of Heaven," and right into a nasty spat roiling the stroller
set in Chicago's changing Andersonville neighborhood.

The owner of A Taste of Heaven, Dan McCauley, said he posted the sign
- at child level, with playful handprints - in the hope of quieting
his tin-ceilinged cafe, where toddlers have been known to sprawl
between tables and hurl themselves at display cases for sport.
But many neighborhood mothers took umbrage at the implied criticism
of how they handle their children. Soon, whispers of a boycott passed
among the playgroups in this North Side neighborhood, once an outpost
of avant-garde artists and hip gay couples but now a hot real estate
market for young professional families shunning the suburbs.
"I love people who don't have children who tell you how to parent,"
said Alison Miller, 35, a psychologist, corporate coach and mother of
two. "I'd love for him to be responsible for three children for the
next year and see if he can control the volume of their voices every
minute of the day."

Mr. McCauley, 44, said the protesting parents were "former
cheerleaders and beauty queens" who "have a very strong sense of
entitlement." In an open letter he handed out at the bakery, he
warned of an "epidemic" of antisocial behavior.
"Part of parenting skills is teaching kids they behave differently in
a restaurant than they do on the playground," Mr. McCauley said in an
interview. "If you send out positive energy, positive energy returns
to you. If you send out energy that says I'm the only one that
matters, it's going to be a pretty chaotic world."

And so simmers another skirmish between the childless and the
child-centered, a culture clash increasingly common in restaurants
and other public spaces as a new generation of busy, older, well-off
parents ferry little ones with them.

An online petition urging child-free sections in North Carolina
restaurants drew hundreds of signers, including Janelle Funk, who
wrote, "Whenever a hostess asks me 'smoking or non-smoking?' I
respond, 'No kids!' "

At Mendo Bistro in Fort Bragg, Calif., the owners declare
"Well-behaved children and parents welcome" to try to stop
unmonitored youngsters from tap-dancing on the 100-year-old wood

Menus at Zumbro Cafe in Minneapolis say: "We love children,
especially when they're tucked into chairs and behaving," which
Barbara Daenzer said she read as an invitation to cease her weekly
breakfast visits after her son was born.

Even at the Full Moon in Cambridge, Mass., a cafe created for
families, with a train table, a dollhouse and a plastic kitchen in a
carpeted play area, there are rules about inside voices and a "No
lifeguard on duty" sign to remind parents to take responsibility.

"You run the risk when you start monitoring behavior," said the Full
Moon's owner, Sarah Wheaton. "You can say no cellphones to people,
but you can't say your father speaks too loudly, he has to keep his
voice down. And you can't really say your toddler is too loud when
she's eating."

Here in Chicago, parents have denounced Toast, a popular Lincoln Park
breakfast spot, as unwelcoming since a note about using inside voices
appeared on the menu six months ago. The owner of John's Place, which
resembles a kindergarten class at recess in early evening,
established a separate "family friendly" room a year ago, only to
face parental threats of lawsuits.
Many of the Andersonville mothers who are boycotting Mr. McCauley's
bakery also skip story time at Women and Children First, a feminist
bookstore, because of the rules: children are asked not to stand,
talk or sip drinks.

When a retail clerk at another neighborhood store asked a woman to
stop breast-feeding last spring, "the neighborhood set him straight
real fast," said Mary Ann Smith, the area's alderwoman.
After a dozen years at one site, Mr. McCauley moved A Taste of Heaven
six blocks away in May 2004, to a busy corner on Clark Street. But
there, he said, teachers and writers seeking afternoon refuge were
drowned out not just by children running amok but also by oblivious
cellphone chatterers.
Children were climbing the cafe's poles. A couple were blithely
reading the newspaper while their daughter lay on the floor blocking
the line for coffee. When the family whose children were running
across the room to throw themselves against the display cases left
after his admonishment, Mr. McCauley recalled, the restaurant erupted
in applause.

So he put up the sign. Then things really got ugly.

"The looks I would get when I went in there made me so nervous that I
would try to buy the food as fast as I could and get out," said Laura
Brauer, 40, who has stopped visiting A Taste of Heaven with her two
children. "I think that the mothers who allow their kids to run
around and scream, that's wrong, but kids scream and there is nothing
you can do about it. What are we supposed to do, not enjoy ourselves
at a cafe?"

Ms. Miller said that one day when her son, then 4 months old, was
fussing, a staff member rolled her eyes and announced for all to
hear, "We've got a screamer!"

Kim Cavitt recalled having coffee and a cookie one afternoon with her
boisterous 2-year-old when "someone came over and said you just need
to keep her quiet or you need to leave."

"We left, and we haven't been back since," Ms. Cavitt said. "You go
to a coffee shop or a bakery for a rest, to relax, and that you would
have to worry the whole time about your child doing something that
children do - really what they're saying is they don't welcome
children, they want the child to behave like an adult."

Why suffer such scorn, the mothers said, when clerks at the Swedish
Bakery, a neighborhood institution, offer children - calm or crying -
free cookies? Why confront such criticism when the recently opened
Sweet Occasions, a five-minute walk down Clark Street, designed the
restroom aisle to accommodate double strollers and offers a
child-size ice cream cone for $1.50? (At A Taste of Heaven, the
smallest is $3.75.)

"It's his business; he has the right to put whatever sign he wants on
the door," Ms. Miller said. "And people have the right to respond to
that sign however they want."

Mr. McCauley said he had received kudos from several restaurant
owners in the area, though none had followed his lead. He has
certainly lost customers because of the sign, but some parents say
the offense is outweighed by their addiction to the scones, and
others embrace the effort at etiquette.

"The litmus test for me is if they have highchairs or not," said Ms.
Dehl, the woman who scooped her screaming son from his seat during
brunch, as she waited out his restlessness on a sidewalk bench. "The
fact that they had one highchair, and the fact that he's the only
child in the restaurant is an indication that it's an adult place,
and if he's going to do his toddler thing, we should take him out and
let him run around."

Mr. McCauley said he would rather go out of business than back down.
He likens this one small step toward good manners to his personal
effort to decrease pollution by hiring only people who live close
enough to walk to work.

"I can't change the situation in Iraq, I can't change the situation
in New Orleans," he said. "But I can change this little corner of the

Alternative rock other genres and me

Over the years I have had a large variation in the music that I have liked.when rap hit when I was younger and everyone was listening to tapes of NWA, Heavy D, Ya kid K I was there ( shut up!I know I'm kinda old! ) to when Doggy style,Deathrow, Tupac hit.I also remember the slow jams days.But sometime when I was in my first year of college I discovered Alternative rock.This was way before the days when people used to flock to rock night and around the time Capital FM was still white.Anyway my first acquisition was "These days" by Bon Jovi.It was like a best of compilation.I still have it somewhere for the sake of posterity.Let me tell you when I used to listen to that music I would get a all sorts of sneers and disses from the peeps.It was ironic that the same people talking smack were the same ones who were later crawling to me to borrow my cd's when they and the rest of the city got on the rock train.
Anyway I have listened to and still have the music of a wide range of artistes e.g
1.Matchbox 20 - Loved their first album and third was pretty good.Track to download "3 am"
2.Rob Thomas - Love his vocals so had to follow him after he left MB20.Track to download "my my my""this is how a heart breaks"
3.Third Eye Blind - First and second albums were stellar, they lost their best guitarist on the third so I'm not feeling them that much.Tracks to download "Jumper""Motorcycle drive by""Blinded"
4.Dave Matthews Band - Liked their best of when I was in uni but nowadays I'm just not feeling them.
5.Cheryl Crow - Loved her first 2 albums.when she parted ways with her long time producer her music to me just lost its' edge and went soft.Tracks to download, "leaving las vegas""the difficult kind"
6.Alanis Morisette - Loved her first and second album.Few people can make angst sound that good.Tracks to download "thank you""King of pain""Ironic"
7.Sarah Mchlachlan - Have always loved her deep haunting voice.I don't like her new album that much but many of her songs esp "Angel" have a special place in my heart.Other good tracks "Adia""Ice cream""Silence"
8.Counting Crows - One of my all time best bands.Loved their first 2 albums still have them.Problem for them is that they set the bar too high for themselves but I still love their music even though at times they sound too folksy for me.Tracks to download "round here""long december"
9.Sting - I know you cant call his music rock but most Kenyans would so I am goin to put him in the list.I think he has a wonderful voice and who can forget song lyrics like "Don't stand so close to me" or "Fields of Gold"
10.Disturbed - Yes the name says enough.These guys are pretty hard and to me their best work was in the first albums.Who couldn't feel the sheer anger in songs like "Down with the sickness" and "Stupefy"
11.Depeche Mode - These guys have been around forever!50 million sold and still counting.Who can forget classics like "tainted love""enjoy the silence" and the new song "precious"
12.Gorillaz - This virtual band makes my day.They might be all cartoon but their music is anything but that."Clint Eastwood""Feel good inc" and the latest "Dare" make my day.
13.Dido - Also not rock but this gal has a great voice.Who can forget her song "Thank you" and "you make me feel"
14.Daft punk - Yes I am moving from the alternative rock base I had began with but I love the electronica these guys made.some of their best songs were "around the world""harder,faster,stronger"
15.Linkin Park - List wouldnt be one without them.Nu-metal existed before them but they made it go mainstream.Most of their stuff is pretty good but I think "In the end""papercut""numb" are some of my faves.
16.tom Petty - This guy is part of American rock history and his music makes for good listening.Good tracks include "don't come around here""learning to fly"
I still have loads and loads of artistes and genres that I haven't mentioned both new and old.But this post could go on forever if I did.I recently took to listening to chillout music and I also listen to movie scores one of my favourites being Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.I think that is why I have to get hold of an MP3 player soon so I can get my music together.At one point in Kenya I had like 200 cds, let's say my best pal had a ball coz I could only make half into mp3s and carry only my favourite originals.Anyway try to get hold of the suggested tracks if you can't holla at me and Ill see what I can do....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Back to work and school.I am really not in the mood, I got here one hour late coz there was an accident on the free way and I want to have a nap so I am leaving one hour early; boss ain't here today!Here are some pics for ya'll to enjoy

Drivers must have been wondering what that grainy stuff flying around was....

Gotta spread the holiday spirit!

You have to deal with the unions first!

Who knows where people's feet have been!Better safe then sorry!

Can you keep a secret?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Another interesting night part 2....

Okay so where was I?Oh yeah we were hopelessly lost and roaming the highways in seach of Route 85 North.We were on 75 West which is way off.So after getting past a toll station which let us know that we were almost on our way to Alabama we managed to get another route that got us into the city.We were no closer to where we were meant to be but at least we could make a start from there.After going round within ATL for almost an hour and even passing joints like 112 which you always here being mentioned in rap songs we got to a gas station where we found someone who had a slight idea of how to connect to 85 North.So as we were driving off my bro asks if I want to go home and I was like after our impov road trip there was no way that was happening.After a while his pals called and asked where we were, oh these pals at one point told us to wait off the highway that they would come for us and later tell us that it would be better for us to get there and that they would meet us;punks!
So after being lost for one and half hours we made it to the after party.It was being held in a hall at the back of a motel.This was clearly a chini ya meza affair.No ID asked for at the door and minimal security.The hall had the appropriate heng joint lighting at least.But the heat in that joint!It was like Zig Zag all over again.I don't know how many of you knew that joint in Hurlingham.It had two hengs in one and in the earlier days had minimal or rather no air con so it was like henging in an oven when it got packed.Anyhow there was quite a crowd there and the usual Kenyan pints were in force ie Heineken and Corona.
There was a young dude who made my night.The guy had had too much to drink so he decided to lie down.Where he chose to do so had quite a few empty beer bottles and what happened is that since there was not too much going on around him everyone was putting their empty bottle there, creating the appearance that this guy had drank all those beers and passed out.As we were enjoying the sounds who do I see but Jn.She was looking pretty sawa and pretty sober too.She had come with her usual clique whom I know.So we got to talking to find out how much she could remember.Not too much but she even stayed at home the night before because of all that drama and drank a whole lot less after that.So moving on we had a ball.Yes this was the same chic I was cursing some posts back but I guess when it comes to walevi (drunks), I usually don't hold grudges coz they hardly know what they were doing when they were high.Anyway the pints flowed and in true Kenyan style the bash continued mpaka che ( dawn 6am ).
Now it's going to be back to school and work as usual.......

Another interesting night

On Saturday night I had decided to spend the night watching cable but some old pals of my small brother wanted him to go for one of the Kenyan bashes going on so he invited me to come too.Anyway the club where the bash was being held was some way off like a one hour drive away.Here due to the smoothness of the roads and the fast flow of traffic a one hour drive means that the place that you are going to is some way off.Anyway since we left home late we got there at midnight.
With the mass of humanity that I saw I found it amazing that there are so many Kenyans in Georgia.The joint was so full that we couldnt get in and the police had come to tell them to shut down the joint at 2am so that nothing could go wrong.Yes you could say that many of the people at the bash were from other states which could be true but visitors were still a minority that and the fact that there was a parralell bash going on somewhere else so that meant that there were even more Kenyans in town.
Anyway what happened is that since we couldnt get in we managed to get fliers for the after party.The directions didnt seem clear so what we did is that we followed my bro's pals ride as they followed someone else.As the guide sped off it seemed that he did not know where he was going as it seemed that we were going the opposite direction of where we were meant to be.To make things worse the guys we were following lost him.So what we decided to do was to look for the nearest highway that would put us back on the right track and this we would do by following my bro's pals.After driving for almost an hour what happened is that my bro took an exit by mistake.So we had lost the other guys and were hopelessly lost in the outskirts of Atlanta.To be continued.......