Scratchie\’s World

School Done!!! Other stuff in life to write about now….

The weekend

Hi all, What’s up. I’m not in a thinking frame of mind this morning so I’m just hailin yuh all up. Weekend was ruff. I was away from office sick on Thursday and Friday so I should have been resting right…wrong. Instead I was swatting for a test on Saturday afternoon for a course which I really can’t stand but hey if you gotta do it, you just gotta do it. What can I say about the test…the results will speak. On Friday I was on my way to pick up my kids when the damn car start making all kinda noise. What the heck was that? Turned out to be a torn strut mount. Had to drive on some ruff roads the other day and I figure it got damaged at that time…oh great…more money that I hadn’t planned for. Then the test. The multiple choice was ruff. Had to guess quite a few but the other section was good. I should get near full marks on that. Hopefully I’ll pass. Didn’t make it to church because I overslept. I was told that I’m lazzyyyyyy. I will probably agree. Then I realized that one of my favorite bloggers is “taking a break”. I’ll really miss her comments while she’s not around. They usualy had great insight and encouragement but life is life. So much for ending the weekend on a high note. Kinda just puts the icing on a really sh*tty weekend doesn’t it.
The high points were my online chat and my gardening yesterday. Not that I’m putting these two things down but when you look at the whole picture, I need a life.
I finally decided to get some flowers in the yard. It’s not my place but I still think it should look decent nuh true. so off I went and spent yesterday gardening. School work will suffer slightly but I had had it up to my eyeballs with school work.
BTW, I was told by a beautiful young lady that she actually reads my stuff here on a regular basis. She doesn’t comment but now that I’ve been ID’ed I’d better be careful about what I write….Yeah rooight!!!
Just to say thanks to those who stop by regularly and to invite those who don’t speak to tell me that I’m chatting crap or otherwise if you insist. I’m just in a bad mood today so self pity is the order of the day. Now that that’s off my chest…have a great day.

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February 28, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Short Story

Here is the story I’ve written for my Culture assignment. Hope you guys like it. It’s long but I know you’ll suffer through it because it’s me. I have an exam tomorrow so I’ve been absent from the blog scene. I know you’ll understand.

The Circle of Life
by Scratchie 2005 02 22

Billy turned down the long avenue that led to his house, just near the other corner of the road. He had passed this way many times before and although there were other more scenic ways to get home, he preferred to use this route as it took him past the church to which he had recently been appointed pastor.

At sixty years old, he was not as agile as he once was but he was still tall in stature and by no means feeble. The years had taken their toll on him but he was a survivor and always had been. As he passed by the church, he stopped to look in. The doors needed to be fixed, several windows were broken and the yard needed to be bushed out but “Time will take care of all things”, he had told the congregation last Sunday.

As he stood outside the church, his mood changed from happy and carefree to a more reflective, almost sad, but at the same time grateful one. As he moved away from the church, a strong voice from across the road shouted, “Hi Pastor. Tell the misses howdy for mi. Good to si yuh man, but careful how yuh walk by yuhself dung dat side. Di bway dem ah still terrorist yuh nuh!” The voice belonged to Miss Daisy. She had lived in the community all her life and had long since grown accustomed to its nuisances.

Billy responded with his captivating smile and a wave and moved on. As he walked down the road, he exchanged pleasantries with several other persons who, upon his appointment, had also become his parishioners.

As Billy pushed through his gate and made his way up the pathway, he was greeted at the door by Renee, his lovely wife. They had been married for twenty –five years and she had been his companion and soul mate for at least another ten before that. She had stood by him. He called her his salvation and although she could really only partially understand why, she knew her husband had his reasons. She accepted this place that she held in his life. It was a position she knew she would fill for many years to come, God’s willing.

As he lay in the dark, a tear slid down his cheek and he remembered the seemingly insignificant exchange with Miss Daisy. Billy closed his eyes and the memories flooded back to him as if they were yesterday. It all started 35 years ago, but in truth it had started a long time before that. Billy had been the leader of a group of boys who called themselves The Untouchables. They all came from the nearby lanes that were a haven for criminal activity, even from way back then. Billy and his crew would emerge from the lanes to prey on the neighbouring community. Guns and knives were the weapons of choice, while their targets were anyone and everyone that happened to be in the wrong place at the ‘right’ time. The gang was infamous for housebreaks, armed robbery and automobile theft. They had been accused of rapes and murders but those were merely stories that had turned into folklore by over-active imaginations.

Billy remembered the night he met Renee for the first time. He had seen her before, while he and his boys scouted the community for future pickings but he had not met her. As times grew harder, the gang’s activities became more daring. One night, as he and his boys moved through the community, they came upon a car parked outside a house. A man was standing beside it talking to a young lady. They seemed like an easy target. The rest of the gang stood back as Billy approached the couple, gun in hand. As Billy prepared to commit his crime he had no idea that the series of events that were to follow would change his life forever. As Billy pointed his weapon at the man with a menacing gesture and demanded money and jewellery, in what seemed like a flash, a gun appeared in the man’s hand and a police identification in the other. As a matter of instinct, Billy fired two shots in the man’s direction and turned to run. It was the first time in his life that he had fired the gun and definitely the first time he had faced such resistance from any of his victims. In essence, the hunter had become the hunted.

The police officer returned the fire but Billy could not remember hearing the gunshots. He however felt the burning as one of the bullets tore through his shoulder. His friends had long since vanished, leaving him to sort out the problem he was in by himself. As he jumped over fences in a bid to escape, he could feel his shirt being soaked by the hot blood coming from his wound. As he turned the corner and ran through the church gate, his feet just simply would no longer carry him. As he fell in the church yard, he recalled that people screamed and his last memory, as he faded from consciousness, was the face of the young lady who propped his head on her jacket and ran to call for help, despite the promptings from her church brothers and sisters to keep away.

Billy awakened in hospital five days later and found himself handcuffed to the bed and under police guard. The next day he was surprised to see the face of someone that had been a part of his dream. It was the same young lady who had gotten him help on that eventful evening. With the permission of the police officer guarding Billy, she introduced herself to him as Renee and offered to pray with him. Billy never spoke or offered any reaction as Renee sat by his bed and read from her Bible. She visited him three more times during his stay in hospital and during those visits he never spoke to her, not even to offer his name. She had asked him once but it was the police officer who told her that his name was Billy. Billy the Kid he called him and chastised her for “wasting her time on street trash who would probably kill her if he got the chance”.

The trial was swift and Billy found himself sentenced to prison for a term of ten years. He did not see Renee for several months and had long since forgotten about her visit which he considered a bother since it bore no meaning to him, an illiterate ghetto boy with no future. Who cared what happened to him anyway? It was the way of life. He got caught so now he rots in hell.

One Sunday, as he walked along the cold damp hallways of what he now called home, he heard singing coming from a room in the far corner of the prison yard. The voices of fellow inmates were heard as they sang and chatted. Billy was drawn to the music and as he looked in, he was shocked to see Renee and several of her church group leading a prayer meeting for the prisoners.

Billy left without joining in but he heard the singing several times after that. He always stood at the door and enjoyed the music but never went in. On one such occasion, Renee came to the door and invited him in. He reluctantly went in and sat at the back. She offered him a song sheet and he took it from her, not wanting her to know that he could not read. He held it in front of him until the end of the meeting. During the meetings, the church brothers and sisters spoke of God in their lives. Billy listened but he could not relate what he heard to his own circumstances.

At one meeting he stood holding his song sheet and Renee pulled him aside and asked him if he would like to join the basic school program that her church was involved in at the prison. He looked at her and she smiled and told him that she noticed that on several occasions he had held the song sheet upside down so she knew that he could not read.

Over the next 3 years, Billy attended classes and learned to read and write. He never missed a prayer meeting. Renee continued to work with him until she was reassigned to another ministry in her church. On her last visit she brought Billy a gift; his very own Bible. Billy continued to attend the meetings but not as frequently and he read his Bible, probably because of what it represented and not so much for what it said, but he was proud of his gift.

At the end of his sentence, Billy was determined to make a difference but more importantly, he was determined not to go back to what had brought him here in the first place. But where would he go?

He remembered the interest and care of a young girl who saw the better part of a “misguided” boy. He had long since stopped blaming his situation on his absent father and his lot in life. He attended church that Sunday with the hope of seeing Renee again. His wondering eyes searched every pew throughout the service but she was nowhere to be seen.

As he emerged through the doors, a bit disappointed, and stood on the front steps, a sea of faces greeted the stranger. The hand on his shoulder was as warm as the smile on the face of the person he saw as he turned around. Her greeting assured him that he was home.
The rest of the memories passed in a blur: the business venture, the wedding, his reception into church, the children, the house. Here he was, almost three decades later, a different man; husband, a father, businessman, and pastor. If life had changed so much for him, it could change for so many others as well. He knew what he had to do. Renee had been his salvation; it was now his turn to follow the call to complete the circle of life.

February 25, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

CQ

I was reading an article in the Harvard Business Review last night after class and found it quite interesting. I thought I would share a bit of it with you. What the backside is CQ? Well since you asked and I’m generous with my ever widing knowledge base I will provide insight into this topic. CQ is ……..wait for it…………Cultural Intelligence. There I said it. Cultural Intelligence is essentially an individual’s seemingly natural ability to intepret someone’s unfamiliar and ambiguous gestures in just the way that person’s compartriots and colleagues would (according to the article) and even mirror them.

We live in a society where we are now constantly interfacing with other cultures. We are here chatting online with people from other countries, from other backgrounds and essentially from other cultures. It is no longer isolated to persons who do business abroad. We here in this circle of bloggers require a certain amount of CQ.
According to the article, CQ is related to emotional intelligence but picks up where emotional intelligence leaves off. In it’s opening paragraph the writer refers to a poster advertising the global bank HSBC. It shows a grasshopper and the message: “USA – Pest, China – Pet, Nothern Thailand – Appetizer”. This one seemingly insignificant insect has three different meanings to three different sets of people, totally unrelated except for their interest in the grasshopper.

CQ is essential in today’s business environment. A Western businessman meeting with a Japanese investor stands to greet his guest and extends his hand. The Japanese man bows turns and walks away simply because a meeting in the US is opened with a handshake. In Japan the handshake comes at the end of the meeting to seal the agreement. By extending his hand to the Japanese the US businessman has indicated an end to the meeting. By having a high CQ the US businessman would have observed that the Japanese man did not approach with an extended hand and would probably have realized that this was not a part of their culture.

One critical element of CQ is the propensity to suspend judgement. Instead we are required to observe current action and predict future action by observing interaction.

CQ requires input from 3 sources: head, body and heart. Learning , doing and feeling.
The Review puts forward a 6 step process for cultivating your CQ. This process involves identifying strengths and weaknesses, selecting appropriate training, apply training, reorganizes personal resources to support the desired approach, enters the cultural setting that needs to be mastered and finally reevaluate your progress.

(Source: HBR October 2004.Article entitled “Cultural Intelligence” by P.Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowki)

Examine your own CQ. Is it high or low.

Later guys.

February 23, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

A Jamaican Icon

Decided to divert from my usual stuff based on a special request. So here goes.

Onandi Lowe was born on 2 December 1974. He emerged as a member of the Jamaica National Team – The Reggae Boyz in 1995. Lowe has proven himself as an all-rounder on the field and was a member of the Jamaican contingent to World Cup Competition in France. Under the direction of former technical director Rene Simoes it was said that Lowe would become one of the best sweepers in Jamaica and one of the finest worldwide.

Hosted by Photobucket.comLowe’s ability to play as defense, midfield and striker has branded him as an all around talented player.

Nandi, as he is popularly known has had stints at several football clubs both at home and abroad. These include: Rushden & Diamonds FC, Kansas City Wizards, Arnett Gardens and Port Vale. He has attracted the attention of other internationally renowned clubs such as Arsenal in the English 1st Division League.

His career has not been without its share of ups and downs. His early career was blotted with incidents of violent physical retaliation for hard tackles against him sometimes resulting in his spending many games on the sideline, having been issued with red cards. This sort of high strung behaviour spilled over into his professional career and more recently he has had a brush with the law that saw him brought up on drug related charges. He was arrested on April 14, 2004. He was cleared of all charges last week as is now free to continue his career.

Over the years Nandi has earned the nickname “Big Man” probably because of his 6’3″ 200lb frame that towers an imposing image on the field of play. A past student of Dunoon Technical High School, Lowe despises incompetent referees and negative comments and enjoys music by several artistes. He lists his ideal mate as needing to be smart, intelligent, possessing a sense of humour and a well toned body.

I am not a football fanatic so my views may conflict with others but I stand by them. It has long since been my opinion that Onandi Lowe is a talented player. I am however, of the opinion that talent alone is not enough. Thankfully (some may say) that I am not the person in charge of team selection or Mr. Lowe would have long since been dropped. I firmly believe that one must adhere to a code of conduct when one represents your country at events. Mr. Lowe has stepped out of that box on too many an occasion. If you are an imposing player then one should expect to be the target of many a team, but in the same breath I believe that the management of those incidents is the responsibility of the game referee. No player has the right to take the rules into their own hands. In doing so you disgrace an entire nation. I do hope that Mr. Lowe has matured. I am uncertain if he will ever again represent Jamaica but I do hope that he has learned from his experiences.

I don’t think he is married, so Kami might still have a chance if she ever gets to Jamaica. You might have to fight off the girlfriend(s) though. Sunshine, not sure if he’s your type. Sorry Mel and Camp, you are spoken for already.

Later all.

February 22, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Weekend Review

Hi all, It’s Monday again and I really don’t wanna be here at work but I don’t think Mr. JPS and Mr. NWC and Messrs. C&W will accept that as an excuse when I can’t pay them their due so “I owe, I owe so off to work I go……”

I had one of my major presentations on Saturday morning. We were asked to do a half hour presentation on the service gaps existing in government entities. We used our handouts and Powerpoint slides and at the end of the presentation we were graded as “excellent”. The lecturer didn’t even expand on anything we had said and didn’t dispute the presentation. She said that my co-presenter omitted an area of enforcement/sanctions for non-compliance of staff in delivery but she said that it didn’t detract from the presentation in any way. We also handed in an individual piece for grading. Resits are around the corner and the mad place still has not published last semester grades…so mi don’t know if I have any to do. I know I passed one of those that I was concerned about but the other (Marketing) remains outstanding.

Had a group meeting yesterday. Started at 3:00 and finished at 7:30. 4 1/2 hours of work on Sunday. It went well though. The project that we were at point A last week is at 1st draft stage and should be totally complete by Wednesday. All in all this semester is actually a better one for me. It is more work but because of the volume of work you are forced to stay on top of it. That plus I think the subjects are being better presented this time around.

I put my hooves down with the Tall One over the weekend and it got some good results (if only temporarily). He actually completed another project and will hand it in today ahead of schedule.
I was actually able to stay in my bed last night as a result of having gotten somewhere with the assignment so I’m in a pretty OK mood this morning.

Well the baton has changed in the political arena. Mr. Bruce Golding was yesterday elected as leader of the Jamaica Labour Party. Mr. Seaga, who had vowed not to attend the meeting on grounds of being dissed (disrespected) during the week by adverts alluding to a new leadership and the retirement of old leadership styles with an old leader, turned up at the conference anyway. He entered amids much celebration at his arrival. My only comment at this point is that an era has ended. Allbeit that it should have ended a long time ago. I am hoping that with new persons in charge of leadership that the party will embrace a new vision that will foster the growth of our small nation. Mr. Golding said that mr. Charles, his challenger

February 21, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Same old, Same old

It’s gotten cooler again so I know you guys in Canada have frozen tushies going on. Hush it’ll soon be summer again.

Why is it so difficult to get teenagers to understand that life doesn’t revolve around music, clothes and cell phones? It seems that over the past year or so all I have been doing is stressing myself over the Tall One’s study and school habits. He has exams in three months that will determine the path his life takes. We quarrel almost daily and the house has literally become a battle zone.

His side:
Under too much stress (yeah, right)
Too much work ( it is manageable if you don’t leave it all till the day it’s due)
We are always at him to do something (you are always downloading music or chatting on the phone and then expect that all else stops when your assignments are due and you need help)

My side;
What assignments are due now? (I don’t know, I’ll have to check)
What are the due dates (I don’t know, the teacher never said)
What are you to do ( I don’t know, they haven’t finished going through that yet)

Now, am I the only one who feels that I am sending this child to school, paying some serious money for him to know stuff and he seems to be coming out the system at the other end knowing less than when I put him in the system in the first place. I have tried and frankly I can’t do much more than that at this point. I made a decision a long time ago that I am his parent and not his friend so I will continue to nag the ra$$ out of him until I am satisfied that he at least accomplishes the requirements of basic living on this green and blue ball. I will take the dirty looks and the snide comments (until they get too fresh, then I will shot him a box) as a price to be paid for his own good. I guess I’m seeing things from the other side.

Hell, I don’t want him to be struggling at school at age 40 like his father. Those were my choices back then. I went to work instead of to college. I did the postponing of education until I decided it was time to get this thing done. I haven’t been the worse for it but I can definitely see where my choices could have been better.

The most I can do is hope that he will straighten up and fly right. There are too many distractions in life today. My only question is, “where is that sweet child that was born just the other day and who is this that has replaced him?”

I am still looking for the answer.
Later guys.

February 18, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Wicked Dress

Hosted by Photobucket.comThis dress was in today’s daily newspaper. I was wondering if any of the ladies in the blogging crew would want to try making this and then actually wearing it. Maybe a photo or two for the rest of us less brave folks. Mel, Kami, Sunshine, Fyr….any takers?

February 17, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

NIP

Some of you must be wondering “What the heck is NIP”? Well in my scheme of things NIP is Nothing in Particular.

Today is just one of those mornings when nothing out of the ordinary happens and one has a rather boring existence on good old planet earth.

I was up a bit later than usual. My schoolmates came over at about 9:30 and we were working on an assignment that is due shortly. We have been shooting in the dark so to speak and nothing much changed last night. We are still awaiting the epiphany that will guide us on how to approach this madness that they have saddled us with.

This morning I am actually heading out now to get the ole eyes checked. I got replacement glasses last year but I used an old prescription to have them done. These prescriptions are about 2 1/2 years old so they are well overdue for changing. Hoping that the eyes haven’t gotten any worse but I know that that is a piped dream since I have been doing more studying and getting less sleep.

I’ll tell you how that goes when I get back. My essay is complete and it is due to be handed in on Tuesday. I won’t publish it until the lecturer has it and has graded it simply because I can’t bother to try explain and prove that Scratchie and I are the same person. They sometimes do internet searches to try to eliminate plagerism. As a matter of fact, one group from last semester is currently resitting a course because of suspected plagerism. The school can’t prove it as a fact so they were allowed to resit the course rather than being thrown out of the school. But that’s another issue all together. Long and short is that you will see it in about a week or so. I’m telling you now so that you can go get the necessary glasses checks done and reserve some quality time and build that eager anticipation till the day when big tings bus inna Scratchie’s World.

Anyway my appointment is in 5 minutes so later all.

February 17, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Lite Humour

The following was sent to me by a friend so I thought I would share it with you.

The inventor of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Arthur Davidson, died and went to heaven. At the gates, St. Peter told Arthur. “Since you’ve been such a good man and your motorcycles have changed the world, your reward is, you can hang out with anyone you want to in heaven.” Arthur thought about it for a minute and then said, “I want to hang out with God.” St. Peter took Arthur to the Throne Room, and introduced him to God. God recognized Arthur and commented, “Okay, so you were the one who invented the Harley-Davidson motorcycle?” Arthur said, “Yeah, that’s me….” God commented: “Well, what’s the big deal in inventing something that’s pretty unstable, makes noise and pollution and can’t run without a road?” Arthur was apparently embarrassed, but finally spoke, “Excuse me, but aren’t you the inventor of woman?” God said, ” Ah, yes.” “Well ,” said Arthur, “professional to professional, you have some major design flaws in your invention:
1. There’s too much inconsistency in the front-end protrusion
2. It chatters constantly at high speeds
3. Most rear ends are too soft and wobble too much
4. The intake is placed way too close to the exhaust
5. The maintenance costs are outrageous!!!!

“Hmmmmm, you may have some good points there,” replied God, “hold on.” God went to his Celestial supercomputer, typed in a few words and waited for the results. The computer printed out a slip of paper and God read it. “Well, it may be true that my invention is flawed,” God said to Arthur, “but according to these numbers, more men are riding my invention than yours.

February 16, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Waddup….

Waddup Dawgs,
No not the Angry one out by the Kennel….you all.

For those of you who have children, you can’t help but hear the difference in their language. When did bad become good and vice versa, when did telling somebody that they look like sh*t means that they are actually well dressed and looking good.

I don’t know about you but I’m having a hard time just keeping up with the dress code to add language to the mix. I sat and listened to some teens chatting at class last night and I seriously considering commissioning the writing of a teen dictionary so that we adults (even Kami and Dog) can understand the “crap” that comes out of their mouths.

The mode of dress is another issue. Why the hell am I going to a store to purchase a pair of jeans with razor cuts and shredded tears. The reason I’m buying a new jeans is because the old one looks like that. The only difference is that I don’t like it looking like that and it looks that way because it is worn out and has become yard wear. Mi nah pay nobody to do it for me before mi even start wear it.

Onnuu hear di age talking don’t it. My son tried to buy a pants a few months ago. He is trying to tell me (this learned student) that he wears a 34 waist. Breddrin, I wear a 36 so there is no way on God’s green earth that that stick of a boy can wear 34. I worked so hard to get to my 36 an im want to come jump right up there beside mi. Boy pay your dues. 34 and 36 come from years of snacking and junk food. Underwear is no longer underwear since it is worn so that everybody can see the colour, style and cut of it. Not to mention when it stay like batty floss. Not complaining still, but it kinda hard to concentrate in class with such wonderful distractions. Why is it that the men now choose to wear their pants on their hips with boxers showing. For who’s benefit exactly. “Style”!!!

What are the limits that we parents set? Do I allow my teen daughter to go out on the road as rape bait? I think not. I look at some of the music videos these days and some of them should carry an X rating. We argue about the level of teen sexual activity but I honestly don’t think that they are the ones making these movies and videos. They have it shoved in their faces daily, so what do we expect?

I have accepted that they live in a new world and honestly it is a world I don’t fully understand. I’m not so sure I want to understand it either. Don’t get me wrong, prudish I am not but I do believe that there are certain things that should be left until you are an adult. i guess we just have to hug them and hope that the guidance we impart has an impact on how they live their reality.

Nuh true?

Later guys.

February 16, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments