Scratchie\’s World

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

Holding a bit

Sorry guys, I know I have been absent but we go through this every semester. It’s that time again….mid semester tests are right under my a_ _ ……let’s call it my soul case. In addition each subject has a major project so time is of major premium right now. I promise to keep up the reading but the writing gonna have to take a short snooze. If I find a “must share” topic then yuh know how it go but not gonna log in just to tell you that the sky is blue.
And traffic is making things really miserable here at home. It took me an hour to move 2 block lengths from off Aldinton on to Hagley Park Road last night just so I could turn on to Woodglen. I am really sorry for the people ging all the way down Hagley Park Rd. because they were not going anywhere in a hurry. If it weren’t for the policeman who directed me on to the right hand side of the road and allowed me to make my turn it would have been at least another hour in just that little section of the route. The shortcuts to China (potholes) aren’t making it any better either. Some of those craters can swallow cars and SUV’s whole.
Anyway I start chat and soon can’t stop, so till later…….

October 25, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Finally….

Well the rains have finally subsided. They started last Friday and fell consistently until this morning. The skies still seem a bit shakey but certainly not looking like what it looked liked over the past few days.
What was that?…..Seems we may have had our 1st ever tornado here in Jamaica. The geography people are a bit skeptical and the eyewitnesses are less than accurate in their descriptions simply because we have never had one of those things here at home. Whatever it was did some seriousdamage to a couple of houses in St. Catherine and one man said it sounded like a truck and dirty up the air wid bed and board and leaf and dresser.
Well I hear that I am being moved to a different section for a while. This is to act at a level above my current position. Yes, it means a little more pay for a while but it also means more headaches. We’ll see how it goes.
I just heard that I still will not be having any classes this evening but I really don’t mind. The roads are horrible following the rains and I not into the night driving on pothole riddled roads at all. Front end parts not cheap and besides, my car has on alloy wheels which can only be gotten as a set, so if one gets damaged yuh know is 4 haffi buy.
Haven’t gotten to the blog reading yet but soon. Been busy trying to sort out people in crisis. We have staff in St. Catherine that have been cut off by the flooding and some spent 5 hours in traffic yesterday morning trying to get to work and several of them got here before daylight this morning trying to avoid the rush. This means that they will probably spend the better part of this evening sitting in traffic to get home. The management are considering letting them leave an hour earlier to alleviate some of the stress of the peak hour rush. Most roads are open again but only partially and yesterday saw 5 lanes of traffic trying to use 1/2 a lane. It ruff mi tell yuh. Hope it gets better today. It highlights the fact however that an evacuation method will not work since the routes that are blocked are the evacuation routes and is only so many of them anyway. Can you imagine 5 hours to move about 3 miles.
Anyways it could have been worse so I give thanks.
Later all…back to the slave labour.

October 20, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Heroes and More…………….

Well, yesterday was National Hereos’ Day here in good ole Jamdown. We have all of seven hereos to our credit. For those of you non-yardies they are: 1) Nanny of the Maroons 2) Marcus Garvey 3) Paul Bogle 4) Norman Washington Manley 5) Sir Alexander Bustamante 6) George William Gordon 7) Sam Sharpe. Have I gotten all of them. Think so. Each year the country pays homage not only to these spoken heroes but also to the many men and women who are, in their own right, heroes. These men and women who have served long and hard in their fields of expertise are honoured in a special ceremony held at the Governor General’s residence on National Heroes’ Day. This blog says thank you to you all for your dedication to this nation.

On another note, well my mother returned to the island on Sunday. She is well and glad to be back to her own bed and tv and family and husband and high prices and……oh well you get the picture. Nowhere better than yard.

Rain rain rain rain rain……….non-stop since Friday. Seems like we are in for more since Wilma doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in a hurry. As long as she isn’t a duplicate of “Wrong way Lenny” which moved eastwards instead of doing the usual west and up thing. I tried to walk in the grass on Sunday and sank in mud up to my knees. So I’ll have a hell of a time explaining the two huge footprints in the lawn. Anyways I have a new recruit today so I gots to go early…..

Later guys…..

October 18, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

The Little Piece of Jamaica that Flies



I saw one of our aircraft flying low overhead this morning and it looked soooooooo good. Air Jamaica is one little piece of Jamaica that takes the beauty and the glory of the Jamaican people wherever it goes. I got these photo through a Google search. The last photo shows the colour scheme of the older Air Jamaica era. Kinda dull and boring, nuh true? The latest colour scheme is depicted on the other 2 aircraft. It just struck me that few other countries can boast of an icon of their nation that is arguably the “most beautiful bird in the sky”.

Have an Air Jamaica kinda day.

October 12, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Nothing Going On

Well life this week seems to be relatively mundane. Nothing too much going on in my neck of the woods and I kinda like it that way.
I’ve taken up a kalookie on a weekend just for relaxation. I learnt this game many years ago but had stopped playing. I guess my escapades will continue until I get tired of it or until the schoolwork gets in the way again. I have managed to place a consistent third on the last two ocassions that I have played. This week I hope to move into a better spot. Eight of us have been playing regularly and the fun and games have continued well into the wee morning hours. We are now looking at shifting to a different night and earlier times so that we aren’t making our ways back to our respective homes when is only dog barking out on the road. Wifey, who is new to the game, won on our first play night and came in fourth last time.
On a diferent note, the Students’ Loan Bureau has had consistent problems with loan recipients who refuse to repay the sums owed after completing their course of studies. The fund is a revolving one and therefore any non-repayment is actually taking the bread out of some other child’s mouth. Arguments have been put forward about the rates of interest being too high and the service they received and………. the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that you got the money and you knew the repayment rates so why complain now. Regardless of the service you received you got the money you paid your school fees and you are now making good returns on the investment you made…pay the money. Bottom line is that there really is no excuse.
They have now begun to publish the names and photographs or the delinquent borrowers in the daily newspaper. Now I am sure that other organizations are similar to mine and I know my management is watching those lists like hawks. I have no problem with the list being published, provided that all the groundwork is accurately done to ensure that people whose names are published are delinquent borrowers because that could lead to some serious embarrassment on the borrower’s behalf and, I can state categorically, loss of jobs in some arenas.
I have also heard of people who have gone in and paid their entire balances upon requesting an outstanding balance status and several months later are told that they remain delinquent because the amount calculated was incorrect. My view is that the calculating officer should be held accountable (financially and otherwise) for that type of error. I wonder what the legal profession would say about this. One way of protecting yourself is to obtain a loan discharge document. I fail to see how you can tell me on one ocassion that I have completely repaid your money and then tell me some days later “oh sorry you still owe me because I haven’t finished with you yet” and “I am going to put your name in the papers because you don’t pay me”. I think that amounts to extortion. What you think.
Anyways, enough chat from me. Later all.

October 11, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Don dead

Well things have certainly been heating up in here since morning. On the news this morning there was a report that a car occupied by a political figure Babsy Grange was shot up and one of its occupants died from wounds. She was not hurt.
In another news item Chubby Dread, an area “leader” or don as they are more commonly known was shot and killed near to one of the island’s night spots early this morning. This has kinda sent downtown into a reaction mode. Any time one of these dons gets killed the whole area feels the after effects. Places mysteriously burn down and other area activists end up stuffed into barrels etc. So everybody gone into extra careful mode today especially down by my office which is at the outskirts of the community in which he operated.
The third news item is of a fire in the shopping arcade downtown. I guess the 1st reaction for the don’s death. Who knows. At this point one may also add…who cares. It is so unfortunate that these situations have become so common place in modern Jamaica. My view is..as long as them leaving innocent people alone…them can gwaan kill off themselves.
As for me,…well all I can say is that I am exhausted. School taking its toll on me. Circumstances may also change at work but I will let you all know how that goes as soon as all is confirmed. It may mean that my computer related activities may be restricted and reshuffled and my blogging may be reduced to those days that I am at home early but we’ll see.
Anywayz I want to wish you all a great weekend. Take care till later.

October 7, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Mid Week

Hi All,
Blogger has been messing with me for two days. I had my first in course test last night. I can’t say how I did. Results will tell I guess. The assignments are coming fast and furious so I will need to get organized or get swallowed up by them.

I finished my brake repairs (or as much as I set out to) on Saturday. It was a real easy swap and I got it done in about 90 minutes. And YES! the car stops …yes! before it crashes into anything. I tried to take some photos but the camera looks like it’s definitely on the last now. I will salvage what I can and post about my project later in the week.

Other than that, things are pretty much OK with me.

Back to work.

October 5, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Art Critique

Well here is the critique I promised so long ago. I saw something similar on Dorna’s blog and promised to post it so here goes.

Equus

The sculpture I have chosen to critique is entitled “Equus”. The sculpture forms a part of the artwork in the Caribbean Sculpture Park at the University of Technology. The Sculpture Park showcases several artistic pieces from artists across the Caribbean.

The Artist
The sculptor’s name is Lance Bannister. He was born in Barbados where he currently resides. Lance Bannister is a doctor by profession and is noted in his homeland for creating art from discarded car parts. Some of his other works, including his interpretation of Rodin’s “Thinker” and Jurassic Park, are located in a park called Iron Gardens near to his practice in Barbados.

The Sculpture
“Equus”, as the name implies, resembles a horse reared up on its hind legs. The word equus is defined as a genus of animals that incorporates horses zebras and such like animals. The piece stands approximately nine feet tall and is made entirely of welded metal and for the most part is constructed using discarded car parts. The entire work of art has been painted silver and is mounted on a rectangular base that has been so constructed to allow the horse to swivel 360 degrees. It falls under the genre of realism. The piece is undated and is identified solely by an erected metal plate denoting the name of the artist.

The backbone of the sculpture is one inch corrugated steel that has been bent to take the shape of the horse. The underside of the frame is constructed of metal bars which appear to have been auto motive stabilizer bars. The horse’s head is formed using two control arms welded together side by side. The eyes are made of ball joints and the ears are pieces of muffler tubing that have been cut and welded to the control arms. The gaping hole that forms the mouth of the animal has been filled with a crankshaft sprocket that realistically resembles bared teeth. The neck, backbone and tail are made of automotive tappets of varying sizes.

The ribs of the animal are molded from what appears to be varying lengths of trim pieces. These pieces form a rib cage that provides a 3 dimensional aspect to the sculpture. The thighs and buttocks of the horse are constructed again using four control arm pieces welded together. These provide the natural form required at those points. The legs of the horse are made from connecting rods of varying sizes welded together and ending in pistons that form the hooves of the horse. The hooves have been mounted on ball joints to enable slight realistic movement in a light breeze.

My Impressions
It is evident that much thought and planning has gone into the creation of this spectacular piece of work. The pieces have been chosen to complement each other and to provide a realistic dimension to the sculpture that enhances the viewing pleasure of the audience. In the absence of any literature surrounding this piece of work one is forced to examine it from the onlookers point of view.

The horse, throughout history, has been a symbol of freedom, power and strength, speed and agility, transport, beauty and reliability. If we recall in mythology the horse has featured prominently in a variety of ways. Odin’s steed was depicted as having eight legs, Apollo’s chariot was drawn by stallions, the centaur which was half human half horse and probably the most famous was Pegasus the winged horse. In ancient Chinese tradition, the horse’s symbol was one resembling an arrow or spear which symbolized direction and purpose. Egyptian kings owned horses as a sign of wealth and freedom.

The Caribbean is defined by the melting pot of other cultures as its people, from their many backgrounds, influence the evolving of a unique culture of its own. Each island, though different, is joined by a common thread. The horse, I think, brings this common thread to bear. It defines the strength, agility, ability, beauty and the majesty of a people that at one time were slaves.

For me the horse carries a different significance. I am essentially what one would call a car fanatic. I have always been intrigued by their mechanics and the power of their engines. Each part must fit precisely where it was intended to fit. Today, two of the most powerful cars carry the horse as their symbol; the Ford Mustang and the Ferrari line. These cars have been designed with the beauty, strength, speed and power that modern engineering can afford them. The description that is given to these machines is remarkably similar to that of the Caribbean people.

Car parts for me have always simply been used and discarded. Some can be rebuilt but for the most part they are destined for landfill. I find it intriguing that someone could find use for old discarded junk and by taking it a step further to use their creativity to produce such a strikingly recognizable and well-proportioned piece of artwork. I am drawn to the sculpture possibly because it is designed and constructed around something that I find quite relaxing and interesting. I am awed that someone would even think to use material in this way. I am elated that instead of being thrown down to destroy the environment that someone has found a usefulness for waste material to make it beautiful again in a different way.

Conclusion
Equus is by no means a perfect sculpture, nor do I think it was intended to be. It was left in its form to show the molding of its pieces from their origin. The artist has however placed a high degree of significance to minor details. He instead pays close attention to proportioning and adds some realism by including moveable parts. This is evidenced by the inclusion of teeth in the sculpture and the use of ball joints. If one were to examine the symbolism, its very design and construction represents a creativity that is indigenous to the Caribbean. It represents the rising of a thing of beauty from what was once seen as trash.
“Equus” is indeed a Caribbean symbol. Its place among the other works of art in the Caribbean Sculpture Park is well deserved. It is a true representation of the people of the Caribbean region, creative, majestic, powerful, strong but most importantly free.

October 2, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 14 Comments