Scratchie\’s World

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

Updating again…

Well another week has come and gone and filled with all sorts of things too numerous to mention so I’ll just give you some snips. Well classes resumed with a bang. On the week we resumed we were advised that the final paper for our research project was due on the 31 January so we needed to submit a first draft for review by last Thursday. I just laughed because where we were with the paper finishing by Thursday was near impossible but my group pulled together, sculled a few class and did some horrible nights but the first draft was done and the presentation was complete. We got near full marks for the oral presentation but I suspect we will have some fun with the written report because nuff shortcutting went on as a first draft.

The Shorter Ones birthday was on Saturday. She turned all of 15 (although she doesn’t look a day over 12). She had a good day marred only by the need to attend Saturday classes in Maths. Needless to say she was not amused but went anyway. Her birthday culminated in her family and some friend sharing a cake and an outdoor bar-b-que. Next time I will pay for catering because the 4-5 hours standing over the grill was not funny ūüė¶¬† I swear my hair still smells like chicken.

Watched a movie yesterday and spent the rest of the day clearing up and checking the car. Wife goes for more¬†tests this morning. She has been having some pains¬†in her legs and the docors are totally at a loss as to what it is. They have ruled out all the regular and usual culprits and have identified a possible cause but are now doing neurological tests to see if the nerves are playing a part in the pains although they have doubts about that.¬†What does it mean for us…more expenses but I prefer to spend it this way than in other possible ways if you understand me.

The Taller One started his driving lessons yesterday as well. He has been driving my car for about a year or so but now needs to get formal instructions so that he can go for the test and acquire a full permit. My car has an automatic transmission so it won’t do for the test. He now is learning on a¬†manual shift van. I’ve paid for 10 lesson so we’ll see if he requires any more than that at the end of 5 weeks.

Other than that work is the pits and school sucks but hey life goes on I suppose.

Heard on the radio that¬†the Leader of the Opposition has come out in support of some Mayor who was chastised for having dealings in a company to which government contracts were issued. Now I have been banging the politicians for their Spanish machete style grumblings and this just adds to the list. His support comes against the background that similar things have been done by the ruling party.¬† :-S¬†¬† I guess because it’s being done by the ruling PNP (and trust me the Opposition Leader has been so vocal in pointing out all the errors of and cussing¬†the ruling party that it has been ridiculous) it is OK for one of the opposing party to do it too and get the support of the same person who was decrying similar deeds just a few weeks ago.¬† Just highlights how two-faced and underhanded politics really is.

Cricket is upon us and South Camp Road is still a disaster area. They dug up the roads to lay pipes and trust me, they never spared one section of the road. It is a total mess. I refuse to even drive there to get pictures to show you. I keep hearing that things are on track. Since I’m not a cricket fan it’s all the same to me. Hope the games go well though…. National Pride is at stake here.

Having said all that, I gone do some work.  

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January 22, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

What Have We Become?

The ease with which crimes are committed in today’s society is amazing. It has moved, I think. beyond appauling. We focus on the big crimes¬†so much that we fail to recognize that the small mundane stuff eventually graduates to bigger more intense doings. We hear about the murder and the house breaking and the hold up at traffic lights in broad daylight but do we hear about the “less significant” stuff?

The Shorter One went to her first Sweet ¬†Sixteen party at a secured venue (a hotel). The guest list consisted of persons known to the other teenager, her family and friends. They enjoyed themselves until the appointed time of pick up which was to be 1:00 a.m.¬† At about 12:40 I arrived at the venue and just sat outside since I had told her that I would get there at 1:00 a.m. ¬†(Can’t embarrass her by turning up in house clothes and stand at the door shouting her name, or better yet walking over to the DJ and telling him to announce that she meet me at the door. ) I was just in time to hear another teenager announce over the sound system that her camera had been stolen and asking for its return.¬† The thief had apparently seen her taking photos of the dreses and friends (typical girl thing) and saw her put it in her bag. She placed the bag with the other bags and went off apparently letting down her guard because she was in secure surroundings. Correct me if I’m wrong but I would have expected that this kind of thing would happen at a club or session or something like that but not at a birthday party where your guests are pretty much hand picked. Let’s just say I’m enlightened. We have sunk to a new low when we go to someone’s birthday party…moreso a teenager and subject them to the embarrassment of dealing with theft among their selected guests. ¬†How do the hosts handle this? Do they offer to replace the camera? Are they in a position to do so? How do you trust any of those guests again?

Then we move to the traffic tickets and the cost. Some years ago the system adjusted the traffic fines to some really ridiculous figures to try and deter motorists from breaking the road rules. Little did they know that they were creating a feeding tree for some corrupt policemen and women. In fact traffic offences seems to have increased while the fines paid may well have fallen. Had to laugh although is serious business when a friend told me that he had been stopped and the officer asked him if he was dealing with “left or right?” Not understanding he asked what the officer meant. The man laughed and sent him to his fellow officer who explained that is either my friend lef a money with the officer or he writes the ticket. It was not left but lef’ (lef’ = leave for you non Caribbean readers) and not right but write. I don’t know if the friend went lef or write but this ocurrence is a daily event repeated several times at traffic stops. In a recent article one officer stated that on a bad day the policeman or woman can make US$500.00 easily from not writing tickets due. Why can they do this, because if a motorist is faced with the choice of paying an officer $1000 as against paying a $7000 fine and getting points on your permit which would be the logical choice? The system was addressing one issue and has created another. The taxis and bus drivers still break every rule of the roads, the police are still never around when needed and society suffers as indiscipline increases.

Solution? None that I can think of that will solve all the problems but one that I can¬†put forward is to tackle each issue as an issue. One at a time. Crime is crime. Ignoring the small ones will lead the offender to push the envelope just a little further. Deal with the kids when they bring home the things that you have not bought. “But Johnny gave it to me…..” “Well tell Johnny that I as your parent has told you to give it back and I will provide it if I deem it a must have item.”

Take care.  

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 12 Comments

New Year….. New Things

Not quite. Well by now most of you have seen my new Gallery page. Now I need to populate it with some photos. I’m working on it.

Went to a play this week…”Uptown Bangarang”. The reviewers have been giving it a bashing in the media but my HRM group had already¬†committed to using it as a benefit performance in aid of our course Seminar to be held later this quarter. I went and it really wasn’t a bad play. In fact I rate it as watchable. As with most plays by Basil Dawkins it was along a theme rather than just comedy. Don’t expect the rip roaring laughter as if it were an Oliver Samuels event. It had its bits of humour but it carried a real story line to which many people¬†could relate,¬†serious joke if you wish to call it that. The evening out was good.

I’ve been renting and watching DVDs with a fury seldom seen in my side of the world. Let’s see over the past few days I’ve seen maybe 8 movies and trust me I don’t think I’ve watched 8 movies in last 4 years let alone in one week. I know that by next week when classes get into full swing I will be in trouble so might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

Had to do some tyre changing this morning. On the way to work wife  and I were jolted from our morning chat during our commute to drop me at work by a repetitive thudding from one of the tyres. Trust me, not a good feeling especially when you are still smarting from the $12000  that it cost me to buy them brand new about a week ago. Turns out that it was a zinc sheet nail in one of the rear ones so off to the tyre man for fixing this evening.

I’m suffering at the hands of C & W as I have not had the service of the internet since Wednesday. Now all Jamaicans who have had to call their call centre know the torture I am facing. You can’t use the internet nor can you get someone to talk to as you hold and hold and hold and hold and hold until you get cut off.¬† ūüė¶¬† Hope it gets fixed soon.

My cell phone woes started again. My phone is not the problem. My son’s phone fell and damaged the screen recently and he has been struggling with it. I was also a litlle uncomfortable that he had to be taking the bus to and from school and carrying a thief magnet in his pocket. So I swapped phones with him. He now has my V635.¬†I took his Razr and then traded it in¬†along with a little cash for a V3i (what can I say, I liked the colour of that model). ¬†¬†I got much more than I expected for his broken phone so i didn’t have to fork out too much. I’m not a fan of the Razr but it was a case of the best of the evils. I refuse to buy anything called Sony Ericcson again and I could find anything I liked in the Nokia brand. The Samsungs are all so damn expensive so I did what the marketers call “satisficed”. I took something I could live with for a while. Unlike some people I guess I’m facinated by the¬†phone’s features so I usually end up with an expensive new toy. This one is not much fun since it works and has the same features as my V635 (well not really¬†mine anymore). ¬†I figure he will keep the V635 until he can get a summer job and buy back his Razr. The one he swapped with me was bought by him (against my advice, but you know teenagers) from his pay last summer. The thing is they aren’t ruff and tumble phones and beside they are still a high theft item so the risk on public transport and having them on you triples. I feel a little better now that he has given it up. I guess the malfunctioning did some good. ūüėÄ

Anyways I gotta run…more on me and my escapades later. Enjoy the weekend.

January 12, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 14 Comments

New Page in My Life …errr Blog

Well I finally played around with the pages long enough to figure out how I can get to put photos on the site without using the Flickr feature. The method is kind crude but it serves the purpose and also allows you to zoom in on the photos. I simply upload them and keep editing the single post. The click on the thumbnail makes them one step larger and the click on that photo itself makes it near full page. You can visit the gallery by clicking the page link at the right just above the two pictures there. All except the car were taken with my new camera. Yeah, I know there are only 4 or 5 but you have to give me a chance to get more. I am also sticking to my original plan of not putting any faces there so you will have to bear with me while I sort through all those¬†I have taken to ensure that everybody’s privacy is protected. Till later….¬†¬†

January 7, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Is Blogland Dead?

The new year has found many of my usual reads dead, dying or defunct. At least two of my sidebar links are no longer there and many of those I read regularly are not updating them very frequently. I, myself have been very¬†infrequent with my posts (partly because of school and partly because I just don’t feel like posting anything). Quite often I have nothing of any interest to say and I despise writing just to be able to¬†say that I’ve¬†posted something.

The new year has also seen some reading decisions on my part as there are blogs (two in particular) which I have abandoned reading because I think the writers lack maturity and need to¬†“come again”. ¬†Their posts have been discouraging and in some cases disrespectful and have left me annoyed and disgusted most of the time. Please do not get me wrong, I like a good disagreement on issues as I enjoy the argument and discussion but……

There are those blogs that keep you coming back for the sheer entertainment of the writing. Some of these persons have been threatening to curtail their writings. I fully understand that after a time it becomes a chore to keep what started as an outlet or entertainment going. I look back at some of my older posts and recognize that I am now writing way below what I was doing then. What is the solution? Hmmmm…what’s the verdict?

On another note, the violent crime rate here is quite alarming. Last year 1300 persons were murdered. This averages about 3 per day. Granted it’s down from the year before when 1600 persons were¬†killed but it would seem that the gunmen intend to better the total because the year is 4¬†days old and they have gone somewhere between 15 and 20. Time for a State of Emergency. Frankly, I think we need to get rid of the soft handed approach to crime of any type. Some years ago I wrote about an incident in my then home community where it was alledged that police¬†“executed” 7 young men. The officers were eventually freed of the charges. My view then has not changed and I think we need to tackle the problem head on. My opinion is that if you have an illegal weapon you intend to commit murder with it and should be¬†treated as such. Spare the court and the tax payers the problem. Yes I am advocating zero tolerance!! I cannot fathom the thought that 2.5 million people are cowering in fear because of the hold of a few bad eggs.¬† Yes the communities are at fault because these guys live among us and are known. But how do you trust a police system where when you report a crime the policemen show up at your workplace announcing that they wish to speak to¬†John Brown who reported XYZ….. And then there is also the problem that said policemen who receive the report will go to the alleged criminal and extort money in order to facilitate the release from arrest. Please do not get me wrong, not all police are corrupt but quite a few are and it would be an insult to intelligence to think otherwise. I have seen bribes paid for traffic offences with my own two little beady eyes.¬†The police showing up at someones workplace is something I have witnessed so I am not talking from hear say.

Well I start my final 2 semesters next Monday. I am actually feeling that the end of college life is near and i can only say that eager anticipation abounds. Three subjects this semester and maybe four during the summer and then I’m outta here. I have been asked if I am going on to the Masters programme and it took all the restraint I had inside to stop from punching that person out cold. Are they crazy?…..after 5 years of non-stop study to go add another 2 years to that???? Over my dead body (and I mean that literally). ¬†

Anyways till when next I write. I have some photos from the new camera to share but I keep forgetting them on the laptop and since school has not restarted it is not a part of my daily luggage so until then the blog remains bare.   

January 5, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 18 Comments