Scratchie\’s World

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

Higher Politics…

On Monday I was flipping through the Jamaica Observer, one of our local newspapers, and saw this letter . Apparently one of our prominent government figures refused to meet with the British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott because the DPM refused to apologise for Britain’s involvement in slavery. I didn’t bother to search for the article so I can only go from what is suggested in the letter.

On May 29th, another reader wrote to the observer distancing himself for the first letter. That link.    Today another reader wrote a rather sarcastic letter which actually caused me to smile a bit.  Here is that link.

Now frankly speaking I cannot take sides with Mr. Henry nor can I discount his stance since this topic is one which must pull on the ethical stance of each individual and I fear the debate of that here will lead to server overload.  Should the DPM apologise? Some argue “yes” because his countrymen have caused the problems we now face as a region others “no” because they were not committed by him but by his ancestors. I can think of numerous arguments on either side. One thing that I am certain of is that for the majority of us in the Caribbean we would not be here today, alive and reading and commenting and writing were it not for slavery. We are the products of that era and whatever the cause, the end results, for the most part, haven’t turned out too badly. So in a sense we have to give thanks for slavery. Ironic isn’t it?

As for the growing debate in the Observer?… I read with interest, simply because I like the argument.  I will state that I do not agree with the writer of the apology since I feel that the decision is an individual one. Mr. Henry is doing or did what he feels is right and i won’t knock him for it. If you feel he is wrong then tell him, Mr. Henry, that but do not assume the role of speaking on behalf of a nation since there are many who feel that Mr. Henry is right. I do not think that an apology forced from someone who does so under duress is worth the breath it takes to issue such. So if they refuse and you feel strongly about the isuue then simply move on in another direction.

What do you guys think?

May 31, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Miss Universe

I caught part of the Miss Universe on tv last night. That was a rough crowd when it came on to Miss USA bwoy. She was not having a good night at all. The networks are replaying her fall during the evening gown section over and over again. The crowd in Mexico actually “boo”ed her during the final section. I thought I had heard them before but wasn’t too sure but my suspicions were confirmed when she went up to answer her question. The questions that were asked, I will leave for another post.

Congratulations to all the ladies. My pick from the top ten was Miss Korea. What can I say…I liked her dimples.

May 29, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

It’s Raining It’s Pouring The Old Man is…

…is at work slave labouring 😦 . Well I finally carried the car to get the air conditioning compressor repaired. It has been half working for a year or so but I decided not to push my luck. Call it retribution if you wish but as I drove into the shop on Saturday it starts, rain like I haven’t seen in months.  So a one hour job takes 3 hours. It has been raining since. Yesterday afternoon was nuff rain and water on the roads and it has been raining all morning.

I don’t mind it though. The place is cool and green so I won’t even think of complaining. The funny part of all of this is that the damage to the compressor was caused by last years rains so now that it has been fixed the rains start again, so I guess I’ll be doing the same repairs again next year.  

Until the next time of writing I’m just enjoying the rains. 😀

May 28, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Just some Thoughts

I went back to the Passport Office this morning to collect my passport (which should have been ready from 11 May 2007). Past experience with government services caused me not to even try to collect it on the stipulated date.  We complain bitterly about the American Embassy but we overlook the things that belong to us. Firstly, I arrived at 7:25a.m. only to be told that customer parking is all but non-existent and I must go try reason with the guard at the plaza so off I went because talking to the rent-a-cops is like talking to a wall. They have one programmed response. I eventually found an unchained plaza and parked there, quite a distance away I might add but parking nonetheless. I received a number that meant that there were 104 persons before me.

As I sat and began to take notes…The mother with the two girls that put them to sit under the tent and continued on her phone call some distance away…the girl up further whose underwear was obviously too tall for the pants she was wearing… the elderly people made to stand in the sun because there simply is not enough room at this location to accommodate the volume of persons who must go there…the crude police and security personnel who deal with people in the most offhanded and rude manner…I should extend that statement to the Immigration supervisor as well, plain old no manners…the two little girls who ran off upon seeing daddy and immediately swiped his phone to play games.  The young girl who got up to give the lady with the baby a seat although there were so many young men, it took a young lady to do the right thing…the father supplying a drink for his young daughter…the way some parents spoke to their kids…the varying ringtones for all the cellphones ringing under the tent…the heat…the airconditioned issuing area where you spend 10 minutes after waiting almost 2 hours outside in the sun…the doctor and her two children waiting among the ordinary people, who probably wouldn’t have recognized the ordeal that they go through for government services and who will probably pay the travel agent for the next renewal…the men selling everything from rags to passport holders to drinks to snacks to sunglasses…actually getting a “you’re welcome” in response to your “thank you”.

So many different lives interacting by one common ordeal…getting a passport.

May 24, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Wicked Machinery and Other Things

Well not much going on right now. Life is plain and ordinary. Decided to do some gardening this week. Wifey teaches Saturday classes at home so I’m limited in what I can actually do. This week I decided to cut the grass and do some cleaning up. It would mean getting home at 5:30p.m.  and working until the sun goes down at about 6:45p.m. I started on Tuesday but every evening it’s as if fate had it in for me. On Tuesday, I ran out of gas for the mower so I had to take valuable time to go buy some. By the time I got back I was only able to finish the front lawn without even trimming the edges. On Wednesday I tackled the back yard with the mower and managed to finish the main areas. Took out the weed whacker and tried to start it. Would the damn thing start. I pulled and pulled until the string actually sored my fingers. The stupid machine finally started giving me only about 10 minutes of daylight so I would be at it again for a third day.

Yesterday I got a little smarter. I decided to service the machine so I went and bought spark plugs and trimmer line and gas lines for it. It took me 15 minutes to do the service and I was able to finish up the edges front and back and even help out by doing my fathers edges with the whacker.  Now, with the Friday morning pains, I think I’m going to pay a gardener next month. I’m getting too old for this crap. HR people do not make good gardeners, trust me on that.

Last night we had some rains. It cooled down the place but the rains brought about an hour of lightning and thunder with it. The flashes followed one after the other while the thunder fought to get some time in between to have itself heard. The Shorter One hates it and after the 1st flash she moved from deep sleep to in my bed in one swift motion. That pickney sleep bad 😦 She twisted and turned and added to the aches and pains of a wannabe gardener. 😥

Wifey’s brother is in the hospital at UWI for some serious chest pains. They are, although not sure of what is up after doing several tests, treating him as a heart attack case. He has been there a week and still no definitive word on what is wrong. Without getting into too much details I can say that our health system needs some serious overhauling. You have a heart attack possibility on Thursday of one week and you schedule test to determine if it is indeed a heart attack for Wednesday the following week because ” these tests are not done on a weekend”. So I guess serious illnesses must be confined to Monday thru’ Fridays. Then the hospital sends his wife to go buy the needed drugs at a pharmacy because the hospital is “out of stock”. Where else but in the Caribbean.

Update: wifey’s brother went to the Heart Institute for further tests. Turns out he has a healthy heart but he does have a blockage in an artery. He was discharged on Friday with some strict instructions and medication to try and clear it. Hopefully surgery won’t be required.  

I need to get a new living room suite but I can’t gather up the courage to go look at the prices in the stores. I know I’m in for it.

Anyways all have a great weekend. I’m going to try and enjoy mine. Not looking forward to next week since my final semester starts with a bang on Monday. Classes are 4 days per week 4 hours per night. Plus I have a 45 hour portfolio to do outside of class time. So in essence….see you all in August (if I survive). I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as how it looks on paper.    

May 18, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 11 Comments


Am I the only one feeling that society has gotten really impatient? I can’t remember when it started or can’t tell you where it will end but I just took note yesterday that the use of car horns and aggressive driving has gotten very prevalent here in Jamaica. It woould seem that some of these drivers are wired into the traffic signal. yesterday I sat in traffic at Manor Park and “what the heck?… Isn’t the light red?…so why are those three cars forcing their way across the traffic?” Then you sit at the lights and all around you the horns start blaring as soon as the light goes green. You can seriously see why people get shot in road rage incidents.

 On a slightly different note, I am unable to comment at Taylor2nd site. It keeps asking me to enter personal info which is there already. And I can’t log on at all to Leon. The screen just gives me a blank white page sandwiched between two orange sidebars.

Update: both work when I use Firefox as my browser but they play the fool under IE.

Have a great week all.

May 14, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Hot Dog

Such a simple bite to grab when you are in a rush. Thats’ just what happened to me last Thursday. I was asked to drop my sister at the airport as my father who had been asked seemed to have forgotten. It wasn’t an issue since I was on leave. On the way back the pangs of hunger started to gnaw at me and by time I reached the round-about by Harbour View I could bear it no longer. I pulled into the Tiger Mart, (the tuck shop at an Esso service station) and ordered a bun and cheese and a soda, but by time the cashier was ready to take payment, I spotted the hot dog and changed my order. Now ordering food in a gas station is a no-no for me so you can imagine the hunger pains I was feeling. I can tell you that the hot dog never made it out of the gas station. Whap, whap….two bites and it was a fading memory. I don’t know if it was hunger or it was the gas fumes around or it was the real deal but that hot dog was the best hot dog I’ve ever had. For those who know me I go to the movies just to buy the hot dog that they sell at the theatre, and trust me, this hot dog beat the movie hot dog hands down. IT BAAAAD MI TELL YUH!!!!  The sausage, the bread, the ketchup, the mustard and the relish and chopped peppers just met and fused and formed a symphony of food. I would chance it again. Maybe I’ll stop on my next airport run and I’ll tell you if it’s a consistent thing or just a figment of my imagination. Oh…the cashier never look two bad either 😀

Later all.  

May 8, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I’m Here…if only for a while…….

Yeah Scratchie is still alive and kicking. If you follow how this last semester went you would have buried me. The past few months have been the most stressful since I started at that self-inflicted torture called school. I begin by asking why does one put oneself through all this agony and madness, just so that at the end of it all (5 years in my case) to get a piece of paper that says I have been well taught and maddened by the same place that issues said piece of paper. Something not quite right with that. Well I look forward to August when I can hopefully say that this chapter of life is behind me.

Welll I have neglected all blog related activities over the last month or two and I don’t even hope to catch up on the reading. I am actually on 5 days vacation one of which i used to do exams. Most courses this semester did not carry final examinations so you can imagine the course load. anyway…it done and gone. 

Last week I went with my family to Pricesmart (a local subsidiary of one of those foreign wholesale shopping members’ club). I got what I wanted and was driving out when the car about 4 cars ahead seemed to not be going anywhere fast. In order to enter the place you are issued with a pass to kind of help secure the car from walk in theft. The woman (I deliberately didn’t say lady) apparently could not find her pass. Instead of trying to retrace steps and search she was busy cussing out the security officer who was actually doing what they are suppose to do…stop her from leaving. With a growing line of traffic and nowhere to park she apparently found the card in a huff and told the security some choice words (all audible from 3 cars away) and proceeded to throw the pass out the car window at the security officer. The fast thinking and visibly upset officer came down the line of cars and asked each to back up slightly and opened the in gate and allowed each car parked behind her to go through and stated quite emphatically that there is no way that she was going to 1) pick up the pass and 2) let her out unless she came out and handed her the pass since when she arrived it was not flung at her.  I left shortly after and did not see how it ended but not before I applauded the security officer for her actions. Some of our people need to learn to show civil respect to others. The security officer was doing her job and wasn’t in any way being antagonistic as far as I could tell. Not because we feel that she is “only a guardie”, the fact is she is a human being earning a days pay in very trying circumstances.

Apart from that my ground orchid bloomed again this week. I’ve had this plant for years and it has only bloomed once before so I’m happy. Here is a picture of it.  

 Sadly, one of my dogs died on Friday. We came home to find her dead on the back verandah. She wasn’t ill as far as we know and we can only guess what happened to her. We have rulled out poisoning because the other one is fine and we didn’t see any signs of anything like that. My daughter (the owner of said pet) was visibly upset and cried for several days. She now has a picture of the dog on her phone as her screensaver. I can understand her love as it was through her getting Crystal that she got over her fear of dogs. I am seeking to replace her for security reasons so I am hoping that she will find it in her to grow attached to the new one.

The cricket madness is behind us and life continues. I restart school in 3 weeks so I’m making the most of my free time now. I actually went to the passport office to renew my travel documents which expired in March. To avoid the major crowd I actually drove there at 5:30 in the morning to get a ticket. This in hand I went back home and returned at 7:30 when they open. The extra trek saved me several hours there since I was in the very first batch to be seen. Oh, don’t think I was the 1st person at 5:30……I got number 85. The numbers started at 48 so there were about 37 people there before me….at 5:30 in the morning. I was processed and out of there by 8:15. 45 minutes as compared to 4 hours of waiting. I will get my new passport in a few days time. I must say that the system has improved for processing and with the exception of one idiotic immigration officer, who was making more of a nuisance of himself than helping, the system seems towork reasonably quickly.

At any rate I think I need to halt at this point and I’ll fill you in some more later. Take care all. 


May 3, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments