Archive for the 'Musings' Category

21
Apr
09

This Bobolee Is Getting A Serious Beating, Boy!

Yesterday morning, the hit counter on my blog stood at 25,000 hits.  I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least!  At this sentence, the count stands at 25,106 unique hits.

boboleepicture

A Good Friday Bobolee in Trinidad.

[Guanaguanare: The Laughing Gull]

This is a major milestone for me, and for my blog.  Actually, this is my 2nd attempt at blogging.  I used to have a MSN Spaces page at one point in time (http://spaces.msn.com/bluesoapbox was the URL) which I discontinued as I didn’t feel too comfortable sharing my inner thoughts and feelings with the whole wide world at the time.  What got me started again was the 2008 US Election campaign.  I was really appalled some of the things that were being said (and done) during the campaign, and at the same time, I was really captivated by Barack Obama.

A few friends and I were discussing the campaign issues online and one posted a Slate picture slideshow entitled “The Soiling of Old Glory”.   Those pictures invoked memories of a trip I’d made to a Southern US state in the 1990’s.  Those memories helped me write “The Day I Met Jim Crow”, a recollection of the day I met Jim Crow for the first time.  That’s the most widely read and referenced post on this blog to date, with close to 1300 views to date.

I’m really fortunate to have made a few acquaintances thru this second blogging stint; acquaintances I hope turn into friendships as time goes by.  My blog stats tell me that my blog posts have been read from as far west as Alaska to as far east as China.  That really… I don’t know… has me in awe?  I really don’t know how else to describe it… how that makes me feel.

My blog will be a year old on May 24th.  With any luck (and time) I’ll share some more facts and figures then.  In these eleven months (approx), I also started Bobolee Pix, a space for me to share a few of my pictures.  I’ve been stymied with my photography efforts though: someone sniped my camera last month and I haven’t gotten myself a replacement as yet! 😕  Really a shame… I loved taking photos, and my camera and I had just gotten used to each other’s quirks.  I hope the new owner likes it as much as I did! 😕

I’m not a learned scholar, an author, a writer, or a journalist.  Just a simple dude with an opinion (and a way with words, apparently).  I have to warn you, I’m not always able to post as I like due to my real-world commitments!  I wish I could do nothing else but share my thoughts and observations with you each and everyday… and I probably could, but I’ll have to leave my currently well-paying 9-5!  At least, now with my Twitter feed,  we can still share and communicate thoughts on a more impromptu and frequent basis.

Thanks a lot for visiting, thanks a lot for linking, thanks a lot for critiquing, and thanks a lot for sharing!

thank-you

Peace and Rice,

jw

18
Apr
09

I Lost My Twitter Cherry Today

Blame it on @aplusk. Blame it on @Oprah.  Blame it on @CNN even, but yes, I’ve finally decided to join the Twitter brigade.

Twitter is a site where users post 140-character messages that are distributed to groups of people/users who follow their every post… they’re known as “followers”.  The service allows users to “tweet” (post) as well as “follow” other Twitterers.

http://twitter.com/boboleechron is where you’ll find me… and I’m just getting my “sea legs” around the service.

I first got introduced to Twitter during my daily tech readings a few years ago.  Then Keith, a friend and fellow blogger of mine, started using it.  I didn’t seem to think I had the time or the “content” to start a “microblog”.

The recent race to a million Twitter followers between CNN and Ashton Kutcher (aplusk) got my attention… as did the fact that Oprah Winfrey became the latest celebrity to join the service.   Kutcher said that:

“I found it astonishing that one person can actually have as big of a voice online as what an entire media company can on Twitter,” Kutcher says in a video, which was shot from inside a car and was posted on Qik.com.

“So I just thought that was just kind of an amazing comment on the state of our media, and I said that, if I beat CNN to 1 million viewers, then I would ding-dong ditch Ted Turner — because I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”

My first thought was that he was right… Twitter is a great equalizer for the masses.  The people now have the means to reach others and to spread their versions of the real story.

Then I started to think again… just who is Ashton Kutcher?   Besides the fact that he’s an actor and the husband of a famous actress, who is he?  Why would a million people choose to get their “news” from @aplusk as opposed to CNN?  In a sense, his winning the race to a million followers is symptomatic of the problem being faced by all media carriers, especially the traditional press: the masses are no longer interesting in reading yesterday’s news.  Advances in communications and internet technologies are blurring the dividing lines between us all.   The global village is now, and we’re all sitting in the same cafe with the same access to the same gossip about what “Mary” got herself into last night… as soon as she updates her online status.

I read online that some view this race to a million as further proof of the dumbing down of America, and by extension, the globe. I disagree.  A million people wanting to find out more about what Ashton and Demi wore to lunch as opposed to wanting to hear more about the economic plans of the Obama administration isn’t dumb…

No, I don’t think its dumb at all.  Its escapist. Life today is stressful.  People have lost their houses, their jobs, their live savings… its getting harder to afford the basics for most of us as our salaries stay the same or go kaput whilst prices skyrocket.  The comings and goings of celebrities help people tune out of the world for awhile… put a smile or a smirk on a few faces everyday… entertainment.  Besides which, why buy the newspaper cow when the information milk is free? 😆

I hope, if anything, that I get to interact with more of you folks… and even make a few more friends via Twitter.  I’m a later adopter by nature when it comes to technology… I know someone always comes along with something better, faster and stronger on short notice.  Feel free to follow my feed and to post your own in the comments, if you wish.  I promise not to be a spammer, and not to tweet (or retweet) crap!

Peace and Rice,

jw

12
Feb
09

I Miss My Friend – A Poem for the Lovelorn

boboleechron5

I miss the times,
We walked and talked…
about dogs & cats & interest rates…
I miss the hours,
We’d spend together…
Staring at each other in each others’ eyes!
I miss the fun,
We used to share…
On Thursday afternoons…
I miss you, friend,
And always will…
Don’t forget, and please write soon!

boboleechron18

I miss the times,
I’d call you up…
Just to hear you speak.
We’d talk for hours!
Sunday to Sunday…
Almost every day of the week!
I miss your smile,
It cheered me up…
whenever I felt blue
I miss the feelings,
I used to feel…
When I said “I love you”.

boboleechron11

I miss you constantly…
You’re on my mind, in my sleep,
…and when I wake…
I kneel by my bed,
…and say a prayer…
…hoping to see your face!

boboleechron26


But it never happens!
(I don’t know why)
Maybe I’m not trying hard enough…
But, sooner or later,
I know I’ll be reaping,
The rewards of my unreturned love….

I miss my friend…

Will there ever be an end,
to the pain her absence puts me through?
I can’t tell, but I know…
the stronger I’ll grow,
…every second I’m away…
…from you.

©2009 Jude Nicholas Williams

All Rights Reserved.

I wrote this when I had just turned 18.  I’d fallen in love with a girl a few streets away from my home.  She moved to East Trinidad, a few months before migrating to the US, and I was missing her like crazy. This poem was one of my ways of coping with her absence.  It didn’t help pay the phone bill I’d run up though.  😕

Oh, and the pictures have nothing to do with the poem. I took them today, and thought they’d look nice, that’s all.  They were taken in West Trinidad… Chaguaramas and Tucker Valley.

Happy Valentine’s Day.   Regardless of whether you’re “coupled” or not… make the day special.

Peace and Rice,

jw



10
Feb
09

Making Their Mark « Bobolee Pix

Making Their Mark I like graffiti. Always have. I guess it has a lot to do with the freeform expression… the ability to rush a beautiful piece of rebellion onto a surface without getting caught. At school, I used to express myself quite liberally in wood carvings on my desks.

Whole

I call this one "Whole"

Anyway, over the last few years, graffiti artists have been making Port of Spain their canvas of choice. I’ve chronicled some of their exploits in the public space before… <Continue Reading at my photoblog, Bobolee Pix…>

04
Feb
09

Bonnet Angel « Bobolee Pix

Bonnet Angel

February 4, 2009

I was doing some shopping in West Trinidad, and was waiting to meet someone. As I walked to my car, I happened upon this scene and just started taking pictures.

See my other pics at my photoblog, Bobolee Pix

Peace and Rice,

jw

02
Feb
09

The Bell Tolls for Thee, CIB

A few years ago, one of my ‘pumpkin-vine’ uncles gave my father a gift of a Clico Investment Bank (aka CIB) clock.  With a modern look, crisp lines, and a clean design, it soon assumed pride of place in our living room.  It replaced our old clock, which we relegated to a back room of the house.

After a while, we realised that its batteries needed to be changed more frequently than the old clock.  There were several times when someone left the house late due to the clock’s lagging.  Once we realised what the deal was, we did our best to ensure that we always had a fresh supply of batteries nearby.

Then, one day, the clock simply stopped working.

My CIB Clock

My CIB Clock

We changed the batteries; bought new ones in case the set we had were bad…  Nothing.

My father asked me to fix the clock.  “Try something… see if you can get it working, or else throw it away.”

“Pops, I’ve tried everything I could think of to get it working again… nothing I do seems to work.”

“Ah, well… it served its time.  Pity, though… it was a good clock.”

I hang the clock up on the back wall.

“You keeping it?”

“Yeah… leave it with me.  I’ll carry it to get fixed or something when I have the time.”

So the old (but still working) clock was restored to its place in the living room, and the CIB clock hung forlornly on the back wall.

Months pass.  Then… this happened:

(video: CL Financial bailout – pt1/3 | The Trinidad Guardian)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “CL Financial bailout – pt1/3 | The Tr…“, posted with vodpod

CL Financial Bailout Newsday Cover

CL Financial Bailout 4

With all the tension and uncertainty in the air, I decided to carry the clock to get fixed on Saturday.

“How much will you charge me to fix this clock?” I ask, showing the shop attendant the back of the clock.

After inspecting the clockwork mechanism in the back, she says “(TT) $60 (about US$9.50)…  and we’ll replace the entire clock mechanism for you, too.  It needs to change.”

“No problem.  You take LINX?

“Yes.”

“Cool… I’ll wait.”  I hand her the clock.

“Oh!” the shop attendant exclaims.  “Its a CIB clock!!!”

“I figured since they needed to fix the company up that it was time I got the clock fixed up too!”

She laughs.  “Yeah… they really need to get that whole money thing sorted out.”

I wait around for awhile, then decide to leave and return later for the clock.

When I get back, the watch repairman hands me the clock.  “The battery leaked out and spoiled the clock.  We put in new clockwork with a new battery.”

“Where’s the old clock mechanism?” I ask.

“I threw it in the bin.  Its of no use”

“Can I get it back?  I want to take a look at it.”

“Sure… its a paper dustbin, so it should still be fairly clean.  Let me put it in a bag for you…”

He takes it out and shows me the stains the battery acids left behind.

“You need to be careful not to let the same thing happen to the new clockwork,” he said sighing. “Change the battery every 3 months.”

“For whatever reason, this clock eats up batteries, and sometimes we only remember to change it when it starts losing time.”

“Hmm… strange.  Anyway, you take care.”

“I will.  You too.”

When I get back home, I show my father the clock, and the old mechanism.

I put the clock back up on the wall…

The one in the back room of the house.

Peace and Rice,

jw

~~~

More video on the CLICO takeover, here and here.

Follow the story, here.

Here are some historical tidbits from 2004 on Clico’s moving and shaking.

“Clico invests in art” – Trinidad Guardian Jul 15, 2004

SEC, Clico squabble over ‘energy’. Fight over fund – Trinidad Guardian Jul 17, 2004

“‘Best of times’at Clico’s ammonia plants” – Trinidad Guardian Nov 4, 2004.

“Bank now a subsidiary as Duprey takes Republic” – Trinidad Guardian Nov 16, 2004.

“Duprey has Global plans for Republic” – Trinidad Guardian Nov 18, 2004.

Remember, hindsight is always 20-20.

26
Jan
09

Where’s the Change Button?

So Obama and his team are beginning to get settled into their offices… if they could find them, meeting staffers for the first time, looking for the bathroom and the powder room, signing forms and paperwork… kinda like the first day of school all over again.  While doing my daily news-scanning, I ran across a few interesting articles that had me scratching my head in various degrees.

Washington PostStaff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages

WaPo-DrkAges

From the Washington Post

This is one of the first challenges that they’ll have to face.

No Macs anywhere, just computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops are scarce and assigned to only a select few.  No instant messaging, no cellphones for some, definitely no BlackBerrys… no Facebook, no Twitter, no Flickr, no… anything remotely modernised and Web 2.0 related?

The White House?

C’mon!!!  How’re they going to function?

The White House is a beuraucracy all within itself.  It practically runs itself, and is apparently very resistant to change.  According to the article, “The White House itself is an institution that transitions regardless of who the president is.  The White House is not starting from scratch. Processes are already in place.”  Sheesh!!!

In other words, as far as the Oval Office is concerned, all your base are belong to us, Mr. President.  😕

At least they still let you use a BlackBerry!

For a country that’s one of the more advanced on the planet, you know this is one of the things at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that has to change!

“Change” leads me to the second thing that had me holding my head… with laughter, though!

obamachange

From the Big Picture

Seriously though, they have a mountain of debt to climb.  With over 10 TRILLION dollars in debt, they’ll need all the help they can get!

Help… hmm… so who’s volunteering?

Well, DARPA is!  Don’t know who they are? Well,  if it weren’t for them, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation now! 😆

They’re the ones responsible for designing and implementing what we’ve come to know as the Internet, waaaay back in the 1960’s.  Now they want to help stimulate the American economy… which I hope will eventually ‘trickle down’ to the rest of us!

A top DARPA official wrote an ‘open letter’ to Obama… here’s an article from The Register (one of my favourite tech sites) that talks about it:

DARPA-ElReg

DARPA Fix! - El Reg.

I say give them a go.  They’ve done great work thus far, and if anything, it’ll be a shot in the arm for the US scientific community.

I wonder though.  What will they conjure up?

Will it be anything like this?

"Samtron Imperius" - Sinfest Web Comic

"Samtron Imperius" - Sinfest Web Comic

For our sakes, I really do hope the new Sheriff in town finds that “Change” button, and pushes it quickly.

The whole world is waiting for it!

Peace and Rice,

jw

24
Dec
08

Merry Christmas

The Nativity

I want to wish you, your family and all those you hold near and dear, a blessed, happy and holy Christmas.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I still want to wish you all the very, very best as the year 2008 draws to a close.

This was a very momentous year for me – personally and professionally.  I’m really glad I’ve “made it” thus far (with my head ever so slightly above water), and I will remember to take the time to say a prayer for those who didn’t live to see today – Christmas Eve.

I’ve met a lot of people in 2008.  I’ve reconnected with friends past and I think I’ve made myself a few more.  I’ve lost touch with a few others, but I’m hoping to rectify those situations soon, time permitting.

That’s the key right there, you know?

… “Time permitting”

There never seems to be “enough” time… its not something we mere mortals can fully control or fully grasp.  All we can do is make best use of the present of the Present, and gift ourselves a better, brighter tomorrow.

Right now, I’m at home, dressed in sweats, taking a break from cleaning all those nooks and crannies in the house.  As I was sweeping some dust into a scoop, all these random thoughts swirled around in my mind.  I’m a bit reflective at times like these, as the mere occasion of the holiday forces me to think about the imporant people and things I hold dear.

My family.

My friends.  Have I been a good friend?

My career.  Am I all that I could be?

What opportunities did I miss?  What did I manage to get right?  What did I manage to screw up?  How will I do better next time?

A lot of things cross my mind when I raise dust!

Thanks for the love and support I’ve received from you all this year; via email, via my blogs, via Facebook, or just being there for me in person.  I really appreciated all of the helpful comments/suggestions you’ve had to make, even the negative ones.  I’m looking forward to using a lot of them in the new year when I post!

Take care all.  Be safe and enjoy the holiday.




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