Archive for the 'News' Category

26
Jun
09

When Words Fail…

…say it with music.

michael_jackson

[Rolling Stone]

Rolling Stone

young-mj

Rest In Peace, Michael Joseph Jackson.

Also, check out this Rolling Stone Pictorial “Michael Jackson at 50: Rare Early Photos”.

Peace and Rice,

jw

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

07
Apr
09

Wrong Country? No Love…

You know something’s really wrong with the US economy when not even the “local” girls want to marry American men!

india-bachelor

Ineligible Bachelors: Indian Men Living in U.S. Strike Out

The Wall Street Journal article points out that:

Vikas Marwaha would normally be considered a good catch by Indian parents seeking a husband for their daughter. The 27-year-old software engineer earns $80,000 to $100,000 a year and comes from a family “of doctors and engineers,” according to his profile on a matrimonial Web site.

But Mr. Marwaha works for a start-up Internet phone company in San Francisco. And because the U.S. economy is wobbly, that’s a problem. Many Indian parents now are balking at sending their daughters to the U.S. to marry.

Interactive Graphic

Check out this interactive “Indian Singles” ad at the journal!

Until recently, overseas candidates would quickly elicit 10 to 15 responses from young women, says Smita Seth, 55, owner of Manpasand Marriage Bureau in Ahmedabad. But in the past few months, she has had to coax parents to even consider overseas grooms; they prefer men from their own towns instead.

In order to find a suitable bride, many Non-Resident Indian (N.R.I.) men leave their successful US jobs, try to find suitable jobs at home and begin the search for a bride, anew… where they’re being confronted with the fact that its pretty hard these days to find a “bride who is smart, fluent in English, and ‘simultaneously, docile in the house’.”

I wonder how other bachelors from other cultures worldwide are coping… the potential brides too!  Someone should do a study on this… it seems that the general trend is reversing.  People are leaving the US now, instead of flocking to it!

The reason? Pretty simple actually… as the Mighty Sparrow succinctly put it in one of his classic calypsoes:

Pic from Afrobella: A young Mighty Sparrow

[Afrobella]

“No Money, No Love”

Peace and Rice,

jw

PS:  Here’s one N.R.I. male who shouldn’t have any problem finding himself a bride… 🙂

Democratic Convention[Chicago Sun Times]

I want to wish you all the best in your new job, man!  8)

10
Mar
09

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2009 Pics

Hey folks!   I know I haven’t posted in a bit, but I was kept really busy at work.  I guess I should be thankful – being busy at work means that at least I still have a job!  Not many can say that, so I am grateful!  🙂

Like I mentioned in my last post, I was on the road for Carnival… Tuesday.   My feet hurt, my abs hurt… everything but my head, which was real niiiice.  So Monday after Jouvay, yours truly simply chilaxed by the girlfriend.  So we hit the road on Tuesday.

Here’s some of what I snagged.

Enjoy… more to follow!

Peace and Rice,

jw

UPDATE:  I’ve posted more Carnival pics, here:

https://boboleechronicles.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/trinidad-carnival-2009-part-deux/

…and here:

https://boboleechronicles.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/trinidad-carnival-2009-tuesday-night-mas/

05
Feb
09

Dollars and Sense

Could this (below) be a reason why the World Economy is in the tank right now?  I certainly hope not!

Video from http://failblog.org/2009/02/04/verizon-math-fail/


political-pictures-barack-obama-my-stimulus

[Pundit Kitchen]

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.




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