Archive for the 'Rants' 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

23
Mar
09

Sign Of The Times: The Prisoner Transport Van

justiceontime

A shot of a Prisoner Transport van stuck in traffic ahead of me on a rainy day.

It’s around 9.30am.  I’m twiddling my thumbs, bopping my head to the music, while waiting my turn to cross the intersection.

Then it hits me.

Court cases start at 9am.  There were prisoners in this van… I assumed they were being taken to the Magistrate’s Court right down the street… and it was 9.30am.

“Justice… On Time?

The camera comes out…

*Click!*

*sigh* 😕

Peace and Rice.

(For those interested, this was taken at what’s known as “Green Corner” in Port of Spain… the corner of Park and St. Vincent Streets.  All the buildings on the corners are no longer painted green anymore, but it still retains the name.  The vegetarian place on the left painted itself green.  Let’s hope the others follow suit sometime.)

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



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

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

01
Nov
08

Obama, Powell and the Caribbean Connection

As most of you know, I was “out of it” for a while due to some real world work and other committments.  While I was mainly off the Internet for those few weeks, I got so busy that I even fell behind on reading my local newspapers and watching local news stories on TV.

I wasn’t completely out of it, however, as I did my best to check my news reader to skim the headlines, but not much else.    Today, I picked up last Sunday’s Trinidad Express (Oct 26th 2008) newspaper, and randomly flipped it open to page 4 where I saw this:

[Also posted here]

Now I’d heard and read snippets of Powell’s endorsement, but I had *no idea* that the soldier in question was a Trinidadian.  Like Powell, I was taken aback by the hateful language emanating from the McSame-Failin campaign.  All those shouts of “terrorist” and “kill him” sent chills up my spine.

The thing that gets me is that, with few exceptions, the people who are calling for Obama’s head and calling his policies “socialist”, “communist” and “marxist” are overwhelmingly CHRISTIAN.

If Jesus were on Earth today, I’m sure he’d beat them like they were snakes disguised as moneychangers in a temple.

My condolences to the Khan family.  We just celebrated Eid earlier this month in TnT.  I’m sure Kareem was missed.  He is the 2nd (dead) Trinidadian soldier who’s made an impact on the American political scene.  I’d mentioned the first, Kendall Frederick, in my post “Who Are These Jokers, Anyway?”

Kendall got killed by an IED, too.  He was on his way to getting his citizenship papers regularised when the bomb exploded as his convoy passed.

The general was quite right in my view to call out the Republican party for not doing enough to stop the name calling, the race baiting and the fear mongering.  They’re encouraging it deliberately, and that’s wrong.

Trinbagonians are a blessed people.  We’re tolerant of almost everyone and anyone I can think of, with very few exceptions.  Muslims have played very important roles in our twin-island state.  They’re politicians, policemen, doctors, lawyers. They play a part in every facet of our lives.  Even our last head of state (the President) was Muslim.  When he died, a lot of people mourned. He was regarded as a good man by all.  This is not to say that we don’t have problems with each other as a nation — of course we do.

Ashley Todd

Ashley Todd

The thing that gets me about the American religious far right is that they seem just as extremist and fanatical as any of the Muslim terrorists that they love to attack (if not more so, given the lengths they’ll go to smear, right Ashley?)… and they do everything in the name of Jesus!

Jesus was (is) the ultimate man of peace, love and respect for one’s fellow man. Jesus was (is) all for “sharing the wealth”.

Faced with such bigotry and hate from his supposed followers, if Jesus were to come back now,  what would He *really* do?

Dvorak Uncensored

I never imagined that Trinidadians had such a major role to play in the US elections.  I’m sure quite a few people would’ve changed their minds following Powell’s endorsement of Obama and strident criticism of the G.O.P.  For all we know, that swing could make the ultimate difference when the votes are tallied on November 4th.  Powell wouldn’t have made the stirring endorsement without the contribution of that fallen Trinidadian soldier.  It carried more poignancy, more weight, more consideration than it would had he made the endorsement earlier in the primary season, when it was clear that Obama had enough votes to be declared the Democratic nominee.

Its even more apt when you consider that Powell himself is a Caribbean son, having Jamaica-born parents.

As I’d mentioned in tail end of my post “The Day I Met Jim Crow”, Powell had only to let out that he was *just considering* running for President when he was besieged by enough death threats to make his wife change his mind.  Obama has had to endure all manner of threats against his life since he started getting closer to the prize.  Let’s not trivialise it… Powell is just as much of a “war hero” as McCain, if not more so.  He was injured in wars, and saw the effects of war first hand.  He’s directed troops to fight against enemy troops in dangerous encounters.  He helped shape Bush’s foreign and national security policies, until he resigned in 2004.

Powell’s opinion is not to be scoffed, or taken lightly.

As a Caribbean man, while I’m truly sorry for the lives that were lost, I’m proud to say that I’m glad we made a considerable difference in shaping the future direction of the American political landscape.

We helped change the world.

Boblee Pix: VOTE !!!

The future of many lies in the hands of the American voter…

American Buddhist Perspective

American Buddhist Perspective

Vote!

Please Make The Right Choice!

Peace and Rice,

jw

27
Oct
08

I Didn’t Vote For Obama

I was reading my email yesterday, when I came upon this gem on a web forum.  I don’t know the original author, but I think he makes a good case for his reasons as to why he didn’t vote for Barack Obama.

As is my usual custom, I posted interesting and related links where I thought they’d be appropriate.  I also included a few pix from my photoblog (Bobolee Pix) as well.  I spent some time working on it this weekend, and I think it has a fresh, new look.  Hope you like it…

~~~~~ 😯 ~~~~~

[Source]

I’m a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville, Florida.  I’ve got a wife and two kids.

Because the kids had no school today, I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early.  Fifty-nine minutes later, two smiling children and I proudly sported “I Voted” stickers.

But I didn’t vote for Obama.

I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with with nothing as immigrants.

I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades.

I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky (killed by an IED two years ago in Iraq).

I voted for Shawn, another who’s been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who’ll be going back to Afghanistan again soon — and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started.

[Bobolee Pix: Friendly Advice]

I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school — it was years before it occurred to me how different her experience of our school must have been.

I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and yes — Muslim.

I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young.

I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I want him to get a REAL tax break.

I voted for four little angels from Birmingham.

I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it.

[The Onion]

I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too.  But mostly, I voted selfishly.  I vote for two little kids, one who has ballet in an hour, and once who has baseball practice at the same time.

I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them.  I voted for a government that will be respected in the world. I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile.

[Bobolee Pix: Vote!]

I voted for everything I believe in.

Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn’t him I was voting for — it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all.

Who else is there to vote for?

~~~~~ :mrgreen: ~~~~~

Leave your mark. The future depends on it.

Peace and Rice,

jw

26
Sep
08

The Bobolee Gets An Award !!!

I’d been out of the Blogosphere for awhile, taking time out to handle some other stuff in the real world.  Imagine my surprise when I happened upon the fact that my blog won a “Brillante Weblog Premio” award!

I found out when I was browsing The Bandwagonist. Thanks for the nod!!!

So, being curious, I decided to do some digging into what this award was all about… who’s behind it, and what does it all mean?

My search led me to this; at the Museum of Hoaxes:

Surf around the web enough and you’ll notice a lot of sites that have announced they’re the recipients of a “Brillante Weblog Premio” award. (Google “Brillante Weblog” and you’ll see what I mean.)
Just to clue in anyone who might be confused — this is not a real award. It’s a viral nuisance. The gimmick is that you receive this award from a friend. Accompanying the award are these rules:
In this way, the award keeps circulating endlessly.
There are real “Brillante Awards for Excellence” awarded by the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, but they’re not related in any way to the “Brillante Weblog Premio” award. (via Heart and Hands)

This information gave me pause, but then I thought about it some more:

  1. The “award” logo is virus free. You can’t get a virus from an image, as far as I can tell.  The image isn’t “hot linked” to any malicious sites, as far as I can tell.
  2. I was granted the “award” by someone who’d read my blog and liked what they’d read.
  3. My nominator “won the award”, too. In a sense, my blog was “vetted” by a winner, who (in turn) was vetted by a winner…
  4. At its best, its just an opportunity for people to get familiar with other good blogs that they’ve never read before.
  5. At its worst, I get an opportunity to share some of my favourite blogs with some of my readers, all the while saluting the authors for their efforts.

Hmmm… I see only “wins” here!  So, without further ado, here are my Brillante winners (in no particular order):

  1. Trini Carnival Diary. Find out all about Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago through the eyes of a seasoned masquerader.
  2. Pundit Kitchen. Political LOLcats… without the cats!  If you know me, you know I like nothing more than a good laugh.  Ever since this site launched a few months ago, they’ve been responsible for putting a wide grin on my face before I start my day!
  3. Trini Gourmet.  Sweet Trinbago Cuisine!  Sweet han’ fuh so!  And I can vouch for it!
  4. Stuff White People Do. At first I thought this was a simple knockoff of the popular “Stuff White People Like” blog.  Now I realise that its a whole lot more.  Like the author of “SWPL”, the author of “SWPD” is also “white”.
  5. SHIMWORLD.  Photoblog of Jan Shim, citizen of Brunei and of the world.  He takes excellent wildlife shots, and his blog’s a portal to the Far East for me.
  6. One Day for the Watchman (1D4TW): Max of Open Anthology does it pop-culturally.  And he saw that it was good.  And I agree!
  7. Choonkooloonks.  Karen Walrond’s put together an impressive photojournal and blog.  When my own photoblog (insert shameless site promo here) grows up, I can only dream that it’ll look half as good as hers.

I tried to pick blogs that hadn’t been “awarded” anything before (AFAIK).  Hard stuff.  I like so many great blogs!

Honourable mentions:

  • Emily Postal. I like her quirkyness and her writing style.
  • Creative Commess. A Trini lady ramblin about random stuff on a “vaps”.
  • Airy Nothings… stumbled across her site whilst looking for Obama material.  Just nice quips and comments about life and living in general.
  • My World. Another Trini lady.  She writes about very varied and interesting stuff, and I think her blog is fairly new too.
  • ShiZZles! Done by some talented Trinidadian graphic artists (and musicians?).  Very crafty short stories and even a webcomic!!!

So, there.  I’ve taken something bad and turned it into something good.  Congratulations to all the “winners”!

😆

Please pass along to all your other friends, and nominate some of your blogs too.

Leave me some of your other favourite blogs in the comments for this post!

I want to thank everyone who’s read & visited my blog.  It’s only  a little over 4 months old, and I’ve averaged 1000 hits/month thus far.  This month (September) was the first month that I’ve actually gotten 1000 hits before the month was up!  That says something… and I want to thank you for all the constructive criticism, suggestions and dialogue.

Peace and Rice,

jw

(ps: Please make sure you also check out my blogroll!!!)

23
Sep
08

Different Strokes

[Pundit Kitchen]

Caption says:

Which is scarier?

That Obama is half cloth/half human

… or that the person that made this sign still gets to vote?

Give that one some serious thought.  Its a lot more complicated than it first appears!

What a difference a simple pen stroke makes!

The power of the pen is not to be taken lightly at all.

*sighs* … if only the world could vote…

www.IfTheWorldCouldVote.com

http://www.IfTheWorldCouldVote.com

[View Current Results Here]

Click here to vote !

For the record, I believe that everyone, regardless of their race, religion, IQ or fabric preference :), should be allowed to vote.

I’m always mindful of the fact that some of my ancestors didn’t have the opportunity to do many of the things I take for granted today… like vote and be allowed to express a difference in opinion!

Peace and Rice,

jw

16
Sep
08

Random Acts of Thought

Memories…

My life was incomplete…

…. and missing something, someone essential.

Then, I met Jude.

The end.

😆

[WSJ]

De English Lanwage is dum, dum, dum…

So says Ed Rondthaler.

Don’t know who he is?  No biggie, neither did I, until I saw this video over at GeeksareSexy.

Just As Able …

Why does no major television or cable network broadcast the Paralympic Games?

[Boston]

I know I’d be intrigued to learn more about the athletes, their circumstances and the struggles they faced, the trials they had to overcome to even survive and endure, much less their efforts to just qualify for the games.

I found some picture galleries here, and here.  Enjoy, and be inspired.

Game, Set and Match

Carly was the CEO and Chairman of Hewlett-Packard, and is the economic advisor of John McSame.

“If John McCain’s top economic advisor doesn’t think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis? Apparently even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue John McCain doesn’t understand as well as he should,” said Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Sooo… you can’t run a corporation, but you want to run the most powerful nation on earth?

Talk about “Company first”!

When America sneezes, the whole world gets sick.  ‘Nuf said…

Peace and Rice,

jw




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