Canstruction 2013 Hits New York City

The 21th Annual Canstruction NYC Competition was held in New York City October 21 to November 8, 2013 boasted very creative art pieces made entirely from...

Dining At The Gap Café

Tucked away deep in the Jamaica Blue Mountains is a small cafe called The Gap Café...

Stunner Conquers Sigma 2013

In my last post I wrote about my intentions to run the annual Sigma Corporate Run this year and my hopes to even try to get

Getting Back Fit for Sigma 2013 and Beyond

My Running sneakers It has been many years since I blogged about doing the annual Sigma Corporate Run!

Toscanini - Italian Dining Experience In Jamaica

When you think of Jamaica you think of jerk chicken, jerk pork, oxtail, rice and peas and the many colourful and delicious Jamaican meals guaranteed to tantalize the palate. Fine dining to delicious Italian...


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Friday, January 30, 2009

Another Weekend and Camera on My Mind

WOW! Can you believe it's Friday already? The week just flew by so quickly. They say time flies when you are having fun, but I don't recall having any fun during the course of this week and look here, is Friday again already! It seems as if it was just yesterday I was in pain, agony, discomfort and just plain miserable as I suffered from being poisoned by that awful canteen food, and that was exactly one week ago. I think I have said this before, but I will say it again... well ask it again also. Does it seem to you that time is moving faster now than say 10, 15 years ago? Well, it certainly seems and feels that way to me. It's as if I don't have enough hours in the day anymore and behold, there I see old age right in front of me snickering it's shiny dentures at me we wide open, sagging arms. Like is too short star!

With the view of life being short, and defying the economic gloom and doom around me I have set my eyes on getting a new camera. What! A new camera Stunner? Why, is the one you have broken? Doesn't it take good picture? Yes I anticipated those questions so let me tell you why I want a new one. Well, by now you all should know that photography is my passion and I love taking pictures; scenery, people, insects, animals, abstract, the whole works. But the camera I now have is a point-and-shoot and does not give me the flexibility to experiment as much as I want and to improve my skills. So I think it's time for me to upgrade to a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, which, I believe with practice and reading, allow me to step up my photography to the next level. So what do I have in mind? Well I have my eyes set on the Nikon D60 DSLR camera. Based on the specs this would be perfect for an amateur like me. The only problem is that the cost is over $US500 (over $JM40,000 and counting), not too easy to come by in these harsh economic times. But this is my passion, something I enjoy doing, and I might just be able to make some money from it in the future... I hope. So I have decided to get it, yuh kno treat myself at least.

Another weekend is in full swing already, but I have no plans for this weekend but to get some rest and recuperate from the week's activities. Speaking of which, even though I did some running this week, but I did not feel accomplished, as I relapsed. Yes, I fell back on my progress of 2 miles last week and one one of the days could only run a half mile. I feel like a failure, failure I tell you! In fact most I did was to run one mile on Tuesday, but despite my disappointing performance this week I am determined to do better next week. I hope to do my 2.5 miles on Monday, so I'll let you know how that goes. Well, let me not keep you any longer, go enjoy yourselves and have a great weekend... however short it is!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sickening Weekend

It all started in the wee hours of Friday morning, there I was fast asleep when during my dreams I started to feel some discomfort. I try to keep myself in dreamland but the discomfort just grew, it got stronger and stronger, until I could sleep no more. I got up out of the bed and the reality of the stomach churning discomfort hit like a powerful uppercut to my belly. I needed some tea, but not just any tea, this feeling in my stomach couldn't be solved by any ordinary tea. Then the idea came to me, ginger tea normally helps to settle the stomach. I had a nice big piece of ginger in the fridge so I cut a piece, put on some water, crushed the ginger and made myself a cup of ginger tea. I went to the living room as I sipped my tea and tried to watch some TV, to distract myself from the feeling. But it was to no avail, the feeling still would not subside. How can I describe this feeling? my stomach felt uneasy, it felt puffy, is slightly hurt, I was burping, I felt like I wanted to hurl, it felt like I was running after just drinking a gallon of water, all of these mixed up in one.

What could have caused this feeling? Then I remembered, I had some canteen food on Thursday night for dinner, that damn canteen food! I was going to the gym, and I knew it was going to be long night. So I bought the canteen food for my dinner, but it certainly taught me a lesson! All of Friday the discomfort continued without letup. Saturday morning was no better, the awful discomfort continued, which was only made worse with the fact that I had work. I even skipped having Chinese food, or patties for lunch and opted for a small soup, in the hopes that it would help to settle my stomach. That was to no avail, as I only felt slightly better while I ate the soup. Oh the agony, oh the humanity! By Saturday evening I stared feeling slight, yet sharp pains in my tummy and the awful, sick feeling persisted with vigour. By late Saturday evening the bathroom saw a lot more of me and the toilet and I became even more acquainted. I stayed up late to the wee hours of Sunday morning, miserable, hoping to feel relief until I was finally tired enough to fall asleep in my misery.

Sunday morning I got up and decided to give up on my quest to naturally purge my system, and after reluctantly eating breakfast I went straight to the pharmacy and searched through the assortment of stomach medicines on its shelves. Then I finally decided on getting myself a box of Andrews Lemon flavoured Sparkling Salts. As soon as I stepping my door i made some and gobbled down the fizzy medication. I felt better with a few minutes, but it did not last, by late evening I was feeling awful again. I never gave up though, I gobbled some more of that fizzy stuff again just before going to bed. When i woke up on Monday morning, I was feeling almost like my normal self again, no more of that awful discomfort that I had endured all weekend. I have learned my lesson, no more of that nasty, dutty, tinking canteen food, neither for lunch or for dinner.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just Chill, Sigma Comming Up

If you live in Jamaica, From Negril to Morant Bay, or if you are even close to this fair island, then you can't deny that these past few days have, especially the nights have been rather chilly. it seems we are experiencing our version of the winter here in Jamaica, but not even close to the bitter cold experienced by our friends up north. Rather, it's a lovely cool weather, not too cold, with gentle breeze, not too windy. according to the meteorologists, we are experiencing just the tail end of the cold front the lashed the eastern states of the USA and Canada. Even my apartment, which seems like it has all year round central heating, feels cool in this weather. The bed feels a whole lot better and the sleep so much sweeter.

On another note, I went on the Pan Caribbean website and found out the the Sigma Corporate Run is scheduled for March 15 this year, a little over one month away. As you should know by now, I participated for the first time in the 5K (3 miles) marathon through the corporate city. I didn't medal at all, but I did manage to get a good position, due to the sheer volume of participants. However, this year I want to try and go after a medal, not too sure if I will get it, but I at least want to better my last placement. the medal however would be just wonderful and just be the icing on the cake that will really sweeten the pain of my efforts. So with this in mind I have started my training as of Monday of this week. And I have made some progress as small as it is, as on Tuesday I ran contiguously for 2 miles, just 1 mile short of the target, in a little over 20 minutes. However, this is just the beginning, as I want to be able to do at least 4 miles under 30 minutes to ensure that I will be in medal contention. There are a lot better runners that will be participating, runners that have completed the 20K Reggae Marathon, so I have a lot of competition. And to make things even harder, I had already planned my vacation before knowing the date and will be traveling to the cold foe two weeks, just before the race. So I have a hell of a challenge ahead of me to get in shape as i doubt I will be able to do any running while I'm on vacation in the Big Apple.

As I sit here writing about the Sigma Corporate Run, my mind comes across a certain blogger who has embarked on a fitness mission. So Pepper, I would like to encourage you to sigh up and join in the Sigma Corporate Run this year, it's for a worthy cause and you get a chance to challenge yourself and get fit in the process. And just in case my gentle encouragement doesn't work, I hereby, formally challenge you, Ms. Pepper to do this race! (lol) And my invitation is not just to pepper, but to everyone who can participate this year. Check if your company is entering this year so they can sponsor you. If your company isn't entering and you have some money, you can sponsor yourself. If you can't run the course, there is also a walk race too, and even if you can't walk, there is a wheel chair race too, so you have no excuse. Come on, be brave and challenge yourselves for a good cause.

Well, it's another weekend so take some time to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself... even if you have to work the weekend like me.

P.S. I also noticed that this post makes one year worth of post, in other words, I have reached 365 posts. Which means that if I posted every single day, this post would make one full year's worth of posts. Yay!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History Written

Today, January 20, 2009, I witnessed another great moment in History, a day that many though would never come, a day that almost the entire world anticipated when the results of the last US presidential election was announced. Yes, today I watch Barack Hussein Obama, sworn in as the forty fourth president of the United States of America, a black man sworn in as the Chief of Staff for one of the most powerful countries of the world, a country where blacks were the minority in key political roles. A page of history was written today, history that the whole world stopped to watch.

So many persons made it a point of duty to see US President Barack H. Obama inaugurated as president of the USA and no doubt Jamaica was one of those nations that watched along with the US as he was sworn in. This momentous occasion was not only celebrated as the moment when a black man became president as the United States, but because so much hope of change in our dismal world condition has been placed in the hands of the new president. Many in the world, including the Caribbean and Jamaica are looking on in anticipation and hope that with this new administration, things will get better economically and where international relations are concerned. But despite his admirable and eloquent speeches, his extremely great feat of becoming president, we are still in a world ravaged by a global economic recession, wars, poverty and disease. Therefore, he has a humongous challenge ahead of him to make a change for the better and only time will tell how much he and his administration can do to improve the US and by extension the global community.

However, one thing is for sure, today has been written in the books of history, not for just the United States of America, but for the entire world. We indeed witnessed a change when we first heard the results of the presidential elections and again today when we witness Barack H. Obama take the oath as the President of the United States of America.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


It's now even more official than it was before when I saw the news on TV, Circuit City and is closing down. I actually believed when I saw the news, but the reality really hit me today when I went searching the idea of the price for a new printer. I went on their website at only to find the page in the picture above with the opening statement below.

Circuit City would like to thank all of the customers who have shopped with us over the past 60 years. Unfortunately, we announced on January 16, 2009, that we are going out of business.

Please check back later for updates about the status of our website. In the meantime, we hope the information below will help answer most of your questions.

It was so, surreal, one of the biggest electronics retail store in the USA is really shutting down. One more piece of evidence to show how bad things are in the US and the world economy as businesses not only cut staff, but are also shutting down. I can just imagine all the people who will be out of a job as Circuit City is a very large chain, 567 stores in fact, with many employees. I remember they even opened a store in the Bronx while I was vacationing in New york just last summer, and now this! It's a really frightening how this economic downturn is progressing with no end in sight.

On the flip side though, if you are looking to buy some electronics and on a serious budget, as we all are, then now is the right time to buy from Circuit City. They are having liquidation sales at all of their 567 stores. hopefully I can source a deal for my camera and a new printer at one of these sales is the stores in the are of new york I normally visit haven't closed down by now.

Despite the short term apparent benefit for me with the liquidation sales, its a frightening prospect seeing such a large, seemingly strong store closing its doors and leaving so many people without their daily bread.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More CSI!...What, No Grissom?

I recently learned that the defining character for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Gil Grissom, played by actor William Petersen will be leaving the series. This is unheard of, shocking even! What would CSI be without Grissom, the poetic lead of the Sin City, Las Vegas crime scene investigations team? CSI is my favorite television series and the only television series I can sit and watch with advertisement and not change the channel during the breaks only to forget what I was watching. I actually looked forward to watching CSI and was so thrilled they have the whole day CSI Las Vegas marathon! Yuh know nuttin nuh do dat dah deh!

Since the Original CSI, I have started watching the other spin-offs, CSI Miami and CSI New York. But even though I watch these intently and religiously, they still can't compare to the original CSI, my first love. All the CSIs have their individual or I should say unique feel to it and I watch them on their own merit. But even though I don't really compare them to the original, I still can't help putting the original CSI in a class by itself.

This is not the first of the original CSI cast members to depart from the show, as we tragically lost Warrwick Brown, played by Gary Dourdan, however after a while of adjusting to his departure CSI still continued. However, Grissom in my view thee major character in CSI and basically defines the original series. He is quoted by as saying, "I won't miss Grissom... And I hope that the audience won't miss him either", but how can we not?

Gill Grissom will be replaced as by Dr. Raymond Langston, played by Laurence Fishburne, as head of the CSI team. Fishborne has his role cut out for him, as die hard CSI fans will do doubt be comparing his character and by extension him, with Grissom (Petersen). No doubt Fshburne is a great actor and will do well, but where this game is concerned, it's all about the perception of the fans who have grown so accustomed the character, Grissom. Will this be the end of CSI? Will it continue to be as great as it has been for the past nine season? Well only the next season can tell.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Real Men Do Yoga!

I have been going to the gym now for about a year, on a more regular basis that is. You see my gym attendance has been a very punctuated event, sometimes with breaks longer that a month. However over the past year I have tried to keep my attendance more regular, and as such I have actually seen better results, even though I am still a good way off from my dream body. Most of my gym sessions only involved weight training, since i wanted to look more like those muscular fellows in the fitness magazines. But being somewhat on the fatty side, i kept bulking up without getting the definition I needed to get in the shape I wanted to. So as a result over the past few months I have increased my cardio workouts.

Therefore with this in mind I stopped relying on just only the normal 15-20 minutes on the treadmill before my workout and started to introduce other exercises. Now I have started to do spinning classes at least once a week, then I added kick-boxing to the list, doing that at least once a week too. i have to admit, my first session to either of these classes was a nightmare. i was struggling so much and I sweat like a never ending river. It was a rude awakening as to how unfit I truly was, even though I had been lifting weights for some time now. Even now these classes are a challenge, especially since I do them after I finish my weight training.

But my adventure in fitness didn't stop there, as on Thursday evening I tried something completely new once again, For the first time in my life I attempted Yoga! I often pictured yoga as a female exercise, something easy that women who don't really want to workout would do, something that one would do only to stretch and relax. Bwoy, was I wrong! that shit is hard nuh ra$$! I went into that class with an open mind even though I had my previous preconception and I was certainly enlightened. I stretched body parts I didn't know I could stretch, used up my abdominal almost as much as I did in abs class, and sweat like I was doing spinning or kick-boxing! Looks can be deceiving, as even though it looks like a easy relaxing exercise, it does take a lot of effort. I know I didn't do half of the Yoga positions properly, but I tried to keep up and really enjoyed my first Yoga class. I think I will be adding Yoga to my exercise arsenal in my quest to achieve a better, stranger, fitter, healthier body. I would recommend Yoga to anyone, man, woman, young or old, especially if you do weight training as it helps to stretch those over exerted muscles.

After my gym session yesterday, which included both leg weight training and Yoga, I got home too late and too tired to cook, so I had to buy food. The only thing I could think of which was somewhat healthy and affordable was some Island Grill food. So After having my protein shake I went and got myself some Island Grill which I added my own twist to as i didn't want to undo all the hard work i put in all evening, And this is what I came up with...

Not too bad, eh? BBQ leg & thigh, one festival, lettuce & tomato with zesty Italian dressing and some lime-aid. have a great weekend people!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back to Portland

Reach Falls Portland

So last weekend found me in Portland again! can you believe it? A place that I hardly ever visited in the past two years has seen my face twice in one month! What could be the cause of this?

Well, Portland is my birthplace and where I grew up, so most naturally I would love to visit my home parish. However, over the years the road to Portland and by extension Port Antonio has deteriorated significantly and as such beautiful Portland seemed even further and harder to reach. however, things even got worse when they started work on the road network which included totally destroying the existing bad roads. However, all that has basically changed and the first coating of the new highway up to almost within 10 miles of Port Antonio. And from my short yet speedy bursts on the new road, it sweet! However, I must tell you to be cautious if you plan to drive that way to Port Antonio, as the road is still winding even though it has been broadened and partially paved. There is a lot more work left to be done as almost all of the many bridges on the route is still under construction and the second layer of tar is still left to be added.

Reach Falls Portland

My trip to Portland was great as I visited Reach Falls for the first time. Can you imagine, I lived in Portland for so long and have never been to Reach Falls? I feel wutliss (worthless), but I am glad I did. It is not half as big as Dunn's River but it id such a lovely place. Nice, green and lush, a true refection of the beauty of Portland as illustrated in the picture above. I had a great time there, climbed that falls and experienced the teeth chattering, body shivering, cold crystal waters. The climb is only about fifteen minutes, but it is rather enjoyable and somewhat exciting due to the slippery rocks and the pools of water that range from just a few feet deep to almost 18 feet deep. for those of us who like to take photographs there are many areas you can snap away. So if you are ever in eastern Portland be sure to check it out.

I think I will be visiting Portland more often now as the road continues to improve. So if you are in the mood for a road trip, you know who to give a shout!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sting Runner!

Ok, I don't have the time to write a decent post, will do that later. But I got this photo in my email and just had to share it. It's a response to the results of the clash between Vibez Kartel and Movado at Sting 2008, held on the 25th of last month.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2009, Challenges and Opportunities Lie Ahead...

It seems as it was just a few months ago we were welcoming 2008 and were looking forward to all the prospects it had to offer. Isn't it just scary has fast time seems to be going by these days? I wonder if it has always been like this and I wasn't paying attention? Or is it more concerning now that I see the reality of old age now facing my in a few decades? Whatever it is, it seems time has hasten its steps.

the year that was 2008 has been quite an eventful year, ranging from its fair share of good to an extreme on the other end of the scale, where things have turned to the worse. Hmm, lets take a moment to flashback at some (very few... don't weant to bore or depress you) of the biggest events for the year, well from my point of view. In 2008:
  • World oil prices sored to the highest it has been in many years, probably the highest most of us has ever seen it. This triggered several waves in the world economy and the behaviour of our societies, We saw a rise in many manufactured commodities, less travelling and the downsizing of vehicles as people opted for smaller more energy efficient vehicles. On the other hand, thankfully gas prices have also plummeted to tolerable rates by the end of the year.
  • The entire world experienced the greatest economic downturn in ages with the crash of so many large financial institutions in the world worlds strongest economies. Consumer spending has gone down, while unemployment rose sharply as many companies across varied industries closed their doors. The entire world seems to be in a recession as even the most commercial holiday of the year lost its mojo.
  • Locally, the infamous, 'poor people saviour', Cash Plus became more like Cash Minus as it crashed just like all pyramid schemes. Event though it dawned the clothing of a legitimate and plausible business with investors, it showed its true colours when it experienced pressure from the financial regulatory authority. Many Jamaicans lost thousands, millions of dollars, and even everything they owned.
  • On a more positive note though, the world witnessed what seemed impossible, the first black president of the United States of America. A feat that many though they would never live to see, an event ushered by one the most sensational and most watched election campaign in our modern history.
  • Bolt and the Jamaica team strike Gold at the 2008 Olympics several times! The most gold medals Jamaica has ever claimed. (Thanks to Pepper. How could I forget this.... shame one me) - This point added on o7/02/2009.
Those are just a few, the tip of the iceberg of what happened in 2008. If there are any you can think of, or want to mention, please feel free.

Now it's 2009, another year with many possibilities, but one preceded with challenges and a gloomy outlook based on the events of last year. Already many religious leaders and self proclaimed prophets have issued many prophecies 2009, economic and financial outlooks are mixed even though they lean heavily on the gloomy side, the environmentalists are preaching environmental doom even more, and all seems to be going downhill at this point. There is no doubt that things are rough and that they will get rougher in this new year. But it is a new year, a year with many possibilities and opportunities despite the challenges ahead. May you all realize your dreams and make the best of the new year, take each challenge step by step, with the help of God and enjoy each victory to the fullest, savouring every moment. Keep loving and appreciate your friends and family as much as you can as we chart our way in our short journey in this maze called life.