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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Monday, September 28, 2009

Everybody Going with the Flow?

The line at Flow's Pavilion Office in Half Way Tree

I received my LIME bill and realized that it had doubled since my last bill and I have not increases my usage nor have I added any new service! How could have my bill doubled just like that? Then I remembered that i no longer have the concession LIME staff normally enjoyed and as such I am now just a regular paying customer. With my unemployed status in mind and this sudden increase in my bill I have decided to go with the Flow in a bid to save money via their bundled service as well as their promotion that they are currently having. I called Flow and spoke to a nice agent who gave me the prices and was more than willing to sign me up. However, I wanted to go to the store to ensure there was no trick and to do my subscription there for their services. Big mistake!

So this afternoon I went to the Flow office located at the Pavilion mall. When I parked in the parking lot the security came to hand me the parking ticket, when she paused and asked me which store I was visiting in the mall. So I told her Flow. Without hesitation she said. "Mi nauh guh even badda give yuh nuh ticket cause in deh ram-up". Right then and there disappointment set in as I hate lines and hate waiting! I decided to go there just out of curiosity, maybe she was just exaggerating. I should have listened, as I totally wasted my time and energy walking up to the store. the line was so long that it was all the way outside the store!

I decided, well the New Kingston office should be better, and so I drove down to the New Kingston Office. this again was another waste of time and gas, even though the line was inside, it was like an overgrown anaconda stuffed in a little box! After taking a number as the security reassured me that I should take a number to speak to an agent as the line was for other transactions. i waited over half hour in the store as I watched the number slowly incremented closer to my number, but was still had a long way to go. It seems everybody has opted to switch to flow or had inadvertently become Flow customers!

I think I might create an account via their contact centre tonight and go in early tomorrow and pay for the subscription to their service. If I sign up to Flow, I will be cutting my LIME Internet, Netspeak and maybe the landline, as well as cutting my Logic One cable service to consolidate them to one bill. This would reduce my bill by JM$1000 to JM$2000, and coupled with their promotions I would be saving quite a few thousands for the next three months!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Doomed - $5000, JPS Hike!!!

Our fate has been sealed today, September 24, 2009, the average Jamaican has been plunged into further hardship. The Office of Utility Regulations (OUR), for weeks has had our fate in the palm of their hands, as the deliberated in giving the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) the hike the deviously conceived and presented in earnest. Today was D-day, as the OUR was to say whether or not it would be granting the JPS the hike they have been eagerly awaiting and once again the customer's worse fear was realized!

The OUR has granted the JPS an increase on the non-fuel charge of the electricity bill, though the increase is not the ridiculous 23 percent average JPS was asking for, it is still a significant increase. The JPS received a 13 3 percent average increase in non-fuel charge of their monthly bills, which is still a huge increase in these harsh economic times. This 13 3 percent average increase in the non-fuel part of the electricity bill, is further compounded by the ever increasing fuel-part of the bill, which increased even up to this month! I dread the thought of what my next light bill will look like, because even with my attempts of conservation, I still see a bill coming up to several thousands. JPS is sticking true to their motto, "Changing lives with our energy", because they are certainly making our lives harder and making us poorer!

To coincide with this hike in the electricity bill, or maybe just coincidence, the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) has commenced the circulation of the new Jamaican Five Thousand Dollar note (JM$5000). This is just perfect timing with the OUR grant of an increase to JPS, as we certainly will be forking out much more money to pay our bills. No doubt this increase granted to JPS, will shortly start to trick down into other utility bills: telephone, cellphone, cable, water, etc and will even start to translate into other goods and services. At least when people go to pay their bills instead of forking out several Thousand Dollar bills (JM$1000), they will be forking out less paper with this new JM$5000 bill. Now we can cover more bills with less notes. that's they only good way of looking at it, if there is at all any good way to look at it!

This hike in electricity bill and the new JM$5000 note further highlights the plight of the average Jamaican people and gives a dim picture of the overall economic health... or ill-health of the country. Dark and gloomy days lay ahead, we can't stop it, we just have to learn how to survive as much as possible. With this in mind, and my current unemployed status, I now have to reevaluate my energy conservation and see where can further cut back on my energy consumption to stay afloat in this turbulent economic stormy waters.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Jobless Photographer

It has been one month and 21 days since I have been unemployed and yes I am still a bum! The job market looks barren like a dessert on steroids, some real good links would be like a great shower of much needed rain. Searching The Gleaner for jobs is just a useless waste of my JM$100 and time. Now I have decided to just send out general applications to various companies, while I keep searching for a job. With dwindling funds, I need to find something quick, as the cost of living in Jamaica gets higher with every passing day.

However, despite being pretty worrying, the unemployment status has had a few... very few perks. Apart from getting all the rest and sleep I want, I have had time to experiment more with my photography. I have not been doing the number of photo shoots as I would like to, good models that would work for free are extremely hard to find. almost non-existent. I have had to relay on pouncing on my female friends with camera and umbrella in hand. Nonetheless, I am hoping to do a few shoots to improve my photography and possibly to make a little change from some of the shoots. You can see the latest photos and how much... or how little, I have improved on my photography so far here I want to get out more to take photos, but gas is pretty expensive, so it's a bit hard to convince myself to just drive out and take photos, especially since I am not making back the money from it so far.

So the job hunt continues, and the photo snapping goes on, day by day...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Swayze and Rhone Have Passed On

In just the space of two days the entertainment industry has lost two great icons on both the international scene and on the local scene.

On Monday September 14, 2009 the world found out about the death of actor Patrick Swayze who succumbed to his battle against pancreatic cancer at the age of 57. Swayze was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in January of 2008 and has been fighting this terrible disease while maintaining his acting career. Patrick Swazye is best known for his roles in the block buster movies and all time favorites Dirty Dancing and Ghost. The media's fascination with Swayze did not end with those two movies as he was named by People's Magazine as the sexiest man alive in 1991. His last lead role was the series The Beast, which premiered in January 2009 was later canceled due to the deterioration of his health. Hollywood has lost yet another great actor, the man who made Dirty Dancing appealing to so many females.

The local scene however, was not spared from the loss of an icon in its entertainment industry as on Tuesday September 15, 2009 the well known playwright, actor and director Trevor Rhone died in the hospital after suffering a heart attack at the age of 69. Trevor Rhone is best known for his plays with the most popular being Smile Orange, Old Story Time and Two can Play. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the first Jamaican movie The Harder They Come, which stared Jimmy Cliff and further served as a resident playwright at the Barn Theatre. This great talent did not go unnoticed as he was also a recipient of the Commander of the Order of Distinction. Another great produce of Jamaica and one of our most well known member of the dramatic arts fraternity.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Running Man!

Ever since the change in my employment status I had to make a few adjustments to my lifestyle in order to curtail and minimize my budget. One of those changes was to give up the gym, yes it was hard, a very difficult decision to make, but it had to be done. My gym fee was very expensive, even after the 20% discount I received through my former employer. As I am now unemployed I no longer have that discount and I recently leaned that the gym fee has once again been increased now to an even more ridiculous level!

As with every trip to the US, I gain weight, and this trip was no different. Being home most of the time I hardly do much physical activity and so I have undone all the hard work I had put in at the gym in past months. Realizing this and considering that this sedentary lifestyle is not good for my health, I needed to take action. I have to look good even once before I real the downhill years, and also to stay healthy since diabetes, hypertension and cancer runs in my family! I can't afford the gym until I get a job, so what am I to do?

I have decided to get some exercise in by doing some running! Yes, I have decided to start running in hopes that this will help me to burn this fat and get toned and also keep me in a healthy state. So today I made my first attempt of the hill and it was totally wonderful, challenging, but wonderful. At first when I arrived at the hill in Hope Pastures, I thought it was a pretty easy hill so after walking a few chains I started to run up the hill. But while I was there running the hill revealed it's true self and it got steeper, and steeper. After a few more exhausting chains, the pace slowed and slowed as I felt my body crack under the pressure and my running pace was watered down to a steady stride with much heavy breathing and the downpour of sweat.

But I never gave up and I made it to the top of the hill with a good steady walking pace. I hated going back down the hill though, as it was pressuring to the knew due to the steep decline, but I made it down and managed to repeat the process up the hill one more time. I am ready to do it again tomorrow and at least three times a week challenging myself every time. It will be rough, it will require dedication, but I have to do it, for my health and for my body.

Kanye Strikes Again!

Oh yes you guessed it, Kanye West Does it again! How much further can one man push his head up his ass? Mr, "Conceited", Mr. "I Need Attention" had to make sure he was in the limelight again at the 2009 MTV VMA's. this time he wasn't on the stage to accept an award, but he surely found his unwanted ass on the stage to make an jack-ass of himself.

It was in the middle of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, after she was announced the winner of the Best Female Video, Kanye proceeded to interrupt her by taking the mic from her and announcing that he thinks Beyonce has the best video. No Kanye, the whole world does not revolve around you, not everyone thinks like you and not because you don't agree with something doesn't mean we all want to know what you think! I lost my ratings for Kanye West ever since he started to exhibit his conceited, boastful self-righteous behaviour regularly and now this latest act just shot him down quite a few more notches. Right now he's in negative on my scale!

Don't take my word for it, here is the video. (Update 14/09/09: Had to change the video as Viacom had Youtube remove the original citing copyright issues)

Kanye West you need to pull your head out your ass... that is if it's not too far up and can't come out!

PS: you can also vote on the poll at the bottom of the page.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Brown Sugar!!!

Brown Sugar (Jamaica Observer photo)

Brown Sugar felt really sweet on Friday night as the sang away with the 2009 Digicel Rising Star Competition! first place and a cheque for JM$1000000! It seems Jamaican's love sweets and sweet they got as Brown Sugar thrilled her way through the competition to snatch victory in the 2009 Digicel Rising Star Competition! Her strong voice, sexy atire, voluptuous strong body, and crown appeal got Jamaica voters texting her number like crazy!

it came down to Brown Sugar and Princes Tia in the finals of the competition and last night, based of the performance of Brown Sugar over the last shows and the reaction of the audinence to her performances we all knew the last show was just to announce Brown Sugar as the winner. I could tell that she had the potential to reach very far in the competition when I saw her perform is the preliminary rounds. Throught the competition she matured and her performances and singing grew even stronger, strong enough to become the 2009 Digicel Rising Star.

Congratulations to Brown Sugar on her victory and to Princess Tia for great performances even at her young age!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

No More HBO and Cinemax!

When I came back to Jamaica from my New York vacation and turned on my television, I scrolled to my favorite movie stations, HBO and Cinemax, only to be greeted by the "rice grain" signals on my screen. What! I still can see the other channels quite well, so I know my cable is connected, maybe these two stations are just down at the moment. Two days later and still no HBO or Cinemax, this was serious! So I clicked over to the Logic One information channel and was greeted by this notice below.

Both HBO and Cinemax have been removed from the channel lineup as ordered by the Broadcasting Commission at the request of HBO Latin America! What? Why? How could the Broadcasting Commission order the removal of these well watched channels just like that, how could they?

This question was then answered in a notice from two of Kingston's biggest cable company, Logic One and Telstar. It seems HBO Latin America has ordered that our local cable companies cease and desist from broadcasting all HBO and Cinemax North America feed effective immediately. According to the notice HBO Latin America has claimed that it is in the advanced stages of preparing a channel for the Caribbean region, called HBO Caribbean. They have also assured the cable operators that the new channel will not be broadcast in Spanish of with Spanish sub-titles. The alternative proposed by by HBO Latin America for the Cinemax channel was in the form of movies produced by Warner Brothers. In other words, they are in the process of providing our cable operators with a watered down feed to broadcast to their subscribers.

No time-line was provided in the statement for the commence of these two new channels slated to replace the HBO and Cinemax that we were used to. So until then We will have to do well with the other movie channels in the lineup, that is if you don't have Flow. There has been no statement regarding Flow's channel lineup, so I assume Flow is unaffected by this action. (Update 09/09/09: I have been advised that Flow has removed the mention channels from their lineup too.)All this has raised a few questions: Why has HBO Latin America suddenly ordered a cease and desist? Are our cable providers not paying for the feed? Why does HBO Latin America want to give us a different (watered down) set of channels? Is it that they are giving us a substandard version to fit our budget? What will these new channels be like?

Whatever the reason is, one thing is for sure, it seems there will no longer be and HBO and Cinemax as we know it for these two cable operators and their subscribers.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Final Destination?

For all those who watched any of the Final Destination sequels you will know why I find a story I recently read in The Gleaner website bit of news all so strange! For those who didn't watch the original or the very predictable sequels, here is the gist of the movies. A group of people consisting of friends and complete strangers miss a horrific death due to the premonition of one of the members. However shortly after "death" comes for each and every one of them one by one no matter how hard they try to avoid it.

Hey speaking of Final Destination, I watched Final Destination IV 3D, I know it was crap, but I just wanted to see the 3D effects. I won't even give a review of that movie. All I'll say the very first Final Destination was absolutely great and they should have just stopped there.

Alas I digressed. Well now that you get the gist of what I am talking about, you will understand why I found this story in The Gleaner very surprising!

Twice unlucky - Cyclist dies after being hit by motor cars

Published: Monday | August 31, 2009

A pedal cyclist died at the Falmouth Hospital from injuries he sustained after being hit by two motor cars along the Falmouth main road in Trelawny on Saturday.

He has been identified as 52-year-old George Sinclair of Hague in the parish.

Reports from the Constabulary Communication Network are that about 7:35 p.m, Sinclair was riding his bicycle along the Falmouth main road in the vicinity of Rock Bridge when he was hit by a Toyota Camry motor car travelling in the opposite direction. The driver of the car exited the vehicle and was assisting the injured man out of the road when he was hit by a second Toyota Camry motor car that was heading towards Falmouth. Sinclair was taken to the Falmouth Hospital where he died while being treated.

Weird isn't it? Can you imagine being hit at the same spot, twice in almost the same instant in time and by the same make and model car! That's some real life Final Destination stuff there!


Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Miserable Landlord

This is one of the reasons i try my utmost best not to live anywhere where I have to share with my landlord, especially when the landlord is elderly!

Enjoy your weekend!

PS. The back pon the rock and in the heat!