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, August 23, 2010

Yendi To the Universe!!!

Miss Jamaica Universe Yendi Phillips. Photo: Yendi Phillip's Facebook page
I watched one of the most exciting Miss Universe competitions I have watched in a while, in fact it's the most exciting since Lisa Hanna won Miss World way back in 1993! What made it so exciting? Well former Miss Jamaica World and now Miss Jamaica Universe, Yendi Phillips, seemed to be poised to snatch the Miss Universe crown! However, an additional bonus was that I was sharing the moment with several of my followers on twitter. Somehow, having a 140 or less character conversation with several people in support of Yendi made the Miss Universe competition even more exciting! The hilarious comments and views of other tweeters just added to the whole excitement of watching Yendi's progress through the competition. So how did Yendi do?

I watched in anticipation, on the edge of my seat, fingers on the keyboard as Yendi made it to the top fifteen. Then it was time for the swimsuit section and let me tell you Yendi nailed it with that awesome body of hers, getting a whopping 9.426! How is that for booty power! And we all know Yendi has that! This score no doubt catapulted her to the top 10, which stirred a combination of relief and even more anticipation both for me and for the many Yendi and Jamaica supports on Twitter and Jamaica.

The next round was filled with more anticipation as they contestants paraded in their evening gowns. I will admit, Yendi's gown was OK, but it was certainly not the best in the competition. Nevertheless, our hearts got a small relief from the heavy pounding as she made it through to the final 5. Now it was the time for the dreaded judges question and Yendi did a very good job of giving a political answer. However I feared that her use of God in her answer may have struck a wrong chord with the judges if any of them were aithists. Then came the real nerve wrecking part, the announcement of the runner-up and the winner of the Miss Universe 2010!

Hearts pounding, eyes glued to the TV, fingers still on the keyboard tweeting! Fourth runner-up... Yendi wasn't called... Third runner-up... still no Yendi! Heart pounding even faster... Second runner-up... still no Yendi! Could this be? Could Yendi really be the new Miss Universe 2010? The anticipation builds as I wait, as the entire Jamaica Twitter posse eager waits breathlessly! Heart pounding faster and faster, eyes even more glued to the TV, ears tuned to the audio, fingers still on the keyboard... First runner-up... Miss Jamaica, Yendi Phillips! "@StunnerJ: NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!" My heard plummeted in disappointment, so close yet she did not win the coveted crown of Miss Universe 2010. Nevertheless, she did well, she did Jamaica proud as reaching first runner-up is a very good feat.

Congratulations Miss Jamaica Universe Yendi Phillips, you did well!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Deluge In the City and Danger In the Hills

Photo taken from Stunner Car Cam (AKA Blackberry). Intersection of Upper Waterloo and Shortwood road.
Yesterday evening I had a shoot in Portland, so I had planned to leave Kingston from mid morning or at least by midday. However, I went to bed late the night before... or I should say the morning and as such woke up late. By the time I got myself together and circled a couple gas stations in order to find one that actually had gas it was already past twelve pm. I woke up to sunshine, but by mid day the sky told a completely different story! Some mean, dark, heavy, scary clouds engulfed the city from the mountains hurling bolts of lightning and grumbled with thunder! Things looked really serious, some serious reain did a guh buss! I tried my best to head out of town before it started! Could I make it? Would I get out before the city was washed off the face of the earth?

I failed in my effort to get out of Kingston before the sky gave way to a deluge upon the land! I got gas on Constant Soring road, and by the time I made it to Upper Waterloo Road a few drops started to hit the  windshield, and by the time I made it to Shortwood Road I was in the middle of a deluge, extreme torrential rain, yes I was in what seemed to be a tropical storm from hell! For a moment I started to wonder, if I had somehow driven off the road in to a raging river! If you follow me @stunnerj on twitter you would have seen me asking if there was a surprise tropical storm! But don't just take my word for it... I have proof!

Video taken from Stunner Car Cam (AKA Blackberry).

This was not the end of it though, Kingston was not the only place to feel the wrath of the sky as the mountains of St. Andrew and St. Mary were pelted by the buckets from above! But this time I didn't only have the flooded roads to contend with in the treacherous mountains!

Photo taken from Stunner Car Cam (AKA Blackberry). One of many small waterfalls along the road.

Water washed along the road way, but also landslides claimed half of the roads in some areas, fallen trees in other areas along the narrow winding road and even waterfalls! Yes I had to use all my navigational and driving skills to avoid these obstacles along a narrow winding road filled with craters and stupid public transportation drivers, who love to try to cheat death! I even almost witness two large trucks colliding around a corner on the mountain side, but they skillfully maneuvered their way around each other. If my words aren't enough to convince you, then watch the video and photo below!

Video taken from Stunner Car Cam (AKA Blackberry).

Video taken from Stunner Car Cam (AKA Blackberry). Two trucks almost colling on the junction road.
Fortunately I made it through the junction road unharmed, but I was in for another shock! It seemed this rain was only confined to Kingston, St. Andrew and a small part of St, Mary!  By the time I cleared the junction road the rain had tapered off and upon approaching Annotto Bay the road was dry like the Sahara desert and the sky was light blue with just large patches of clouds along the shoreline. The only evidence of the torrential rain was the water on my car and the clouds that hung over the mountains behind me!

Photo taken from Stunner Car Cam (AKA Blackberry). Just outside Annotto Bay St. Mary.
I made it to Portland in good time despite the extended time it took to drive a normally two hour at most journey. The drive back was not as bad even though I had to contend with some thick fog in the mountains, which also extended the time it took to get back to Kingston. But once again, the Stunner completes his mission despite the many dangers and perils in the way!

Disclaimer: Please do not drive and shoot video and photographs. This was done by a professional with years of experience, training, much care and adherence to safety procedures.

Monday, August 09, 2010

One Year Unemployversay... Not A Yay Moment

I just realized that I haven't posted in quite a while... again. This is not good for someone who is contemplating migrating my blog to its own .com and also thinking of starting a new photo-blog, dedicated to my passion photography. Now I'm wondering it I will be waisting my precious, rapidly dwindling funds on paying for hosting! As a result I am still considering the move. Hopefully I can host two domains on one hosting account. So I am still weighing my options and shopping around, as it would be nice to have my own .com's.

I just remembered that July 31, 2010 made it officially one year since I have been unemployed. The job market here in Jamaica is very rough! I has hoping I would have found suitable employment after my sixth month of unemployment, but I have passed the one year mark and still I have not found any gainful employment. I have searched high and low, sent out countless applications, missed out on one interview, been on one interview and still hunting for that elusive dream called employment.

However, I am still on what seems to be the futile search for gainful employment in these tough economic times. being unemployed and having bills that won't quit can be very depressing at times, trust me it really gets depressing at times. However, I still have a lot to give thanks for as I still am able to pay my bills and eat. I have had to make adjustments to my expenses and what and where I eat in a bid to reduce spending, even though JPS still seems to elude me despite my best efforts. I have also had time to work on my photography which is improving with my somewhat limited photographic resources. So I guess even in the thick gloom of my unemployment there are a few faint rays of light shining through. Now I just hope i can land a few good paying photo gigs to earn some funds.

Nevertheless, with the help of God the Almighty, I am still staying afloat in the turbulent seas. I know there are a lot of persons in my position and also some who are in a worse off position than me, so I still give thanks between my bouts of feeling down. But "where there is life there is hope and where there is God there is help!"... wait, mi just come up with a quote! Brap! Brap!... So I'm holding the faith and taking things one day at a time.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Hope of Freedom

Hope of Freedom, originally uploaded by Stunnerj.

Today the island of Jamaica as well as many other Caribbean island celebrates Emancipation Day which is officially August 1. Today we commemorate the day when thousands of slaves gained that which they have yearned for for many years, their freedom, their emancipation. It was 176 years ago on August 1, 1834 that the blacks were emancipated from the oppressive grasp of slavery and began on a journey to achieve quality among all men.

The struggle for emancipation was a long bloody one here in pre-slavery Jamaica and other regions where the fabric of society was built on slave labour. It was because of the sacrifices of many heroes in our past who fought for not just their freedom, but also the freedom of their fellow slaves. Some paid the price with severe punishment while others made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in the fight for what seemed to be an elusive dream of being free. This eventually became a reality when they were emancipated on that faithful first day in August. However, that was just the beginning.

Freedom Yearning originally posted by Stunnerj.
Freedom, didn't mean equality and with emancipation came yet another struggle, the fight to be seen as equal, with the same opportunities and rights as their former slave masters. A struggle that continues even now despite the milestones that have been set and surpassed in the many decades since emancipation. However, emancipation was the first step, a step that propelled a once oppressed race to achieve many feats despite the many downfalls along the way. If it was not for emancipation, a man of we would have never live to see a dream fulfilled when a black man became the leader of a country that was once a thrived on the back of slavery.

Now that we are physically free, we still have a battle to continue. A battle within, as Bob Marley said it, "emancipate yourself from mental slavery. Only we our selves can free our minds". Yes we need to free our minds to achieve our full potential and to live the dream of freedom, the dream of emancipation.