Friday, December 30, 2005

Leave or Pinting

You may wonder why I haven’t been bloging for sometime. This is because I have been on leave and am an ardent believer that if am on leave I should not be anywhere near town for a proper rest. Thus I’ve been enjoying my pints down in shags with quite some escapades. It’s been a very interesting holiday but nothing of much importance has happened only having pints and losing phones. What I know is that the effects will be felt in January. Am back in town and should be on call in the New Year festive, am not sure it’s good for me as this reduces the pints i should take but it’s better for my wallet. Happy New Year Guys.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

short days, everlasting nights.

The year is 1997. I have just done serious battle with my last KCSE paper, and I can't wait to sample the boundless freedom waiting for me out "there". In a final display of dis-connect with all things high school, I sell my beddings, box, uniform; what I cannot sell I make a neat bonfire. I walk home standing in only my clothes and a small pile of money.

I get myself a pair of baggy jeans, a T-shirt that was written something that is not very nice on the front, and I am ready to roll. Having come from a high school that was boys only, and having been extremely busy during the year, there was no time to socialize with the local girls. The energy was tremendous. I was unruly, rude and I just did not care. With a few other bandits of a like mind, we started prowling the village streets, stopping any girl we came across. Any unfavourable response was met with with raw adolescent insults. There are these circumcision functions that usually occur during the December period; I started going to those too.

The going was great. During the evening, we would sit in some young man's room (cager). One day, a sufuria of mud-coloured busaa was produced. A cheap half smoked cigarette would emerge from someone's deep dirty pockets and start doing the rounds. I contemplated the busaa, and decided that I would drink it; You see, busaa is made from maize of a very dubious quality; Someone accused me of being proud, and to prove them wrong, I imbibed a generous quantity of the liquid.

My folks tried to talk me, tried threats but I was not listening. In those circumcision events for small boys that I talked of earlier, people would draw knives to win the affection of one of the few women who could afford to attend such events and wake up to a seeing and talking public the next day. I would get involved in such fights. We would trek many kilometres, stalking some poor girl. It was that bad. Of course, I did not care, I did not know any better. Me and my friends? We were tight. We had just finished high school. We are the only three people sagging jeans in the entire division.

March 22, 1998: A whole month had passed after the dreaded release of the results. My old man had not shown the slightest interest in knowing my results. I had been passed off as a basket case. It took my mom's intervention, and on this day I left to check my results. Immediately after returning, I was sent on some errands in Nairobi. Then I was shipped off to college to study CPA before totally dis-integrating.



Saturday, 24 2005: I was casually strolling from the shopping center, going home. I meet my comrade in arms of long ago. He is happy to meet me, some smalltalk. I have learnt not to ask people where they are or how they doing. So the guy asks me to go with him and visit home. I am reluctant at first, but I oblige.
We walk towards his home. There is little we can talk about, so we keep going back to the mindless days of '97.
When we are just about to enter the compound, he announces that he is married.
Married?
Before I can ask anymore questions, we are already in the "cager". I am standing in the small structure in which the man had been built by his father on his initiation. In the middle, there was a figure bending over some sufurias, a huge fire was going. There was a large curtain that demarcated the tableroom/kitchen from the bedroom.

In the "bedroom", there was a small child who was crying softly, her/his face with thick tear streaks from a long time in crying and equally long time in being ignored by the mother. Another kid pottered around the mother, fiddling with the utensils.

The woman straightened to greet me. I shook her hand. She was about 20. She was pregnant. She looked 40. For a maternity dress, she had a vast skirt tied around her mid-section; Her hair had dust and maize cob hairs.

My friend, the "husband", in an attempt to display authority, rudely orders the wife to make me tea. I try to tell them that it is not necessary. He insists. The wife answers back rudely. A small argument ensues. Eventually the tea gets made.
The husband does not drink the tea. He scratches his head as if he just had some great idea. He has. He takes away my cup of tea (without consulting me). He moves a few things at the corner and produces a bottle of a very clear liquid. Chang'aa.

This I adamantly refuse to take (I have a policy, don't get visibly high in shags). He takes two half glasses quickly. In a short while he is drunk. I excuse myself and go home.

That's life for many people of my age I know. Life is hard on them. They give up. They take up young women, thinking that the marriage and the sex will be a safe haven to run to; they endup breaking them. Then they live one long night of misery.

When you lose hope, you lose all. Stay strong, everybody.

Strange

My christmas day was a tad strange. A got loads of texts, some from long deleted numbers, wishing me a merry christmas and all that other good stuff. I found this really strange. This never ever happens to me. I guess it's an indication of the kind of year I've had.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Turning point

I'm officially on leave, but like everyone else at this office, have stopped by the office for no real good reason. Ok. I had to come get the office keys because I'll be on call next week. Anyway. I digress.

I had a rather interesting day/night yesterday. Very many firsts. I feel like I'm at a turning point in my life. I'll be going to church tomorrow. Enough said.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Adios

I'm going on leave starting half an hour from now. No big plans. Just intend to chill at home and relax. In other words, not spend too much money.

As it is, I'm going to start on the wrong foot. I'm having lunch/drinks with the 25 min chic at 2. The worst that could happen is that I'll enjoy myself. I always get broke one way or another so that doesn't count.


P.S:
I met this chic I know today morning. It's a long story but I had deleted her number after getting tired of constantly being the one calling her. She sent me a text earlier this week asking why I'd gone so silent. Anyway. So I meet her today morning on my way to work and she's looking hot - in some tight jeans and some frilly top. Ok. Perhaps not frilly, but made of some very light material. I sent her a text telling her how hot she looked. How could I not. No reply. How can she not reply? It doesn't make sense to me. Say something. Anything. Aaaaargh! Why do I bother.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The "sister" card

I have just taken a heavy lunch. I need all my wits and my strength around me as I write this. The last time I ate a proper meal was Monday 19th lunchtime. For most of yesterday, I spent almost the entire day tracking my ATM. Without success of course. My string of calamities started last Friday.

I got the money alright. At around 06.30 PM, I give Eric a call and head to Hornbill. 10.00 arrives, this is Eric's usual departure time. Meanwhile, Deno (Samborera will know him) has checked in and is swallowing rapidly. We escort Eric and quickly head back to the bar.

There are two women at the counter. So we start chatting. They are sisters. Apparently. Deno, not being a slow fellow like I am zeros in on the younger chic and engages her in very serious conversation. I rack my head, looking for conversation and not succeeding. The two chics are making as if to leave the club. No no no.. That cannot be allowed to happen. More beer please! Drinks arrive and we continue. I am so high now.

Then Deno: please keep this chic busy so that I can disappear with the sister. As the chic in my company is about to finish, more beer arrives. I get new impetus. Deno and the chic announce they are leaving. I am sincerely hoping the "sister" will leave not consent to be left behind.
You are leaving.
Yes.
Have a nice time.
They are up and gone.
OK. What the heck? So, I am stumped. More beer. I inject exuberance that I was not really feeling into the conversation. At some point, I struck a topic which she could drone on endlessly. What a relief. Then suddenly and without warning.

Where do you stay? To which I reply and truthfully too. I always see many red flags when these kind of questions start being asked. So the next question obviously did not help.
Do you stay alone?
Have you guys met my older sister? She has suddenly sprang to life. So I go.
No dear, I stay with my elder sister and her family. She is always complaining about how I drink and I am a nuisance to everybody by going home too late.
This little speech always kills (well, almost) any designs a woman I meet at the bar may have about being taken to my digs. I don't have a sister.

Some soothing music starts playing. We rhyme and blue while still sitting on the uncomfortable bar stools.
She announces that she is not going to take another beer. Two words come out of her mouth.
LETS GO.

_______________________________________________!

I counter that its too early. I am trying to buy time. In reality, I am afraid. So I buy her a redds as we continue our chair dance. At some point, after more beer, I find myself walking out, in her footsteps, following her! I can't remember at which point I agreed that we can go. I was not thinking.

So where are we going? I ask.
My place? Then she mumbled incoherently (Or I was too drunk to hear properly). In short order we are in a mathree and moving and I don't even know where I am being taken. I don't care either.

We arrive. I sleep.

[there are things I would like to say here but I can't]

Today morning I wake up minus my phone, my door pass, my job id and the keys to my digs. A cd labelled "Div X codecs" which had miraculously stayed with me through the entire spree, was still on the table.
No woman in sight.
I can't find my wallet. Real panic sets in. I peek out the window. Very strange place. I am not sure whether to cry or laugh. All I know is that I am in deep trouble. I don't have money, nor my IDs. I can't withdraw.

Gladly I find my wallet. I am sooo relieved. The IDs are there. A couple of loose hundreds are gone. She did not find some 4000 bob that I had hidden in the deep recesses of my wallet.

I have heard these stories before. Always had a good laugh. This time I was in danger's mouth itself. I am still shaken by my goof. A buddy has invited me for a drink. I am not going. But I am only too glad to be safe and alive.
May be its a warning.
Tread carefully. Enjoy people.

Dear Blog

Re: I hate my job.

I know that I read from you every single day, but haven't had the courtesy to write to you as much. I am also guilty of only writing to you when am frustrated and feeling like a useless bonehead. Please bear with me, for right about now, you are the only one I can turn to.
The only gift I'll get for X-mass is the realisation that I actually do hate my job. I know that I have been on it for the better part of 2.5 years (for a moment there I thought I had typed 'twenty five' and almost suffered a convulsion). Its sad when you know that the pay-cheque is the only thing that keeps you going.
I am in the habit of working on things just when they are due. I would for instance better surf the whole day and then work on a 3 hour report from 6-8 pm on a report that is required first thing in the morning. I mean, how do you explain that, Blog? and you still think I like what you do?
Then there is this cranky woman at work who requires tasks to be done in almost no time at all. The way things work around here is that any work done undergoes a series of reviews until the partner is comfortable enough to sign off on the task. You know I wouldnt tell you about this if it wasn't important, but she is just getting into my nerves. A month ago, she asked me to work on something, and said she required the task delivered within 3 days. So I worked my arse off for 3 days (40 hrs), sent her the work on time, and surfed the other 2 days of the week. Then came yesterday and I received a call from her: "I have just reviewed the report you sent me and I have recommended some changes, please ammend and send it to me ASAP as I am meeting the partner in the afternoon to dicuss it." I almost snapped, the bloody thing had been sitting comfy in her inbox for weeks on end, only for her to look at it a day before she discusses it with the partner ! and then rush me to do some changes ! what crap !
So, Blog, if you don't get any invites, cards, presents, offers or carols from me this Christmass, just know that it has nothing to do with you. I promise to write to you again soon though.

Ciao.

The year that was

2005 is rapidly coming to an end, and what a year it's been. It's gone by at such a pace. So much has gone on. So many new experiences, so many things learnt. This blog has only captured a small portion of it, but will hopefully record more in the coming year.

My best wishes for the coming year to all of you fellow travellers.

Monday, December 19, 2005

mixed fortunes.

I am listening to a track called Sadeness (by Enigma). It falls under a category of music called World Music / New Era. It has tribal chants (called gregorian chants), haunting, melancholic flutes and is in French and some latin. It is one of the best songs recorded. Why the name "Sadeness"? It is inspired by a 17th Century French sadist called Marques de Sade. The list of atrocities committed by this guy is long and the nature of his acts shocking. In fact, "sadism" is a direct reference to de Sade. So much for history.

Why, you might ask am I giving information that seems so unconnected? Well, first, I am penniless. On Friday, the ATM blacked out and disappeared with my card. I am just being thrown about by these bank guys.

I sneaked to work today and I have been waiting for rain to start pounding my head. Nothing has come yet. In fact, the manager involved wrote a one-liner that instructed me to reformat the script and remove the errors in the data. No threats, no reprimanding and sure as hell no praise.

A wave of benevolence has swept over. The HoD has just announced will shall be working half-day from now on till new year. That, is just too good.

It is now Jamiroquai - Cosmic Girl.
She's just a cosmic girl, from another galaxy .......
transmitting on my frequency, my heart is at zero gravity ............

Beer cleanses

Its nice to be able to post personnaly and not rely on the kindness of other bloggers to turn my comments to posts.

I was feeling a bit tired last week, uninspired, sickly, irritable ... So I turned to the one thing that I know can rejuvinate, beer. There are times when a guy feels so tired that sleep cannot help, so bored that the following day looks unbearable, so unispired and unmotivated that he wants to resign and let all sorts of important stuff slide. At such times I call on the cleansing power of beer. The thing about beer is that it gets the blood flowing, adrenalin rushing, loosens those tight tendons and gets brilliant ideas flowing.

If you were to drink hard on a Sato and/or Friday after a long tiring week, you would wake up the next day feeling even more tired with a hangi added in for good measure. So u spend the whole of Sunday lazing around in the house swearing you will never drink again. By Monday you wake up feeling like you were tied behind an Eldoret express and dragged along the Naivasha-Nakuru highway.

When you wake up on Tuesday you feel like a new man. You are bubbling with energy, your mind is moving so fast you can solve all those problems you previously considered impossible, you are in such a good mood that the waiter at the kiosk you have lunch gets a tip. By Wednesday evening you have hit the peak, on Thursday you capitalise on the little remaining energy to get stuff done. On Friday you are looking forward to a weekend so although you are running on fumes you get quite a bit done.

Beer breaks you down, it takes you to the very bottom so that you can grow again. A tea farmer will periodically chop/prune the bushes down to the trunk so that he can get some new branches. Beer does the same thing.

Why I'm never going back to Tropez

I have not been a fan of this popular pub, for reasons I can't quite figure out myself. I happened to pass by this place on Sato night, in the company of aJamaa and a couple of other guys. As usual, there's a melee at the entrance. We try to make our way through the door, but a bunch of us get pulled aside and get asked for our IDs. "What the ...", I mutter to myself. This is insane. I'm probably older than these bouncers asking to see when I was born. I'm not dressed in a manner to suggest that I'm under 18. I'm wearing a sweater for crying out loud! Ok. Fine. Perhaps I look much younger than I really am. Now, aJamaa on the other hand is a respactable member of this society, and he certainly doesn't look like a teenager. He's shaped the lives of several generations of young people walking around this town! Do they figure they're doing us a real big favour by letting us in. As it is, we couldn't get sitting space and exited the place immediately. I'll be more than happy to meet anyone at the door, but having to furnish my ID so that I can have the pleasure of hanging out at the most popular bar in town is something I'm not willing to do.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

a super, super day.

Today is Saturday. I was hauled out of bed half drunk today morning. Work. You see, yesterday, we attended this function, and as goes with such functions, there was free beer. Never one to shy away from such noble responsibility, I took more than my fair share of the workload.

Someone calls. It is way too early in the day to be receiving calls. My head is pounding. They call again. I do the first mistake, I switch off my phone. That is a high crime here. After 30 minutes I realize I must get moving. The phone is still off.

I arrive to find guys asking whether a certain job that was to have been completed like 3 weeks ago has been done. What do you think? It has not been done. But what do I say? Oh yes, that? That I finished yesterday afternoon. So someone asks: why no deliveries. At this I launch into a long technical and very abstract explanation which always silences the citizens. I open query analyzer and script the thing damn quick. Mistake two. I am missing some data; The data that manages to get picked is wrong; The already picked and wrong data gets truncated because of a malformed query and thus makes even less sense. Of course I don't know all this. I run a quick check. Everything looks fine
Press F5. About to Execute. [this many records] are going to be transferred. Do you want to continue? Of course dammit, what's with these Microsoft message boxes, why would I want to press F5 if I did not want the package to execute? I want to go home.

Executed. Trouble. In purified form.

Now there are 10,000 irate customers out there. All hell has broken loose. Names of high rollers are being invoked in every phone call.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Chelsea vs Barcelona [The rematch]

The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League has been done. Yes. Providence has handed us a rematch of this classic epic from last season. It's is for me, the tie of the round, and last season's fireworks will just make this one even fierier. Can't wait.

MY introverted self

Introverted: Marked by interest in or preoccupation with oneself or one's own thoughts as opposed to others or the environment; shy or reserved.

The year is rapidly coming to an end. It's been interesting if nothing else. I have also learnt a great deal about myself and this life. In the recent weeks and months especially, I've spent a lot of time introspecting. I have often shunned the company of others just to be by myself and think about my life. Perhaps I've been depressed. I have never been an extrovert. In fact, I've been a very shy individual all my life, perheps slightly less so now. Still, especially when it comes to women, I have my shy moments. I often speak out when I believe in something, mostly to challenge a status quo, and stand up for my beliefs, and have been branded rude on many an occassion because of this. Still, once in a while, I reflect upon life. This seems to be happening a lot more of late.

I think I'm growing old.

Another win for Liverpool

I spent my lunch hour watching the second half of Liverpool's semi final match at the world club championships in Japan. Needless to say, the result was pretty pleasing. 3 nil to The Reds. You can read the reports on your favourite site.

This is one team that has benefited immensely from good coaching. Any guy who can teach Carrager to cross a ball deserves praise. After all, it's something that hasn't been achieved in 5+ years. And he's also learnt how to use his left foot. I have also never subscribed to the hero worship of Steven Gerrard, but he's another guy who's come in leaps and bounds in the past season. Before, he only used to pass the ball across the full length of the pitch. These days, he tries short passes and touches. There are better aspects to his game but it's still indicative of better coaching. More emphasis on ball skills rather than just defending ability. Well, they aren't conceding too many goals either so it's an improvement on all fronts. The golden era of Rush, Burns and Grobbelaar may be gone, but the current crop of players are doing the manager and the club proud.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

[aJamaa] Report writing

Allow me to share one of the aspects of my job I detest most. Auditing is basically fun, one goes and talks to a few people, pretends to understand what they do, finds faults and recommends corrective action. The talking to people part is always fun since one gets to pick up alot of new knowledge. Infact I dont think I can have a job where I report to the same office everyday and spend the whole day at the same desk.

However, since there is no free lunch, a guy has to write a report at the end of every audit. This guyz have refined the art of report writing it basically involves the KYM in the ground doing all the writing, a manager reviewing the report and a partner doing the final review and sign off. It sounds easy doesn't it? Well you are wrong, the thing is I did Comp sci because I could not get into any course that required a descent grade in any of the languages, during my four years of campus a report was prepared by copying and pasting stuff from the net with the understanding that neither the student nor the lecturer would ever read the damn thing. So nothing I have ever done before has prepared me for report writing.

Another problem is that the reviewer on occasion has no idea what happens in the ground and as such require me to report on issues that are non-existant and make recommendations that cannot be implemented. The other issue is that the review process is iterative. I write, the reviewer requests amendments, I correct, the reviewer requests other amendments, I amend, and then the reviewer requests amendment to their own amendments. On occasion we go back to the version I had initially. There have been times when a report reviewed by a manager is completely trashed by a partner and so the manager who had initially okayed the document comes baying for my blood as if the trashed document did not involve them.

Report writing, however is nothing compared to timesheets. I will talk about this evil another day.

The benefit of growing old

There is one. I would know you know, I AM growing old. This year has been one of tremendous learning for me. Numerous new experiences, difficult and exciting, possibly more so than any other in my life. I have learnt a great deal about myself and life in general. The benefit of ageing is that you learn to take things in stride. You learn to accept things and not to sweat the small stuff. When I see our president call us "pumbavu", I'm envious. I see a person who's not shackled by the expectations of society. Old people are typically like this. They are extremely straightforward, and vulgar. There's something about having been there and having done that before. You don't get fazed by too many things. I love seeing the vigour of youth, but I'm slowly coming to accept that the wisdom that comes with age isn't such a bad trade off.

Spinning around

There's a song by Kylie Minogue with that phrase in the refrain. It's an apt description of the state of my mind right now.

I had another 21 minute conversation yesterday night. Right after having a 13 minute conversation with the same chic and having to head off to the shop to buy some more credit. Safaricom would do a good thing to offer me a job right now. I don't know how I'll survive this. It just happens to be her birthday today. I'm not sure what I'll do if she asks to meet up. I will need to come to work tomorrow, and if I meet up with her, I'm not sure what will happen.

On another note, the 200K-net chic has now refused to take my calls or respond to my texts. I can't quite remember what I did to deserve such treatment. I am learning though that you shouldn't fret too much about people who want nothing to do with you. There are plenty more people who would. Needless to say, I have deleted her number from my phone book and cleared my call lists. Again.

Chapter 4: Face to face

I left work in a rush yesterday. A real rush. I was practically running across town, for the long overdue meeting with the married woman. A summary follows.

She seemed a bit nervous at first. Probably hasn't done such a thing in a long time. We talked for about an hour. Nothing too exciting. The usual stuff people would talk about. Nothing really stands out from the conversation. Oh. Except that she is of the opinion that she wouldn't leave her hubby if he was cheating on her, with only one particular woman. She accepts that this kind of 'polygamy' is a reality and would have a co-wife. To meet a woman of such an opinion in this day and age must be rare.

There's a sense of excitement, intrigue and mystery about someone who you talk to but have never met. That's what was pulling me down the slipperty slope. Now, however, my imagination has been put to rest and I can be more sober about the whole thing. I think I was just full of myself, convincing myself how she likes to read my emails and talk to me. Well, she wants a friend and I can try to be that. No fireworks here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chapter 3: Phone calls in the office

I got a phone call in the office today morning. Now, I rarely ever get calls at work. I don't think I've ever given anyone our office number. There are a couple of times my namesake at work has gotten a phone call and I've been called by mistake. That's as close as I come to receiving phone calls.

As I was settling in to jobo today morning, at like 0940, a colleague signals in my general direction about someone having a phone call. [We only have the one phone in the office. No desk-side extensions here] I have my ear phones on, as every programmer should, and since my lip reading skills are a bit inadequate, I'm not sure who she's talking about. I chuck my headphones and point to the guy sitted behind me, seeing as she's pointing in my general direction. I know I'm not the one, and I could swear I heard her say this other guys name. She shakes her head violently, insisting I'm the guy she's talking about. I quickly scan my memory for any possible suspects for this most unusual occurrence. I draw a blank.

"Hello?", I go cautiously. It's a chic's voice on the other end of the line. She says hi and whatnot. My mind is doing some speech synthesis, but I still have no idea who I'm talking to. Plus, either the volume on this thing is really low, or she's whispering. My hearing, like my eyesight, has never been the best anyway.

It's her. I managed to go through the whole weekend without calling her. Thinking about her even. Yup. It's the married chic, who I can't flirt with, and it's very difficult talking to a chic if you aren't flirting. What would you talk about? We exchange stories about the weekend, for what seemed like an eternity. The conversation just kept going on and on. I finally asked how come she's staying over with her mum. She's kind of apart from the hubby right now. Issues.

As I was writing this, she called again. This time I figured it must be her. Somewhere along the conversation, I found myself asking to meet her. She was taken a bit by surprise. "You want to meet me so soon?", she asks. I can tell she's a tad uncomfortable. Confused at least. I guess she underestimated me. I have been known to be a stubborn guy, and to insist on stuff. It's a good thing I don't have a private office because I would have ended up saying some things I shouldn't have, had my workmates not been sitting there listening to my every word.

So. When the clock strikes 6, I'll be out of here like a flash. We'll be meeting at psys. You can come and be a chaperone. So much for Don't ask, don't tell.

Firsts

They say there's a first time for everything. Well, everything that you get to do at least. A long weekend like the one just passed is the kind that can provide many such opportunities.

My first first was an encounter with the cops. Yup. I just hear stories but have never had one of my own. I'm pretty much a coward so I typically avoid being up and about during the night. So. The story is thus. It's like 2330. I'm walking in town, minding my own business. Ahead of me, I see two cops. I don't think too much about it, but familiar stories come to mind, all who's gist is avoiding cops when you see them. I'm not going to turn around, and I can't cross the street to avoid them. They are walking in the same direction I am but managed to look back and notice my lone figure. I'm as calm as the proverbial cucumber. As I pass next to them, one of them blurts out, "Unaenda wapi?". All the stories I've heard begin like that so some apprehension starts to creep in. "Naenda kucheza", I reply, or something like that, trying to muster all my swahili sanifu I can. This one very interested copper goes on. "Uko na pesa?". The red flags that 0.5 has seen so many times start going up for me also. I'm not sure how I'm meant to respond or what's going to come next. I try and be a responsible citizen and answer simply. "Ndio". "Ngapi?". I don't know the going rate for bribing a policeman on night patrol, but I have done nothing wrong. It's not even that late, to be accused of loitering or thinking of commiting a crime or something. "Ngiri", I reply hesitantly. This is now bordering on harassment, but they haven't taken the gloves off yet, so I continue smiling and being cooperative as if everything is alright, and I'm helping an old lady with directions. They go on for a while about how it's a good thing that I have money, but I sense some resentment at the fact that a kid like myself could have money to go out. I don't know about their circumstances but I know their pay can be better. The same applies to us all. "Na wapi msichana, ama unaenda kuwapata huko?". The tension is eased up a bit and I reply to the latter question in the affirmative, now hastening my steps in a it's-been-nice-talking-to-you manner. I even say thanks and wave them good bye. I really like the fact that there are a lot more cops patrolling our streets these days, and hopefully they won't harass you too much.

My second first was definitely more exciting. There's this chic I met on Friday during my escapades. As always, I ask for her number. Wait. I think she GAVE me her number. There's something about a chic who grabs your phone and puts her details in herself. Very exciting. Even writing about it is exciting. Anyway, Some time on Sunday I think, I'm exchanging smss with 0.5 about plans for the evening. I'm thinking of going to choices but I haven't decided yet. Mara, my credit ishas. I figure that if I'm to go out, I'll need some credit, and being 2200, I have to get some now. The guy at the shop doesn't have those 100 bob slips. I figure I'm unlikely to win a million bob anyway so I get the 250 kind. Has anyone here even gotten any free credit as a result of topping up? What a hoax. Anyway, rather than go on with my conversation with 0.5, I decide to call up my newly found friend. Nothing remotely novel so far, until I hanged up that is. That call lasted 21 minutes. There's a first for me. I have hit the highs of 15 mins on a couple of occassions, all with the same chic, but this was the most involving call I've ever made. I hope I survive the period of time that she's still in my phonebook.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

How do women choose mates for life? Read on ...

I collected this from one of the more colourful blogs on the web. Its hilarious.
Not a word changed.

Normally when a man wants to get married he contemplates and articulates a PROPOSAL for several months. He has to make sure that the place and timing and method of his PROPOSAL is going to sell him to the girl who will either ACCEPT or DENY his application.

Impilcit:

"Dear Angel. I know that I do not deserve to be with you but I will try my luck. I normally don't bow down on my knees except when addressing a god and my darling you are a goddess. I kiss the ground on which you walk. I hereby ask for your consideration of this proposal that I have been meddling with for several months. To bribe you I emptied my life savings in order to afford you this lovely piece of gem which I hope to put in your hand in the hopes that you will be pleased enough to accept my proposal."

Said:

"Angel, will you marry me?"

At which point the woman will take a moment and think to herself

" Gosh what a sight of pity. Look at him begging for dear life..if I do not agree to marry this bloke no one will. And is this all the ring he could afford? Despicable. I know that other dude bought me earings even more expensive than this ring this dude thinks is all that but that other dude...he is just too out of control. This one here I can put him in a cage and get him to do as I want. To stay home with the kids and be a husband even though my heart is with that other dude."

At this point the woman gets teary-eyed realizing the harshness of the reality of life that will force her to settle for this thing for the rest of her life.

In between weeps of what some might mistake to be tears of joy but in essence are tears of self-pity, she says

"Yes!"

And they hug and the guy is happy that he was CHOSEN by the chick.

Very rosy and poetic.

I will be around town tonight making a nuisance of myself. If any of you guys gets a bright idea, like buying me 2, pleaaaseeee holla!

21 questions

20 actually. Reminds me of the joys of AI.


http://20q.net/

Friday, December 09, 2005

The saga continues ...

This is a follow up on my post on Wednesday about my close encounters with a married woman.

So she gives me a call yesterday, to ask me how my day was. I find such calls rather odd to be honest. I think they are the preserve of couples, married or otherwise, who have to call each other everyday, hence run out of stuff to say, resorting to "how was your day". She's married so that's allowed.

Anyway, she says we can continue talking on the phone, and if it becomes a problem with her hubby, she'll tell me. I try to impress upon her that I wouldn't want it to even get to that stage but she's adamant that I need not worry and the status quo can be maintained. So much for trying to 'break it off' gently. To make matters worse, she tells me she's at her mother's place, visiting for a week. I didn't even ask. And she just happens to be staying in my neck of the woods. A disaster waiting to happen if you ask me.

However, unlike Joe Black who I met on the mara trip, I take full responsibility for my choices and actions. I typically have 2 approaches to putting some distance between me and a chic, whoever likes the other or whatever.

First, there's the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy. If she doesn't ask anything, don't tell her anything. If she doesn't call, don't call her. If she doesn't text or email, don't be the first to. After a while, if you're lucky, she'll get fed up and frustrated with you.

Then there's the 'Shock and Awe' policy. This involves a purposeful and persistent full frontal attack. Tell her how lovely her body is. Tell her about a todo list you've drawn up for if you were ever alone with her. Hopefully, she'll resign you to the 'all other guys' pile, just after her for one thing, treating her like a piece of meat and whatever other sentiments such (mis)demeanour conjures up.

Shock and Awe is definitely not an option here, so being as plain and bland as I possibly can will probably put me in safer waters.

snapshot of my memory in time and space (as of 1622 hrs)

- This Friday is sure taking its sweet time in arriving.
- I was wondering, do you guys have people in your workplace who Cc everyone on every mail? You cannot begin to imagine what misery that causes. We have a chic here who mails the Managing Director when she wants a network cable replaced!
- A fellow developer today asked me to fill out a request form and forward it to the managers so that he can create a view that will be dumping some data from a certain server. Anyway, I understand where he is coming from.
- The '' key on my keybord is stuck. I m hving gret trouble typing. I have to press it real hard for it to print. Some cleaner guys must have spilled something on it.
- Don't you just love the way the roads are easy nowadays? No kids. On the other hand I am meeting underage couples at every corner.
- As a continuation of the reflection above, being in a single sex high school really sucked the joy out of life.
- Now that Tropez was raided last Saturday, what does that mean? Do we give the place a wide berth so that we may spare ourselves the opportunity of collecting a bullet in the chest? Was there on Friday, the old school tracks were just...amazing. For that particular night, the DJ had particularly come of age. Anyway, Tropez is on its way out.
- I am still looking for the movie "Pulp Fiction". The cast: John Travolta, Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames. Enough said.
- There is a device, for about US $100 (or that range), can connect your computer to your TV or your radio, such that you can view all those movies and listen to tracks that have funny formats (like ogg vorbis) on your TV. They have invented everything!
- Do you ever wonder, whether in the future, a person might order a made-to-fit wife or husband from a mad genetic biologist? In the same breath, order perfectly obedient and dutiful children as well. No? You guys will read this blog like 40 years from now and call me a prophet.
- When you just thought the referendum din was dying down! The debes are out in force again. The self appointed political analysts are really driving me nuts.

Read you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Flirting with a married woman

Well. Not quite yet, but I'm heading there.

There's this chic [allow me to refer to her as such in this blog] that I got emailing. One of those times when you get an email from a strange person and reply in the hope that some excitement can accrue from it. Well, I got my wish, and she replied. Some apologies about sending mail to the wrong person. I'm not one to be the one to stop a conversation over mail, so I kept up the contact.

At the time, I didn't know who I was talking with. All I knew is that she was female, and that was enough. I was giving her all manner of spurious vibe, and for some strange reason, she found it interesting. She mentioned that she now looks forward to reading her email, to I figured I was doing my human duty to give some attention to someone who was lacking it.

Later, I came to learn that she was married, with one kid. My tone and nature of conversation with her changed immediately. I don't mess with married women. At least I try not to. She noticed my U-turn and expressed her disappointment. I figured that would be my chance to break 'it' off, but for some reason sent one more email. I now don't say scandalous things. The usual "how was your weekend,", "what do you do with your sundays" type vibe.

The other day, yesterday actually, I decided to ask her for her number. Apparently to keep in touch during the christmas break when she'll be away or something. [I was volunteered to be on call during the whole christmas period incidentally]. This was one of those things that you ask for but don't expect to get. So when she replied giving me her mobile number, I was more afraid than anything. Afraid of the path I was now headed towards. I gave her a call yesterday evening, absolutely oblivious as to what I would tell her. I felt obligated to. She didn't respond immediately. Apparently she had been in the shower. I looked at the sms she had just sent for the longest time, imagining all sorts of things I could say in response. All the things that I would not say. All the things I am not allowed to say.

I don't know what will happen now, but I intend to arrange a meeting with her, with the secret hope that I don't find her attractive. That is one of the most sure way for me to keep away.

what (or where) is the edge?

Back when I was in campus, I used to project into the future; The picture that I saw there was very rosy. Young graduate in Computer Science. How many of those are there around huh? You must forgive my (former) naivete; I look back in retrospect and laugh at myself.

In my dreams, a couple of months even before I place my last exam paper on the table for marking, huge corporations would be knocking down my doors with offers. Beautiful head-hunter ladies from these corporations would try to persuade me to accept a slightly lower salary for the post. I even had a magic number: 120 big ones. I would see myself, cruising in a black imprezza, heading towards the leafy suburbs west of chiromo ....

It is a dream that evaporates quickly. A phenomenon called reality slaps you very hard in the face and you wake up to a stark reality. The reality was a small office near Haile Selassie avenue (you folks know the place). Not that I am not grateful, I am very much. After starting out with an inhumane salary of out 10,000 per month, I kept telling myself that this is just a pass-time. Time to hit the big time was just around the corner.

Eventually I moved from Haile Selassie. The money inched up a very tiny step. As I got caught up in a merry-go-round of jobs with miniscule salaries, another dream took shape in my head; I would develop a revolutionary software that would make me rich and quickly.

Now I ask myself - which revolutionary software was I going to make? It now seems that all good software has been made. Ever heard the expression "if you are not on the edge, you are taking too much space?". There is a nice thought. In a particular search for the "edge", people and companies are doing ridiculous stuff. How about a program that has moods huh? Intuit is trying something along those lines. My whole problem is that I want to wake up rich one day. Very silly.

There is no edge ladies and gentlemen. If there is an edge, then all we do is blunt it (and get hurt in the process) for another person to occupy it. That, is a very noble undertaking.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The beacon [and lack of it]

When we were in campus, there was a guy with some very interesting trait. Somehow, he just seemed to attract women. Good looking and interesting women. Some of us came to the conclusion that he had a Beacon [A signaling or guiding device]. That was and still is the only logical explanation for this phenomenon.

After aJamaa's exploits at psys some time back, I decided to conduct an experiment, and see if the same would happen to me. If I would get picked up.

I passed by psys in the later hours. Surveyed the area. No one I knew. Typical Friday - not too packed. After a while standing by the counter and not getting any offers to leave with anyone, I moved to a more conspicuous spot. Nothing still. I figured that dancing would do the trick but that wasn't working either. I then came to the conclusion that I don't have a beacon - and those of us who don't have to work much harder at attracting women's attention, especially given their totally unrealistic view of the world.

Going web

The development team at work had an interesting meeting today, where we were informed that our future projects will be web based. Now, anyone who knows me knows how much I abhor web programming. I have never created a web site in my life, and the number of web pages I've actually created can be counted on one hand. I have tried to learn (X)HTML, css, javascript, asp but for some reason, my interest hasn't lasted beyond the initial excitement. The fact that I'm not very good with colours and layout has also made me steer way clear of any kind of web design work.

It seems that's the way everyone is going. I don't know if I'll survive. One of the best ways to overcome your fears is to confront them so perhaps the one week in house training we'll get will do just that for me.

I am afraid.

Monday, December 05, 2005

You are not alone ...

I didn't mean to blog about work today, but I came across this article/phenom. [I didn't google for it. Honest]

EA: The Human Story

And related links:

His FAQ
Some Press reports
One blogger
Another blogger

Friday, December 02, 2005

Toads desiring princes (and princesses)

I am in a melancholic mood. Maybe because its Friday at last. As such, I am going to dispense advice, for free, and since this is in the public domain, I shall address to all citizens of the globe, male or female.

Lets use cases for clarity. I will use the male gender, because I am a man and I make observations, judgments and conclusions as a man.

Lets "prune" good (by "good" I mean desirable to women) male attributes to:
1. Rich 2. Good Looking 3. Intelligent 4. Character (R,G,I,C). Lets reduce this set to "single" men.

Now there is an extremely small percentage (like 0.2%) of the male population who are endowed with the "superset" of all four. The entire population of single women go after this small lot. With obvious disastrous results. The richly blessed men have their pick of women. With their talents, they can even go after women who have qualities similar to theirs (other men will salivate from a distance).

The competition is at nuclear-reactor temperatures at the very top, so shift down a bit. Compromise is the way to go. The women who don't look like Tyra Bank's twin sibling move down to the "good set". The good set has a combination of any of the attributes but not all. Humorous man, with cash. Sharp dude, good looking too.

Wow! These guys too aren't that plenty. The people drifting down from rejection in the upper echelons are now more determined than ever to hook up. Compe is hot here as well. Non fitters are pushed out!

Down to guys who have one attribute in the set. "Atomic" guys. Just one rung up from the colorless mass down there. This is the almost "normal" region in the distribution curve. A substantial amount of pairing is done here. But lofty ambitions still remain. The couples at this level are holding each other while looking elsewhere in some sort of fatal romance dance. A chic (or dude) will cheat on the fiance in an instant if a member of the superior sets offers the least bit of temptation. There is a lot of malaise here. A good number of relationships are for convenience.

Due to the warps and incompatibilities of the relationship class I have just talked about, many people will now drift to the rock bottom. This is where the men have nothing to offer in terms of the attibutes I have mentioned. Many men are in this level. So are the women.

So when I hear a woman say on radio or in the paper say something like "my ideal man should be financially stable, intelligent, funny, good looking, gentle and caring, .........ad infinitum" I can't help wondering: Do you have all those traits honey? And the truth is invariably the same. No.

You learn, from experience and John Nash's "theory of convergence (not what its called)". The soul and thrust of the theory (in my understanding, and from the movie) is: During the rush by the majority to acquire the one good thing, there are other many average things left for which there is little competition; and the acquisition of many of those will grant close, if not the same utility as the one good thing (if you can get it in the first place).
Of course, my whole theory above does not run strictly to form, but it is true to some extent.
Knowing that I have very little to offer women (this you know when she does not answer your calls, or has no psyche at all during dates), I don't bother with the cute ones. Those I leave for guys who drive limousines. I content myself with people who get broke like me, who will eat chips without throwing a tantrum, who have no illusions (or at least keep their illusions to themselves).


Hmmmmmmppp Ha!

Perceived Threats

As I was reading 0.5 predicaments I remembered that I was in it while new and it still persists even now. There are those components you wouldn’t touch because the guy fills that he is the only one who knows it better. I remember my supervisor was the worst of all he used to talk rudely and pissed me each and every time. But what amazes me is that he just talks but if I go to look back at the functionalities I implemented they never change even if he used to make weird comments in the meetings. Ask the guy to explain to you some functionality and he says we will do it tomorrow only to discover that the guy cannot explain to you functionality when you require it. It seems these guys think they are the only ones. Leave them alone and do what pleases you when time comes they will know who and what you are made of and from then on they will respect you.

What this Fuss of Reggae??

When going home and for the first time at least the matatu I went with wasn’t playing wasn’t tuned to a reggae station. It was tuned to Capital FM with Eve. So I thought oh yes!! It’s been a long time since I listened to her program, and when I used to listen to her she was bringing some good rap music and gossip. So I arrived home at some minutes to 8 PM and as you would expect I went straight to the radio and tuned to Capital FM. At around eight came the announcement that aroused my concern “A session of reggae is next”, I started wondering what’s all these fuss about reggae. You will agree with me every station even Kameme has placed more than two hours of reggae daily, Metro decided reggae is the in-thing. All the stations are playing reggae in the afternoon and evening. Am a fan of reggae and have quite a number of CD’s, but too much of something is poisonous. Nowadays I can’t stand reggae playing even in my place. Guys is it that reggae attracts quite a number of listeners or what, or is it the same behavior of Kenyans all doing the new thing, implying media houses are included. Anyway am not despising play of reggae, but whatever the case too much of something is poisonous. This have taken me back to listening to one time favorite music Kikuyu traditional songs forcing me to spend weekends searching for them in town. Anyway the media knows better.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

PIck Up: Posted by [ajamaa]

0.5 feels this needs a premium spot on the blog. Kamikaze, please do the honours.




I have not been added to the blog so I will continue to add comments as opposed to write my on thing for the time being.

I have been dying to tell this story all week but I have been out of office since Monday. I should have told the story on Monday when it was still clear in my mind but I guess the memories that remain after a few days capture the essence of a few events.

I had my last class on Friday last week. I had gotten tired and bored of my students after a long 5 months. There weren't any fly chiks in the class anyway so there was nothing to make me yearn to go to class. Besides, I am tired and I need to do something else with my Friday evening other than getting to class 30 minutes late to meet only a quarter of the students waiting for me.

Forgive me I digress. So I walk out of class around 7.20p.m. feeling as free as road runner, looking at my phone I notice I have an unread SMS. The SMS was from one of my fellow teachers who greatly desired to buy some meat. Its amazing the kind of things a guy will do get company to drink. I hook up with the guy we go up to Upper hill springs. Since I was not banana and I do not like mugithi we left as soon as we finised the goat ribs.

As I was dropping my buddy at his diggz in Langata we decided to make a little detour to Psys (I dont know why I always go there, its alway full and the music is too loud.). Luckily we get a table order pynts and start talking about the chiks we hanged out the previous weekend. Two tables away from where we are seated, were two chiks, nothing to write home about, they weren't hot, didn't have gorgeous bodies and were not drinking black ice. However, one of them could really dance to soul. Nobody could keep their eyes off her she was a really good dancer.

Thirty minutes later, I am really sleepy and trying to figure out how I can use 2K, to pynt on Sato, get fuel for a week, buy credit and buy lunch for five days. I am rowsed from my deep thoughts by a chik standing next to me and saying Hi. I turn look at her, and it is the dancer, my first thought is she must have been a former student I cant remember.

"Do u watch the Practice?", she asks. I conclude she cant have been a former student. "I dont watch much TV", I answer. "My friend and I think you look like Eugene". Blank, my mind goes totally blank, I do not even want to imagine the look I must have given her. "Are you saying I am fat?", I ask. "No. I have a buddy who if she was here would eat u alive". Blank again, completely blank. We talk for a while, about what I cant remember. She goes back to her table.

I tell my buddy what has just happened. His advice is I should go after the chik. I tell him I have enuff woman trouble as it is and I will not increase my problems.

She comes back after 10 minutes and says she is going home but she would like my number before she leaves. She then proceeds to put her phone in my hand. This is crazy I think, but what am I to do she is there waiting, I type in my number. We continue talking, she is a lawyer studying accounting, leaves in Nakuru, has on sister and two brothers, is singl ... & a lot more stuff.

She goes back to her friend. I call a waiter and order the two of them drinks. She blows me a kiss when she gets her drink. She walks back to me, I pull a seat for her. We talk for like an hour. She confesses that the buddy who would have eaten me alive if she were there is actually her.

We take a walk, we get into the back seat of my car. An hour later I cant continue ignoring calls from my buddy. We go back to the pub. Her buddy is mad, my buddy has a weird looking grin on his face.

I promise to call her the next day. She leaves.

I call the following morning. We agree to meet in the evening at 7.00. I spend like 5 hours talking to her, about what I dont know. She calls me the next day she wants to hook up. I am back to my senses I tell her I cannot see her.

We have been texting each other every damn day since then. I was picked up fair and square.

FEAR.

When I started out in the development team, some of the older members dismissed me as someone who is not capable of much. They would sit and brag on endlessly about how Oracle Enterprises is difficult. They even went ahead and labelled me as a "baby" programmer. In their understanding, there are those who develop for Oracle (the so called "adult" developers) and the rest of us.

I maintained my silence.

Another fellow recently mocked me that indeed I can only write code in VB, and therefore cannot move into the C++/HP_UX/Linux platform. Really? Again I kept quiet. Recently, I had the opportunity to write some Sql Server routines to automate some batch file processing. The work was to be reviewed, by of course, one of our senior developers (This I learnt later.I am still not trusted to do code critical enough).

I re-wrote the file IO routines from VB to C++. Just to prove a point. I used STL, to practice and more importantly to annoy the reviewer. It was just painful, but when you have a point to prove you will be able to do it. Our C++ guru could not understand my program and was too ashamed to ask what the routines were doing and how they were doing it.
The annoying "baby programmer" wise cracks have quietly gone away.

Our team was kind of re-structured again. There are specialties; ERP and MIS. I belong to neither. This is how it works. The ERP, is a huge forest. So is MIS. Only one person knows the ERP well, the schemas, structures and workflows. This person is supposed to train me (not how to code, God forbid, but what goes where and the biz logic) so that I can take over some of the workload. He has refused. His first excuse was that I was not good enough a programmer. Now that it has been proven to the contrary, he is saying he is too busy. That is Fear. Fear that other people will debunk the Oracle myth. That his standing in the dept. will be compromised by another person having similar knowledge. Which is all nonsense.

I will learn myself. There is so much bullshit in organizations.

Some are more equal than others

This is one of the more memorable phrases from my travails with literature in high school. And how true.

So I had another run in with another person at work today - a manager even. I'm summoned to see a bug in some functionality which I've coded. Ok. No problem. I pay attention for a while and look at her with bewilderment. "What do you expect to happen!", I scream, inwardly of course. I try to calm my voice and explain that that's the way Windows works. No, she says. It can't possibly be. I must be lying, trying to cover my ass. I can't possibly know what I'm talking about. There's no way I can be right. I'm a moron. She tries another avenue. "It used to work before". "When?", I ask, confident as you can get. She gives me a not-so-nice look. I stare back. "Try it", I demand. "Show me!", I scream. She finally gets some courage and asks another member of the team to try the contentious issue out in that earlier version in which it supposedly works the way she thinks it should. The disappointment on her face is palpable. It works the way I've been trying to explain to her. Basically she expects a window to remain in the foreground when she clicks on another window. Unless the thing is coded to always stay on top, the other window will come to the foreground. You don't have to be a techie to appreciate that. You just need an open mind and not some crazy fixation or obsession at proving that you are right. "Ok, let's let that alone", she sighs with resignation and goes on to show me other bugs. I'm livid and I'm not hiding it. I leave it at that.

What's worse is that this behaviour and reactions are only for us minions. The way more senior and older programmers are treated is so distinctly different. They get the benefit of doubt. They are approached like one would a lion, with plenty of caution, respect and gentleness.

Apparently a desire for life to be fair is totally irrational, so I won't flog this dead horse any longer.

On another note, that note actually, I've started spamming any and all email addressses I can get my hands on with my cv. Well, I only got 2 tonight, but if you know of any, I have the email ready and just need an address to forward it to.