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11/24/09

Permalink 06:51:03 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture, Commentary

Ocho Rios Jerk Centre

By now you would have realized that I’m a lover of driving to the country side and food. Put them together and I’m good to go, no encouragement needed. You might also have noticed that good Jamaican jerk is one of my favorites. Whether chicken, pork or fish, as long as it taste good I don’t mind, so naturally I always check out the jerk joints on route where ever I go.

My last outing took me through Ocho Rios, so Ocho Rios Jerk Centre was my obvious stop. I must say that since my last visit they have done some improvement on the facility, bright lively colours and thatch ceiling made from palm leaves. All in all, the ambiance is relaxing, encouraging to just sit back and unwind. Of course the bar right there also helps to lift your spirits.

 

We had Manish water, jerk chicken, pork and fish, some BBQ ribs, festival, bammy and plantains. I must say my favourite was the jerk pork. We had to wait a bit for the fish but it was worth it. The ribs weren’t jerk but the children enjoyed it. A bit of variety, something for everyone, this is always good for a restaurant. 

 

Something I’ve noticed lately, it that there seems to be a football or cricket field attached to these jerk stops, or is it just coincident. Any way, there is one beside the Ocho Rios Jerk centre and it does encourage patrons to linger especially if there is activity going on.

As usual I took pictures to share with you, enjoy.

Nuff Love.

Ocho Rios Jerk Centre

Ocho Rios Jerk Centre

Ocho Rios Jerk Centre - Pork any one
Ocho Rios Jerk Centre - Pork any one?

or chicken?

Pork, Chicken, Bammie and Plaintain
Pork, Chicken, Bammie and Plaintain

Field attached to the Ocho Rios Jerk centre
Field attached to the Ocho Rios Jerk centre

11/23/09

Permalink 08:37:29 pm, by Melba
Categories: Business

Dunn’s River Falls and National Park

My latest Jamaican adventure took me to the most fabulous and enjoyable water falls in the world, Dunn’s River Falls and National Park. I must confess I’ve been there ‘nuff, nuff’ times before but no matter how often I go there I’m always amazed and awed at the absolute beauty and wonder of the place. The authorities have done a great job in making the park into a first class attraction ensuring that all essentials facilities are available.  A lot of thought and work have also been put into the landscaping as it is immaculately kept and absolutely beautiful.

Now, as far as falls go, many of you may ask what about Niagara Falls in Canada? I agree it’s great, but you cannot get in it and really enjoy it. Dunn’s River Falls on the other hand is great to look at and to be in. the water is always cool and refreshing. There are pockets throughout the falls where you can get either a light or deep tissue massage to rival the most renowned spa. Climbing the falls is an invigorating and unforgettable experience that is truly worth the trip. Why don’t I just show you, enjoy.

 

 

Nuff love

 

 

Entry to Dunn's River Falls
Entry to Dunn's River Falls

 

 

 

Waiting to conquer Dunn's River Falls
Waiting to conquer Dunn's River Falls

 

 

 

Climbing Dunn's River Falls
Climbing Dunn's River Falls

 

 

 

 

Dunn's River Falls in all its glory
Dunn's River Falls in all its glory

 

11/22/09

Permalink 08:37:18 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Business

Can Jamaica's Economy recover

Further to the post made yesterday I began to think really hard about whether or not Jamaica can really recover from the position we are in. I can already hear the sighs of frustration as you all think "here we go, somebody else with a 'solution' " or, "yea we've heard em all already". But really I think these are some things which people should take notice of... whether or not people have already stated them. All of these are really just the solution, though i'll try my best to include a process for solution as well, so yea this might be long.

First lets talk about crime. I dont care what all the experts say when they perform their studies and look at all this statistics, when all they need to do is walk around and have a conversation with people. Anybody who is over 20 years old will realize that there is a distinct difference between how they grew up and how growing up for kids is nowadays. And no its not just because of the technology thats available the fact that you can no longer buy a patty for $10. But the level of respect and treatment for people has seriously declined.

I know my family is pretty strict on respect for elders and respect on a whole (you know how much beating I get to remember to say good morning, good evening, and good night?), but all in all while I grew up I remember that these values were things which were shared across the board. People would be under serious pressure for disrespecting an older person. However nowadays... not so much, even within my own family I find myself having to teach kids about respect, but at the same time they are young so they are still learning, so its expected.

The issues we are having starts at home. People aren't being trained the same way that they used to, to integrate into society. This is causing a problem where lack of respect causes people to do things which are socially unacceptable and lead to crime and violence. No i'm not talking about the community raising a child either, because to be honest, I wasnt raised by my community. I was raised by my family. We no longer live in villages so that system will probably never come back into play.

The next issue with crime is garrison logic... This is needs to stop I mean come on. I wont even bother to go into the political tieing ins that happen in garrison communities, but the fact is all of these settlements (most of them are squatters) need to be disbanded and make room for healthy functioning communities. These communities breed nothing but violence and lack of respect for the rule of law (except for garrison law) and is the beginning and end of alot of our violence problems.

11/21/09

Permalink 07:45:23 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Business

State of the Jamaican Economy

I went to the pharmacy yesterday with a relative of mine, there I saw and started reading the november 14-20th edition of "the economist". Now this in no way means I was genuinely interested in any magazine which should only really draw the attention of business leaders which sadly I am not, I was just bored. But upon looking through the table of contents my attention was drawn to an article which was simply titled "Gloomy Jamaica Unfixable?". When I saw this title I instantly said to myself, "so this article is basically saying we are screwed" but then I said, or maybe its offering solutions to the problem, or maybe its just commentary... Either way I had to read it - This is a decision which I do not regret in anyway.

To put it frankly it is commentary, but its very interesting commentary. It also manages to touch on alot of the things I've posted about in this journal, namely the Mr. Latibeaudiere and Rear Admiral Lewin... But I'll not get there yet, i'll start with the introduction. The article starts by stating that Bruce Golding and the JLP came into power, breaking an 18 year stay as the opposition party and it also speaks of the hopes that Jamaican citizens had that this might just be helpful in solving our economic problems (of course most knowledgable Jamaicans will say that this would've made no difference either way). Which was quite true, the fresh face which was provided by the JLP was supposed to brighten up and probably jumpstart the economy. The article further goes on to give statistics sayign that interest rates on loans we owe tops out at 20% and also that servicing these loans takes up about 60% of our national budget, yet again things which are entirely true.

But then the article takes a turn and goes back on Mr. Latibeaudiere, stating that our prime minister was constantly complaining about his (Latibeaudiere's) salary and housing allowance (by the way, up until he was fired this information was never truly made public). But the article also speaks about the policy disagreement between Latibeaudiere and the ruling party - which was believed to be the true reason why the the former governor lost his job. It then goes on to say that losing Latibeaudiere has also managed to hurt the current negotiations taking place between Jamaica and the IMF and also was the reason why Standard & Poor immediately downgraded Jamaica's credit rating.

The article goes on to speak about the loss of Rear Admiral Lewin and quotes the Admiral where he speaks about the need to "break the linkages between organised criminal networks, our politics, businesses, communities and I dare say my own service, the police". A problem which has constantly plagued Jamaica and everybody knows about. The article goes on to speak about Mark Shields the former deputy police-commissioner and the fact that he stated he believes that the force cannot be fixed and instead needs to be re-created with new staff. He cites the fact that many key officers have been failing polygraph tests showing how deep seated the issue of corruption is in Jamaica.

Many of you may be asking so why is it so important for me to restate the facts of an article that states what most Jamaicans have known their entire lives? Quite frankly, its because the problem has grown out of proportion, its no longer something that is exclusive to Jamaicans, the entire world knows of our problems and the reasons why we have them and that simply means that our problem has become uncontrollable. When an international magazine such as "the Economist" can state facts like this is everyday knowledge that everybody should know it means we have a problem and it needs to be fixed. The solution may be harsh, but its necessary - 2 party system (gone), police force (gone and renewed)... time for a revolution of our system.

11/19/09

Permalink 02:22:42 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture, Commentary

Jamaican’s and their Dogs

As a rule, majority of Jamaicans are not animal fanatics. We take care of our pets (some more than others) but most of us don’t go overboard. My whole life I’ve grown up with dogs around me. As a child there was always a dog or two in the yard wherever I’ve lived. But that was their place, out side in the yard. They ate whatever was left over from the dinner table. You were warned not to touch them as dogs were dirty. Yes, they were given names and were regarded as the family pet, but somehow you never really got close to them. Seeing stray dogs or even dead dogs on the roads was a very common sight. Not many Jamaicans would take the time to really care. A dog, was a dog, was a ‘dawg’.

You can imagine my shock when on a visit to the UK one day seeing a lady arrive at the park with a baby buggy out of which jumped a dog. Yes, that’s right; she brought her dog to the park for a walk. She proceeding to follow behind him and after he did a ‘poo’ she dutifully scooped it in a bag. ‘What a piece a pappy show’, I think I was going to have a conniption that day. Anyway living abroad for a while I came to see dogs in a whole new light.

Then, I married a dog lover and now have even more dogs around me at any given time. They still have to stay outside in the yard, but now I talk to them, pet them, buy special food for them or cook cornmeal for them. I’m excited when they have puppies and carefully choose the homes the young ones go to. I even cry if any of them should die.

We still have stray dogs’ galour in Jamaica and there are still nuff dead dogs on the roads; however I do believe that as a people our attitude towards dogs has improved significantly. Only the other day on the ‘Smile Jamaica it’s Morning time’ program there was a young lady advertizing her new business which was a kind of spa for dogs. She sells dog clothes (stop laughing), you can have your ‘doggie’ groomed and pampered, and if you have to be out of town for any time you can board them out. In fact it’s not so uncommon now in Jamaica to see ladies around town with a little cute, furry dog in their arms or trotting close by.

Dogs make great pets, companions and guards. They will definitely defend you with their lives. And if they even have ‘rubber teeth’ (as we say in Jamaica if they are not bad), they make a great substitute alarm system, dem mek nuff noise. As well as they act as a deterrent and sometime a means of detection for intruders. So if you have a dog in your yard treat it kindly, it could save you life one day. Or the next time you see a dog on the road, remember it could be someone’s pet.

Nuff love

Dogs

11/18/09

Permalink 04:05:37 am, by Skillachi
Categories: Entertainment

The Gay Bashing of local artists

I'm gonna be a little controversial here but I just have to get something out. Its been happening frequently yet again and it has grown to the point of annoyance on my part. This is quite simply the gay movements fighting against our local artists and causing the shows put on by promoters and artists to be postponed or cancelled. Now the arguments are going to come out that "These artists promote anti-gay behaviour", "their lyrics incite violence against homosexuals" and quite frankly these are all silly accusations.

Yes once upon a time these artists did chant anti-gay lyrics almost as fluidly as a Jamaican speaks patois to his compatriot. But the key here is... one upon a time. When last have you heard Buju Banton sing a song that is anti gay... Dont worry i'll give you some time to think about it... still no answer? ... ok check his past albums, check 'til shiloh', 'rasta got soul', 'too bad', 'unchained spirit', or 'voice of Jamaica'. Still cant spot anything can you, that's because he doesn't do it anymore, he just doesn't full stop. I've seen Buju Banton live on numerous occasions and I cant even remember hearing him utter the word 'battyboy'.

So why the continued fight against a musical genius who has turned over a new leaf from his days as a young rebel. All because of a song he did over 20 years ago named "boom bye bye". This song is the most blatant hit out against gays ever written, full stop. However he released the song in 1992... he was 19 years old! Ever heard about being young and foolish? I'm sure you have all used that excuse for something or the other already. The song is probably older than a few people who have checked this journal. But yet people say he should be banned for it. Come on stop being stupid, its getting old now.

The next and most recent action is the one brought against Beenie Man in New Zealand. Basically what happened was that Beenie Man was pulled from being the sole reggae artist in a show in NZ called "Big Day Out". This was an opportunity for reggae to make headways in another faraway country and yet again gain in its popularity. But this was prevented, because Beenie Man sang a song years ago against gays... It is reported in the observer article that he actually sang a song quite recently which is the cause of the ban... But I've never heard it and my ears are really close to the dancehall scene. How exactly is it that somebody in New Zealand heard a song that beenie man released before me? I have even driven past this man on the road and yet somebody thousands of miles away has heard something I havent... I find this uber strange. I'm not saying he didn't record the song, I'm just saying I think they were just nitpicking for a reason and to me this failed.

Now the real reason I wrote this article was to get this point across. This same group of people who are saying that we are intolerant with them, are actually more intolerant to us than we are of them. Don't understand what I'm saying? Look at it this way, these people still have a vendetta out against people who quite frankly no longer outwardly say anything about them. Also the intolerance from these people only came in the form of song. These gay groups are actually fighting against a man's livelihood, the thing he uses to put food on his table and feed his family. They are doing everything they possibly can to put him in the poor house, even demanding that one artist donate all money made from one of his songs into the local gay movement - I'm really glad Buju told them to swivel with that offer. However this is reason enough for a huge what the F$%^& in my book ... but I'll just leave it at that.

11/17/09

Permalink 10:46:30 pm, by Melba
Categories: Politics, Commentary

Jamaican Leadership or Lack Thereof

‘What a ‘heap’ a mix up ina wi nice, nice likkle Jamaica. Fi some weh soo pretty and God send. Why we one have so much problem. Our economy is taking a royal licking with most of our earning power gone, bauxite, sugar and banana. Not sure what is happening with the IMF talks and it doesn’t look like the government knows either. Every minute it postponed. Yesterday we hear that ‘dem’ will have to clean up the public sector as the wage bill is too high. You know wha dat mean, nuff, nuff people a go loose dem wok. Not to mention that nuff nuff done loose theirs already. The crime rate a spiral more and more every day. The United States a pressure wi fi extradite one man. Again it no look like the government knows wha dem a do. In fact the government no seems to realize sey dem ina power over 2 years now cause every thing wey go wrong a di last government fault. And as if dat not enough, we have threats being made on the media houses fi chat what a gwann.’

'Rite now di only shining star is our lighting Usain Bolt. Working hard in his new role as ambassador at large for Jamaica, this week Mexico and next week Monaco. But we can’t afford for him to get the people excited about coming to Jamaica and then mess up things when dem get here. As the song writer says “there is nothing wrong with the world (Jamaica), just (a few of) the people who’s in it. Wake up Mr. Prime Minister, where is all your beautiful plans, weh di jobs, jobs and more jobs, weh di crime fighting plan. You are there because you promised you could fix things. We still a wait for even the first move.'

Nuff Love

11/14/09

Permalink 08:40:34 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Business

The ward theatre restoration

For all the older folks (sorry didnt mean to call you out like that) out there. You will remember the once jewel of downtown Kingston that is the ward theatre. Yes this majestic blue and white structure was once the place to go in Kingston. All of the major plays and pantomimes that were produced would play at the Ward theatre and you can be guarantee that the houses would be packed. You could even ask all the theatre greats about their memories of the Ward theatre and they would all have some, quite frankly if they dont have any memories of there, they probably are really young or weren't really theatre greats at all.

ward theatre

However as the popularity of plays and pantomimes fell somewhat so did the luster of the Ward theatre. As a matter of fact, the entire downtown area really lost its luster, and became a drab, crime-ridden area. The theatre became derelict, rundown and quite frankly not fit for public visits. But recently the government has decided that it would like to see a return of the glory days of downtown Kingston, they have been asking companies to join the beautification process of downtown and establish offices there.

I guess they have been having some level of success as Digicel announced that they were moving downtown and with them there have also been unverified reports that about 4 other companies are also planning to establish offices in downtown Kingston.

To assist in the beautification process the government has also recently announced that they plan to effect a restoration the Ward theatre. This 3 year plan will include a series of fundraising events all aimed at raising the estimated us$20 million required to restore the Ward to its glory days. The grand re-opening is planned for the theatre's 2012 centennial anniversary celebrations, and its one which I must say should be quite interesting. I have been to the ward theatre before... years ago when I was much younger and I must say I think its a brilliant idea.

Its a part of our rich theatre heritage and our nation's history on a whole and as such I completely support this movement.

Wow I love my ISP, they somehow manage to continuously and

11/13/09

Permalink 03:49:52 pm, by Melba
Categories: Business

Black Friday, Friday the thirteenth

Today is Friday the thirteenth, Black Friday, the day when bad things are suppose to happen. So, how many of you out there will be staying home and doing nothing today or tonight out of sheer fear. Most of us will make light or laugh about it but put to the test we come up really short. For instance if you are walking on the road and there is a ladder leaned up against a building, will you walk under the ladder, or go around it. And if you do ‘tek brave heart’ and walk under it, how many of you will be sure to find some salt and throw over your shoulder, just in case. ‘Talk di truth’, many of us not doing it, yet we will boldly declare that we are not afraid and it’s just a foolish myth.

One theory is that when you believe something bad might happen you tend to get nervous. When you get nervous you are more likely to make mistakes. When you make mistakes, bad things happen. Or as we say in Jamaica, believe kill and believe cure. Anyway, what ever you do today be careful. ‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure’. ‘Walk good’.

Nuff Love
Black cat

11/12/09

Permalink 05:56:45 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture

Jamaican Christmas Cake and Pudding

Jamaican Christmas cake or pudding is an absolute must for Christmas. Whether you buy it or make it, it’s important to have some at home to offer visitors during the yuletide season with a glass of sorrel. Of course you also have to have for the family as well. I must say that there is an art to baking which unfortunately not all of us are blessed with. Ok, I confess, I don’t have the gift, so I sat with a friend whose cakes and puddings are to die for and she shared with me how to make Christmas cakes and puddings. ‘Since all a wi brok this Christmas and caant buy any I’ll share my new found knowledge’.

She calls it the pound mixture, just remember a pound or ‘there about’ of most of the ingredients.

1 pound butter (you can use ½ pound of margarine and ½ best butter [we say anchor butter])
1 pound brown sugar (you can use granulated sugar however the brown sugar helps to
give the colour. You use less browning with the brown sugar)
½ cup honey
1 1/4 pound all purpose flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 nutmeg grated
Browning (Mix in a little at a time until you get the colour you like)
4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. of almond flavouring (If desired. Some persons don’t like the taste)
8 eggs
1 pound raisins
1 pound currants (currants are much more expensive than raisins. So it’s up to you)
1 pound prunes
Mixture of rum and wine (port wine or red label wine is fine)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (not peanuts) optional
Mixed fruits (mixed peel, citron, cherries, dates) optional
(Remember this is your cake or pudding. Add only the flavours that you and your family like)

The fruits are a major part of your Christmas cake or pudding. Soaking them in wine and rum for a period of time is great. The longer they soak the mellower they become. However this is not entirely necessary. Once they have been washed thoroughly, pitted where necessary and cut up fine you can steam them or blend them. Either way your cake or pudding will taste fine. Just remember 1 part rum to 2 parts wine. Also keep in mind your consumers, if you have children you will want to go easy on the rum. Do not soak the dates, cherries, mixed peel or the nuts only the raisins, currents and pitted prunes.

For the Christmas cake or pudding first, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in honey, browning, vanilla and almond flavouring. Add eggs and beat in well. Add soaked fruit, cherries, dates and nuts. In another bowl, sieve together flour, baking powder and mixed spices (all the dry stuff). Add mixtures alternately and mix well. Taste to see if it’s as you like it, adding spices, or wine, or browning accordingly. Your mixture is the right consistency when you stand a wooden spoon in the mixture and it slowly falls to the side. If it falls quickly you need more flour.

This should give 6 pounds of cake or pudding. It’s important to grease your baking tins and it’s also good to line with grease proof paper for best results. Do not pour the batter all the way up to the very top of the pan; fill the pan 3/4 of the way. Christmas cakes and puddings also make very nice gifts. If you are using the nice foil tins which can easily be dressed up after then you definitely will want to line these as they are much thinner than a baking tin.

For puddings you may steam in the oven by setting baking tin in water or placing a small tin of water along with your pudding in the oven. This creates steam which helps to keep the pudding moist. Puddings can also be cooked in the pressure cooker. For the Christmas cake bake at 300 F. until a skewer comes out of the center of the cake clean, about 1 hour. Mix rum and wine together and throw on the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Christmas cakes and puddings can be made up to 4 weeks before serving as they actually improve with age. If you’re keeping them for any period of time, don’t forget to add the rum and wine mixture from time to time to keep it moist.

OK, troopers, lets go get Christmas started. I’m also getting the DIY on the sorrel drink, pimento dram (that’s a liqueur we serve at Christmas time) and egg nog. So stay tuned.

Nuff Love

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Sister Mary Margaret

SISTER MARGARET MARY, WHO WORKS FOR A LOCAL HOME HEALTH AGENCY WAS OUT MAKING HER ROUNDS WHEN SHE RAN OUT OF GAS.

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT A GAS STATION WAS JUST A BLOCK AWAY.

SHE WALKED TO THE STATION TO BORROW A CAN OF GAS TO START & THEN DRIVE TO THE STATION FOR A FILL UP.

THE ATTENDANT REGRETFULLY TOLD HER THE ONLY GAS CAN HE OWNED HAD BEEN LOANED OUT BUT IF SHE WOULD WAIT, IT WAS SURE TO BE BACK SHORTLY.

SINCE THE NUN ! WAS ON THE WAY TO SEE A PATIENT SHE DECIDED NOT TO WAIT & SHE WALKED BACK TO THE CAR. AFTER LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO FILL WITH GAS, SHE SPOTTED A BEDPAN SHE WAS TAKING TO THE PATIENT.

ALWAYS RESOURCEFUL, SHE CARRIED IT TO THE STATION & FILLED IT WITH GASOLINE, & CARRIED IT TO HER CAR.

AS SHE WAS POURING THE GAS INTO THE TANK, TWO MEN WERE WATCHING FROM ACROSS THE STREET. ONE OF THEM TURNED TO THE OTHER & SAID, "IF IT STARTS, I'M TURNING CATHOLIC".

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