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10/21/09

Permalink 03:18:27 pm, by Melba
Categories: Entertainment

Gaza vs. Gully

Word on the street is that Bolt was very irresponsible to have sided with Gaza over Gully. “Sounds ominous don’t it?” Initially I had absolutely no idea what this all meant. (Ok, so I’m not with it.) But there is a growing concern as it is causing great discord amongst some of our fellow Jamaicans.
In Jamaica ongoing feuds have become a part of Dancehall. Many think that without the feuds Dancehall would become boring. Two of the main rivals today are Vybz Kartel and Movado. From what I now understand, Gaza refers to music by Vybz Kartel and Gully refers to music by Movado. So now Dancehall, followers declare either "Gaza Mi Seh" or “Gully Fi Life." What some people are saying is that Bolt made a grave error in judgment for expressing his preference in dancehall music.

Give me a break. Are we that shallow as a people that we can’t respect each other irrespective of a difference of opinion? So you like soul music and I like reggae or I like coffee and you like tea. I distinctly remember Bolt doing the gully creeper to the world after winning the 100 meters at the Olympic in Beijing in 2008. I heard no complains then. The world recognized him as a Jamaican, accepted him for who he is and we all loved it. Yes, he has become one of the most influential men in the world and with that comes responsibility. Is that, however, reason enough for us to act irresponsible.

Come on Jamaicans, we have so many more important issues needing our undivided attention. Can you imagine how boring the world would be if we all liked and did the same things. Let’s agree to disagree, especially when it comes to our likes and dislikes. Let’s try to understand, respect and accept our individualities and get on with this business of living.

Nuff Love

10/20/09

Permalink 12:26:31 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Business

Who is a Hero?

In another addition to my Heroes Week postings I thought about the question as to who exactly is a hero. What is it about a person that makes them worthy of being given the title of Hero. My first step in answering this question was to do a quick search for definitions of hero. I came upon the following:

"a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength" - Definition from Princeton Wordnet

"1 a : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b : an illustrious warrior c : a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d : one that shows great courage b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement 4. an object of extreme admiration and devotion" - This definition from the Miriam Webster Online Dictionary.

There are a few words and phrases which to me stuck out: Courage, legendary, achievements and noble qualities, and central figure. So of course it follows that for somebody to be given the title of hero, they have to have fulfilled most or all of the qualities in the definitions listed above.

As far as Jamaica's National Heroes we have: Samuel Sharpe - A man who despite being a slave, due to his education also rose up to become a religious leader, who led slaves from Montego Bay to Rebel in the famous Baptist Rebellion which in turn was believed to have caused parliamentary enquiries which lead to the abolition of slavery. Here is certainly somebody who is hero worthy, here we have a person who was living under the most negative conditions but who still managed to rise up and get people to rise up with him and fight against the powers that be and also led to the abolition of slavery, helping slaves all over the Caribbean (not only in Jamaica).

Next Marcus Garvey. Again a man who was not born into wealth or into good fortune, but managed to rise up and lead the pan-africanist movement, teaching black people in America and the Caribbean to be proud of their heritage and to stop thinking about themselves in a negative light. He lead black people to read and learn their heritage and become proud. Of course somebody like Marcus Garvey deserves to be a hero, He led essentially the first black pride movement in the 20th century which had far reaching effects in civil rights in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

The same goes for Jamaica's other national heroes as well. None of the heroes have been added to the cadre of national heroes of Jamaica without being born Jamaican and having done some immense and world (or Jamaica) changing acts.

At the same time one has to also consider recent calls for certain people to be given the title of National Hero. People such as Robert 'Bob' Marley, Herb McKinley, even Usain Bolt have all been a part of the recent calling by the public of people who should be elevated to the status. Should these people really be given that status however?

Just something to think about

10/19/09

Permalink 04:51:59 pm, by Melba
Categories: Sports, Culture

Bolt, Jamaica’s Youngest National Honours Awardee

Today, National Heroes Day, Monday, October 19, 2009, 105 outstanding Jamaicans were recognized at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony, on the lawns of King's House in Kingston.
Professor Mervyn Eustace Morris, topped the list of recipients receiving the Order of Merit (OM) for distinguished contribution to the field of West Indian Literature.
Eight (8) persons received the Order of Jamaica (OJ), for their outstanding contribution to Education, Health, Athletics, Public Service, and Human Rights Advocacy.
Eighteen (18) persons received the Order of Distinction in the Commander Class (CD). Thirty one (31) persons received the Order of Distinction in the Officer Class (OD). Seven (7) persons received the Badge of Honour for Gallantry (BHG).
Sixteen (16) other Jamaicans received the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, for their contribution to Education and Public Service.
Twenty four (24) persons received the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service. There was also one (1) posthumous Badge of Honour awardee for Long and Faithful Service, Miss Daisy Albertine Forde for Community Service.
Amongst the eight recipients of the Order of Jamaica (OJ) is our beloved Usain Bolt, sorry, The Honourable Usain Bolt, OJ, who once again created history by becoming the youngest Jamaican ever to receive this honour. Bolt has also been given the right to be called "ambassador" with full diplomatic privileges, including a diplomatic passport. This was announced in parliament by the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding. Highway 2000, Jamaica's high-speed expressway, will also be renamed the ‘Usain Bolt Highway’.
The Jamaican honours system has developed since the National Honours and Awards Act by the Parliament of Jamaica in 1969 (Act No. 21 of 1969). The Jamaican Honours System consist of the following orders from highest to lowest in rank: The Order of National Hero, The Order of the Nation, The Order of Excellence, The Order of Merit , The Order of Jamaica and The Order of Distinction. Membership of each order is conferred by the Governor-General upon the advice of the Prime Minister of Jamaica. The Order of Jamaica entitles members and honorary members to wear the Insignia of the Order as a decoration, be addressed as 'honourable' and use the post nominal letters 'OJ' (members) or 'OJ (Hon)' for honorary members. Each year on October 06 the recipients of honours are gazetted and on the third Monday of October, National Heroes Day the badges are awarded.
National Heroes Day is an occassions that recogizes excellence. Along with celebrating our National heroes, It’s a time set aside for us to honour our fellow Jamaicans who have served us by excelling in there respective fields. These persons act as role models and hopefully will help to steer our nation in a prosperous direction. So please Jamaica, while we enjoy the many parties and events lets not loose sight of the true intent of the day.
Nuff Love

Permalink 01:58:34 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Education, Culture

National Heroes Day

So today is Officially National Heroes day here in Jamaica and as such I plan to spend everyday this week making posts about our National Heroes. This day is supposed to be the day where we celebrate our Heroes and look back at all they have accomplished in making this island independent, and helping us to reach this point, as a world renowned country that truly encompasses the saying "Likkle but we tallawah".

To all who do not know our National Heroes are: Marcus Garvey, Samuel Sharpe, Nanny of the Maroons, Alexander Bustamante, Norman Manley, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon. I could do a complete write up on their contributions to the island and why they all deserve their Honours, but that is not that purpose of this post. This is to highlight what I regard as the complete lack of true celebrations for our Heroes.

I remember when I was younger and Heroes day meant that I would grow annoyed at the fact that I heard and re-heard the facts about these 7 people all day on Heroes Day. I am sure that by the end of the day I could recite some of the major speeches word for word that Marcus Garvey made, or even tell you the exact height of Sam Sharpe or even speak to the what butt-cheek Nanny used when she was blocking bullets.

However I realize that nowadays I am not hearing anything about my heroes, I write this post while hearing dancehall music on the radio(Taking daaaancing to the world...), and having not heard a single thing about our heroes from I woke up at 7:30 this morning. This has led me to really wonder are we truly celebrating our heroes? I am sure there is some parade or something of the sort going on somewhere... But I could not with any honesty tell you where or what time it will begin and quite frankly I'm disturbed. The one day we set aside for the people who have influenced our island to such a great extent that we made them heroes and yet they are not the major focus of today.

Maybe it is time for us to rethink where we are taking Jamaica, this could be a part of the breakdown in communities that Jamaican's complain about everyday as the lead up to crime in the country. Whatever it is, I refuse to believe that this is the best we can do to celebrate our heroes.

So I end this post with the challenge put forward to anybody who reads this... Teach our children about our Heroes, drill into their brains why we are to love them, and lets see if we can make next year's heroes day celebrations much better than this year.

10/18/09

Permalink 07:03:49 pm, by Melba
Categories: Business

Bank Administrative Service Charges

When last have you checked the transactions going through on your savings account? With the use of the debit card today, we tend to fail to notice the service charges that we pay on a savings account. No statement is sent, and unless you are a “techie” that goes online for everything; you really don’t see the charges.

Well, the other day I decided to update my NCB savings book. It had been months since I last had it done. I got a very rude awakening. I actually felt raped. Each time I used an ATM machine there was a charge, OK I kind of expected that if it was another banks multilink machine. But I also pay for using an NCB machine. So it’s a little less, big deal. By the way you also pay if you make a withdrawal through a teller inside the bank. In other words, it cost to take your own money out of your account however there is no charge to put it in.

But the charge that had me really, really, really fuming was the minimum balance violation fee. Yes, that’s correct, you pay if you have ‘likkle bit’ a money in your account. The minimum balance on my account is 5000.00 Jamaican dollars. I knew about the fee for dormant accounts. But this fee you pay on an active account each time it goes below the minimum amount prescribed by the bank. So if your pay goes to an account each month and you use it regularly, each time you dip below the minimum balance you are penalized and slapped with a fine. Are they trying to tell us that poor people in Jamaica mustn’t use the banking system? Are we to go back to putting our monies under our mattress?

I was so upset that I started calling around ready to change my bank, only to realize that most of them if not all now have a ‘whole heap’ of ‘Administrative Service Charges’. On a savings account these charges include, In-Branch Withdrawal Fee, Minimum Balance Violation Fee, Cash deposit in Excess of $x per day. For debit cards using ATM machines charges are on Withdrawal, Balance Enquiry, Declined request, Point of sale Purchases. These are just a few and the list continues on the use of current accounts, credit cards, payroll services and foreign exchange. These charges vary in amounts from bank to bank and even from account to account within each bank. They are represented by codes and are not always easy to recognize. Some are relatively new. One wonders how the banks have survived all these decades without these excessive ‘Administrative Service Charge’. Are we being ripped off?

My fellow Jamaicans what this means is that we all need to become more aware and thrifty. People power can be very persuasive. Get the facts; find out the ‘Administrative Service Charges’ you are paying on your accounts, both savings and credit, from your bank. Learn the codes. Demand that your bank get in line with the bank offering the lower rate. When opening a new account, choose the bank that offers the better rates. Let’s force the banks to do better.

On another note, don’t try the ATM machine six (6) times because you can’t believe ‘yu so brok’ it’s costing you. Budget and consolidate your withdrawals, it cost per transaction. Be smart, the alternative schemes are no longer here. ‘The banks done getting plenty off wi money by rinsing it’. Let’s not give them any extra.

Nuff love.

10/16/09

Permalink 03:05:55 am, by Melba
Categories: Culture

National Heroes Day

Each year the third Monday in October is a very special day to all Jamaicans. It is the day when we celebrate our National Heroes. Paul Bogle, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Marcus Garvey, George William Gordon, Norman Manley, Nanny of the Maroons and Samuel Sharpe have all been given the highest of the five Jamaican Orders of the Societies of Honour, the Order of National Hero. This honour is given only to Jamaican citizens for "services of the most distinguished nature" to the nation.
All our seven heroes fought for freedom, justice and equality for all Jamaican, some paying the ultimate price. They made it possible for us to vote, for us own land, for us to get an education, for us to have a say in the running of our government and much more.
Today we take these gifts for granted and look forward to the third Monday in October only because it means a public holiday, a day off work. As to our freedom, most of us are now more afraid than ever because of the ever present element of crime. Ask our nurses, teachers, police or any public sector worker today about justice and equality. Does it truly still exist in Jamaica? Did our heroes labour in vain?
Over and over again Jamaicans have proven that we are a great people. Our sports men and women, musicians, professionals, scholars all excel in whatever they do any where they go. Luckily for us now the way was paved before by our National heroes.
Monday October 19, Heroes Day is fast approaching. There are ‘nuff, nuff’ activities organized for the weekend. Let’s celebrate and enjoy but let’s also remember what the day really signifies. There is still ‘nuff, nuff’ things needing to be put right in this our great little nation. Our seven National Heroes showed us what hard work, dedication and love can achieve. Let us work together to made Jamaica and life for all Jamaicans to come even better.
Nuff Love

10/15/09

Permalink 11:56:13 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture

Ultimate Jerk Centre and Rest Stop - Discovery bay

Travelling between Kingston and Montego Bay can be very tedious. Most times we want to get there as quickly and yes as safe as possible. With all the road works that have taken place since Highway 2000, driving on the Jamaican country roads have definitely improved and it now takes less time. But how many of us take the time to really enjoy our country?

The other day I had the pleasure of driving from Montego Bay via St. Ann to Kingston. Along the way we stopped at the Ultimate Jerk Centre and Rest Stop. I must confess that I usually like to stop at Scotchies but nature called and being a ‘Kingston girl’ the bushes did not appeal to me. So it was by necessity that we stopped at the Ultimate Jerk Centre and Rest stop. I was pleasantly surprised.

It is situated directly across from the Green Grotto Caves in Discovery Bay. The facility is clean, spacious and tastefully decorated. The food tasted good and was reasonably priced. There is a full cricket field to the back and there was even a local cricket game going on the Sunday afternoon. My husband being the cricket fan that he is and being as starved as he is for some good cricket insisted that we watched for a while. The ambiance was great and I was so relaxed that he got no complains from me.

All in all the drive home turned out to be quite enjoyable. After leaving the Ultimate Jerk Centre we drove through Steer Town and over the hills. We even stopped for cane along the roadside and got into Kingston in great time.

So the next time you take a drive into the country side give yourself time to really enjoy Jamaica. Leave out in good time and treat yourself.
Nuff love
Ultimate Jerk Centre
Jerk Centre Discovery Bay
Jerk and CricketJerk Menu

10/13/09

Permalink 04:37:33 am, by Melba
Categories: Culture

Love Bush

He loves me, he loves me not?
How do I known if he really loves me?
Some Jamaicans will tell you that the way to find out if your love is true is to tear off a piece of the love bush, toss the plant at a tree and call out the name of your hoped-for lover. If it sticks and grows, true love will flourish.

love bush

So what is this wonder bush? The scientific name for the love bush is Cuscuta spp, more commonly known as dodder. It is a parasitic plant. It cannot make it’s own food, but relies entirely on other plants. Dodders have slender twining or thread like stems that vary in colour from pale green to yellow to bright orange. They climb on nearby plants and then send out small suckers, which eventually grow into the host plant. As soon as the dodder is firmly attached, its own root withers away, and all the nutrients required are drawn from the host.

Doesn’t sound very romantic does it? In fact dodders can be a serious pest. It reduces the growth of the host plant and sometimes eventually kills it. Its persistence and the fact that it is very difficult to eradicate once it becomes established in an area makes it a farmers nightmare. Some other names given to the dodder are strangleweed, hellweed, angels’s hair, devil’s gut, devil’s hair, beggar weed, pull down, hellbind and shoelaces. I think the names says it all.

love bush

But wait, there is more. Some Jamaican’s will tell you that the love bush can be used to cure baby gripes and colds as well as for headaches and prickly heat. Personally I cannot endorse any of the medical claims so I will stick with my doctor. But maybe some of you know about those remedies from your grand parents. I remember my Grand mother giving me some herb tea or other each time I went to her with an ailment. Pity I didn’t pay attention then.

love bush

So, does the love bush work or not? Who knows? Any way before you decide to throw a piece on someone’s hedging, have a heart, think of the problem they will have to get rid of it after.

Nuff love.

10/07/09

Permalink 07:38:56 pm, by Melba
Categories: Sports

Usain Bolt, the second most Influential Man of 2009

Jamaican, Usain Bolt was voted the second most influential man in the world by the readers of AskMen.com, a web site which boast a readership of over 7 million persons per month. Over 500,000 votes were cast world wide and the only character found more influential on the web sites list of the 49 Most Influential Men of 2009, is "Mad Men's" Don Draper who by the way is a fictional character. (Does this then make Usain the most influential man alive for 2009). Third on the list is the president of the United States himself, Barack Obama.
“Chat bout large”. Congratulations Usain, keep up the good work. You have changed the tone of athletics and taught athletes how to enjoy the sport. As a result we the spectators enjoy it more. Don’t change, continue to be yourself. Just keep in mind that with stardom come responsibilities. Continue to make us proud.
Nuff love

10/06/09

Permalink 12:56:17 am, by Melba
Categories: Sports

2009 ATHLETICS RECAP

The 2009 athletics season is over and all Jamaicans world wide can be proud. “Chat bout likkle but talawah”, we dat. What a season, we can still boast the fastest man and woman in the world. After the XXIX Olympic games in Beijing, August 2008 where little Jamaica finished 4th over all with 11 medals including 6 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze, our athletes proved once again that we are a great nation.
Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. His best time to date in the 100 metres men, 9.58 at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin. Can he go faster, we all believe so. “Him look too easy, him no bust yet.” As we say in Jamaica, “them think sey him done, him just a come.” As to Asafa Powell, now that he has taken the world from off his shoulders, watch out. To date his best time in the 100 meters is 9.72 in 2008. He was the original fastest man in the world, paving the way for Bolt and I believe he has more to offer. Still on the 100 metres, let’s not forget our reliable, consistent Michael Frater. You can count on him to be in the finals at any major games. That’s no easy feat. And if all that is not enough, Jamaica has another youngster on the rise, Yohan Blake. Already he has clocked 9.93 in the 100 metres, look out for him.
Shelly-Ann Fraser, our Olympic and World Championship golden girl. Her best time to date in the 100 metres women 10.73 also in Berlin in August 2009. She has perfected her rocket start and proven beyond a doubt that little is not necessarily less. Our other golden girls, Veronica Camplell- Brown 200 meters, ever reliable, Melaine Walker 400 meters hurdles, the great entertainer, Brigitte Foster Hylton, 100 meters hurdles, finally totally enjoying herself and we are all loving it. One of my personal favorite is Kerron Stewart, her power of appearance and humility of spirit is beautiful. Second in the 100 metres with a time of 10.98 in Beijing 2008 and again at Berlin 2009 with a time of 10.75 she is a force to recon with. I really, really had wanted her to get a part of the golden league prize. Hopefully, next time she will.
There are so many more of our athletes that I could mention, Dwight Thomas, Danny McFarlane, Isa Phillips, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Sherika Williams, Aleen Bailey, Sherone Simpson, Delloreen Ennis London, to name a few. Unfortunately they are too many to mention, that’s how great we are.
Well done athletes, continue to work hard and encourage our young people to strive to greatness which you have proven is attainable.
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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