Monday, December 10, 2007

So What if Hillary is a Bitch?

It has been to say the least disgusting and distasteful to watch the far right unwarranted attack on the person of Mrs. Hillary Clinton in her unprecedented flawless run for the presidency- in as much as I hate to acknowledge it. While her hatred is already well chronicled, the muddying up of the political space with cheap shots is rather disconcerting. In the moderate city of Houston, Texas the more fashionable bumper stickers for redneck trucks are those sanctioned by the local RNC which reads: “If life is a bitch, then why elect one!” Another one on facebook, reads, “Monica Sucks, but Hillary Sucks more!” These and many other, is not only distasteful but outright disgraceful.

The more alarming dimension is the trend of otherwise decent human beings, republican women, who in a need to shore up their ideological base have decided to participate in this show of shame by denigrating one of their kinds. Do they seriously think that men will discriminate when bitch become a legitimate political lexicon as much as it is in rap music of the day? When these future bitches stop taking leave of their senses, won’t it be to interesting to see their reactions when the electorate jumps on their bandwagon of b-word emitting swift boating? Of course, the evil day is already here. You need not look far, as all Senator McCain, presidential hopeful and republican front runner could offer by way of response to one of these mudslingers was a laugh and a cheer, when a sharp rebuke would have been most appropriate.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Clinton marriage is by far the most scrutinized union in the country. In the same breathe, no woman have had her motives for sticking to her marital vows more diced than Hillary Clinton, which by the way is unfair. While it is very fair to question the integrity of a President that cheat and “lied”, I think it is absurd to question a woman that took that public humiliation; one who chose the age long American family value (but dying tradition) of sticking it out while the going was rough. Who is to begrudge Hillary for not abandoning her home and leaving her young daughter Chelsea in the cold world of divorce and its consequent wrangling? Except of course the hypocritical so called family value republicans, who will rather back a multiple divorced Giuliani, who has no problem with fucking his secretary, while trading his older wives in periodically for newer models at the same time expending city money to do so! Trust the GOP machine, they will explain that vain thirst for power away by concurring up the battle of the titans from New York in their warped mind- one that I can’t wait to see, and I would state emphatically here that Mrs. Clinton will come on top shining and winning.

Mrs. Clinton integrity need not take any beating for choosing to stick by her spouse and her marital vows- in fact it should be copied. She chose to do what was right by her family, and if it is right for her political career- and then so what? Modern women make rational benefit based decisions as much as men do, and without suffering the Clinton consequence, so why should she be taken to task? This drama is not only disgusting but is actually a smoke for a larger stage show- a motive larger and far more consequential than the obvious.

The truth is that Republicans can’t stand Mrs. Clinton- least of all for her decision to stick by her marriage and the good life she lives today and is promised to live tomorrow. She of course was their final joker in the ploy to wreck Clinton with his own reckless pursuit of anything in skirt- but to their disconcertion- she simply refused to play ball. Mrs. Clinton in those trying days of the Lewinsky scandal carried the burden of a family and indeed a political party on her shoulder. She could easily have handed victory over to the Republicans by letting feminine instincts and rage overtake her: perhaps choosing messy presidential divorce over reason and common sense. She could have awarded the Republican Party the 50 years uninterrupted power cycle they crave so much if she had taken the adversarial position in that saga over the reasoned tact that eventually prevailed.

Today, reaping the rewards of not throwing the baby with the bath water, of not demoralizing the millions of supporters of her husband political career and hers as well, the GOP cannot stand her guts. They will rather not have an America, or even their family value fantasy than have a Mrs. & Mr. Presidents Clintons again in the White House. This is the republican nightmare come true, because truly only the Clinton political machine is more powerful than the meat grinding republican political monster that chops off opponent noses in blistering battles that swift boated John Kerry (of which he is yet to recover from). The gripe of the GOP strategists of course here is not integrity or the impossible Republican claim to one- marital or otherwise, but the vain thirst for continue stranglehold of the power lever. The one party state is a dream; one Hillary Clinton denied them when it mattered the most!

It is true that I do not wholeheartedly support a Clinton presidency; but don’t write skeptics like myself off. The unexpected consequence of this attack might as well be the disgust of the middle where I belong, to make a decisive push and move to the left where Hillary belongs. Obviously, Hillary is not the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) democrat by a long shot. Her free market credentials are questionable, and her protectionist instincts are alarming. Her stance on questions of war and immigration is unclear and very absurd, while her health plan is to say the least half dose attempt at patching instead of a total rework. She represents the face of the establishment not change and for this reason someone like I who you can describe as either a “Clintonian” Democrat or a North-Eastern (Some say Ron Paul type) Republican will find her candidacy unsuitable. My free market and open minded foreign policy instincts are diametrically opposite to hers as much as hers is inconsistent with her husband’s.

However, on no account (not even the above) do I think any of her achievements, short of her marital ties to another Clinton, qualifies the distinguished senator for those cat calls and cheap shots aimed at casting her record in the mould of her husband or marriage, or the unfortunate incidents and mistakes of that era. In fact, it is not Hillary that is a bitch- in my opinion, it is the breast sagging republican loonies that should stop bitching about a woman that chose to stand by her family, marriage, and country! Truth be said, their vehicle will not fly even if it were a donkey in the face of widespread disgust for their consistency of error since 2001. And of course, “the other side does it too” defense will not fly this time around too- what is grossly an affront to common sense human (and women) dignity is simply distasteful- let us stop calling a shovel a hoe.

Postscripts: I guess I am not the only feeling disgusted...
Recent biographies have described the Clinton marriage as a pact rooted in political ambition. Bill Clinton challenged that assertion."She came to Arkansas to be with me," the former president said. "When she came down there and we got married, I was a defeated candidate for Congress with a $26,000 salary and a $42,000 campaign debt. Now if she were half as calculating as somebody says, that's a really great way to run for president some day, isn't it: 'I think I'll go to a state I've barely seen and marry some failed politician with a $26,000 salary and a $42,000 debt.' "

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Politinuts": Convo with an Associate

You see, I just realized fifty percent of my emails, instant messages and even texts are political conversation. I think I am nuts. It is more of an runs in the family. You see even my Paps- my dad that is- will call me from Naija to waste his hard earned credit just to discuss one political matter- Nigerian or international. Even politics extend to my bedroom too- ol boy get ur mind out of the gutter ojare. Oh well, one of my political buddies had some thought to share this morning, I thought was interesting. It is related to the current US presidential elections and the Bakassi issue in Naija. Below is the convo verbitim with my response. All the peep toms, please enjoy- MY PASSWORD IS NOT INCLUDED. LOL


From the Debate last night, I think Rudy Giuliani doesn't have a chance of becoming the Republican candidate.Because when asked about the issue of Bible if he believed in it , he said he doesn't believe in everything in the Bible.That i think make me think if he ever win the Republican candidate there will be a third candidates or the Evangelical will not vote for him which will make any candidate that Democrat Present to win except Barrack Obama.
I think If Obama run against any Republican candidates except Thompson, he will loose.Because he doesn't look like a president, no experience and he is Black.the only way Democrat will loose the next election i think is to file Obama as their Candidate.
As for Romney, I think he has a better chance to be the Republican Candidate and if Clinton loose the Dem candidacy, i think Edward will win it .

As for Nigeria, I see us going to war with Cameroon over Bakkasi, because the Senate and lower House will never give Nigerian land as a " Gift" to for the First time, Nigerian will have the opportunity to witness Nigeria, using all the military weapon we have being buying for years in war and we will earn a respect from other African nation.I think we should go to war with Cameroon if they want to fight us over our land.



I like this part: "the only way Democrat will loose the next election i think is to file Obama as their Candidate". LOL. I will add Hillary. If you look at all the match ups of Hillary with Republicans..she is always struggling in the national polls and more importantly in the electoral college tally. Sum it up- Biden and Edwards present the best chance for democrats.

As for Republicans, I have always been a Romney fan and he is less inconsistent than Rudy- who have divorced twice and is very well hated by a lot of people- minorities included during his tenure. His backing of everything Bush incuding an unpopular war will make him a ready target for the democrats. Even Thompson is divorced and that too wont bode well for the man who looks presidential but hardly acts like one. Mitt looks like a shoe in for the republicans, even though he will be trounced by every democrat except Kucinich, Hillary and Obama regardless.

All said, I think a Biden-Obama or a Edwards-Obama ticket is a winner. It will be historic nonetheless to have a black VeePee. Hillary will stumble I predict.

@ Cameroon..LOL! Of course, Nigeria police will even flush the gendarmes any day. And if france wants us to send Elf and Agip packing, let them interfere!
> ________________________________
> Be a better pen pal. Text or chat with friends inside Yahoo! Mail. See how.

The value voters are the net losers . This is simple- the value of their judgement is questionable since their Candidate George Bush messed up this country so much in the past 8 years. The top three candidates in both parties are either mildly value public officers or are plain sinners (as if the vale voters are not the number one hypocrites in town). In any case, Hillary, Obama, Edward, Guiliani, Romney and McCain- none is palatable to the ears of the rednecks that work with me. I thought of putting the picture of those 8 rednecks on the GOP stage last night up, but I think I am much more handsome and diversified than those clown lot. Ban the IRS! OMG. So there you have me

P.S: I think the TV shows- the office is so hilarious. You got link? Hook up that is

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Life Poetry & Tracks-Melodies of Unsung Victories

Life is a rail station
Three Men, Three Struggles
Strutting all along
Three tracks all wound up as one

Like a Snake in the desert sand
Wriggling throught crispy dirt
Life beckons to the journey man
Hot or cold - the vagaries to withstand
Hurt encased, deeds unearthed

Like a snail in the forest
The carriage of life thumps through it all
Problems sways the beasts
Caverns and Traverns of Hopes and Destinies

Presenting its own diversions,
Dreams and crest fallen,
Just another station to stoop over,
Drooping in a loop,
It throws curves over the glaciers & passes

Elephant problem?
Shake down the swath of dirt
On fallen limbs & figs,
The snake makes headway,
Beneath dragged dug epiphytes
The snail burrows & prys

Working away at life's obstacles?
It never seems to matter...
Life is radical
But from the death of one trunk
Rises the roots of another forest tree
Crushed and shaken together?
So that dreams can rise like an Iroko
From the rot of your current condition

The trees that make up the forest
The train that trails through it
On tracks unlike another
The forest of mankind
The Triumph of fortitude
The reward of perserverence

Tales of a journey man
Life is a track of many stations
The melodies of unsung victories
My Body, Your Body
Spirit and Soul...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cities, Urbanization & Lagos

I was born in the biggest city by land mass in africa- Ibadan. I grew up in Warri the oil city, which truly looked like an oil Hamlet when I arrived there. I left Warri to school in Nigeria's biggest city- Lagos. Lagos remains an urban jungle- a true eyesore and shame to the Nation, Ibadan seem stuck in time but Warri has indeed transformed in the last six to eight years. Such is the story of cities. I have always been fascinated by urbanization; the rise, making, decay and remake of cities. True, cities are people and infrastructure- it is also culture, traffic and economics. I enjoyed my regional and human geography classes back in high school so much that I considered briefly the idea of becoming an architect, regional planner or something of sort. Of course my engineering instinct drove me to Civil Engineering and then Electrical. While I might be many places remved from building parks, side walks, or designing museums and urban landmarks- urbanization, moreso the human aspects of it still enthralls me.

Today I live in Houston, a city much in the midst of urban spiral sideways. The Downtown used to be an eyesore when I first moved here, but now it is much better. Much of Houston upper middle class population stil persist in their flee to the outskirt surburbs of Woodlands, Surgarlands, Katy & Cypress but the Downtown-Midtown-Galleria areas appear to be re-opening to the upper class. The never ending cycle of occupy-decay-flee-gentrify-bidup seems to be in progress. Midtown is slowly regaining its strenght as the never ending traffic and influx of Mexican drivers to Houston road is increasingly discouraging young professionals to follow in the parent's footsteps to live in the surburbs. So in many ways, the same fleeing instinct breed the need to return to the city center when all is said and done. It so interesting to watch except of course you are the poor who is continously bidded out of the city as the property prices shoot through the moon roof. Between the inner loop and the outer loop now lies the low middle class with pockets of ghettos in it- this of course is now being squeezed on both sides. What gives will only be known with time.

This weekend, I was in the state Capital- austin. It is a more beautiful and scenic city in many ways than Houston but is also undergoing similar changes but less so as a result of immigration influx- legal or illegal. On 6th street rave scene there are more Latino clubs than it used to be . Heck, the Mexicans took over Exodus and Vicci on Saturday night. Overall though, the convivial Lake Travis or austin set against the hill sides makes this a cleaner, and more easy on the eyes city than Houston. The crowd is also younger and more liberal of course thanks to Univ. of Texas than you will get in this Deep Red state.

Talking about cities, a friend sent me an email with Lagos supposedly of the future. Dreams aside, something need to be done fast to save that city. Even though I know the omo Eko crowd are quick to defend their crumbling city, the recent collapse of the legendary Ikorodu bridge is foretelling the absolute collapse of infrastructure the city under seige faces if it is not rescued from the crutches of under investment and over population.

Monday, November 05, 2007

China's Stock Bubble & Parson's Tryst

The Chinese is here! Looks to me like this is a bubble or how else do you describe Petro China's rise as the world most capitalized company to the 1 trillion dollar mark ahead of Exxon Mobil-valued at half of that, on the first day of listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Given, PetroChina is benefitting from a deepening economy but I doubt it is worth that much. PetroChina's profit is said to be about $21bn compared to Exxon's $40bn last year; its margin is way less as it can hardly pull those capitalist stunts XOM regularly pulls on North American consumers at the pump and its reserve accounting estimates are questionable. It is said to have reserve of 20bn barrels compared to 22 bn by Exxon. Given, that its reserve is growing (due in part to its govt. readiness to engage in blood trade with Sudan and other dictators), but I can hardly depend on Communist accountingf or insight. Shell must have a disciple in PetroChina that believes in obfuscating those reserve numbers- as those familiar with the industry knows..this is more voodoo art than science.

Noted: Corporate America Mafia Don Dick Parsons resigns CEO job and continues as Chairman of Time Warner. Teaching that brother in Merryl Lynch -Stan O'Neil some lessons on how a black man should govern in corporate America. Board packing is the name of the game- don’t be lonely at the top. If one compares Dick's battles with the likes of Icahn and his ability to withstand his nemesis to O'Neil one off and you are out mistake, there are underlying lessons for the wannabes out there. It is still not a fair world. O'neil thought position and power immunizes him, but the board was so not amused. I bet if he took notes from Parsons he could at least still be Chair as we speak. Heck, it didn't go down like Chuck Prince under him. Click Here for an inetersting article on yahoo on the diminishing ranks of black CEOs in the past month.

P.S: I have decided to merge my life interests- reading, politics, investment and travel on the new . It is hard to maintain two thoughts and two blogs. Hopefully more personal insights will come with less focused blog. The hipvestor site will be discontinued forthwith but should still be up for reference. One reader complained that I hardly go personal on here- may be it is because you people will not just stop hounding my controversial views.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Three Crazy Predictions

1. The Supreme Court of Nigeria will remove President Yaradua from office in 1st Quarter 2008

2. Hillary Clinton will not be the democratic party nominee..may be Biden

3. Arsenal are going to be triple champions this season.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Musings: On Ms. Perfect & Mr. Fixers

I swear this is one of those occasional musings. Here am I early Monday morning (quite unusual for 4 am), blogging. But the inspiration for this posting came from a conversation I had with a friend last week. The Opeke was wondering why she still dey missing, when in her own words: "less adequate ladies", were finding hearthrobs and getting married. Leaving aside my own bemusement with why people (or let me say women of my age group) just seem obsessed with getting married, I have decided to explore the topic. If they are not watching that yeye show called Bridezilla, it is useless bridal magazine filling the shelf space. Shio!

I do not subscribe to the notion that marriage is all any woman or man is made for, and that unmarried person is any less fulfilled than a married one. The gross cultural obsession, which is tippping to the point of madness, with getting married is just a point of amusement for me. Older adults fall over each other as they admonish the younger ones to hurry up and get married. Which problem in the life of a man does marriage solve? I never get answer to that question yet: either this people know something I don't or a cultural oath of secrecy is preventing those enjoying marital bliss from sharing. LOL. Okay, Okay...I get it. I still be naija too..but people make una slow down. It is not that bad- enjoy life & things will fall into place. Desperate men or women don't come off nicely you know. No one wants to be pressured.

Hence this Chikito diatribe on "inadequate women" should not go unanswered. Her own definition of adequate was of course the certficates (whatever happened to just knowing?), career thingy (whatever happened to owning?), a job (just over broke?), and of course financial independence (you be Bill Gates?). Curiously though, she attributes all the faults to men and their lack of self confidence: that wisecrack perennial culprit: men being intimidated! Gimme a break. I think that excuse is well overused and worn out. Perhaps, these professional women seeking husbands should stop using it. Okay some men can be intimidated- but it is not that many of them than you are made to believe. In the 21st century, men like women do appreciate what you can bring to the table- but it is hardly the sole driver of why and whom they choose to copulate with.

Me thinks there is more to this pattern than intimidation. I think it has a lot to do with the fundamental nature of men. Men by nature are fixers. We are programmed to fix things- put out the fire and make better. From our primitive genes are remnants of filling gaps and refining nature. Fixing brings out the men in us. Women are better at perfection, but men are better at plain old fixing. If you meet a man and you are all so perfect, nothing to fix, tell me why he will tarry longer. Ms. adequate is in fact inadequate for Mr. Fixer! I did dated this extremely perfect human being briefly in the past: if you think there is any other name for boring, then ask me. Perfect, flawless people are boring. They come across also as preppy, "pepperless" and unusual. Show your flaws- it makes you human. There is nothing wrong with being inadequate is the height of the humanity we wall share. Only people who share commonalities can connect- especially for the long run.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Garium & My HD Vision

How do you perceive problem? Especially the ones you perceive as unnecessary. The point should always be made though, that you can hardly answer this question if you are not undergoing a difficulty or obstacle at the moment. Once upon a time, I used to feel invulnerable. Things just seem to take care of itself. But that was a while ago. It looks like my insensitivity vaccine is fast declining in potency. Words, actions and attitude I must admit are more laden with meanings. Whether this is good or bad- only time will tell. Regardless though, I am just learning to react properly to these situations. Obstacles created on your path by your fellow man- for good reason. It is frustrating, but I have of late taken a different view on them: after much aching of course.

Smart engineers would rather build roads across a mountain , winding up and down its side to the peak and taking the traveler to the other side- rather than break it apart. In the process, learning new lessons, strengthening their inners eyes of perception and just becoming better at wgat they do. This is how I think our Creator wishes us to see problems. Mountains of problems will not be broken apart, blown up to pieces or be moved: for the most part, a path of victory laid on the trails of the glorious obstacles- revealing your weaknesses and mine too; opening your inner eyes and teaching us unforgettable lessons. Open the inner eyes of my mind O Lord...that song goes. Only through obstacles!

Talking of eyes, I am now officially an ojugo. Following months of struggling, I finally went to the optician to procure my medicated glasses. I know say na my unfailing love for Garri (aka: Garium Sulphide) na im be the likely culprit. But nothing in the world can separate me from the love of my first love: Garri! I must confess though, the world looked High Def (HD) afterwards...unbelievable! Even my subdivision looked new and different…now I know why those girls that Terrell always pointed out always looked plain ugly- I was the one that was blind! LOL. I have to do this: To those I yabbed for being Ojugos…Igo loju omo my elder sister especially, I apologize. Okay now..I don join the club. Shey una don happy now? People say make I go get Lasik...but what if they recall that technology? Na gbege be that. That na wetin Fela dey call "scatter scatter".

P.S: Just finished Thomas Friedman's thrash book: "The World Is Flat"...I had a term paper to write for my management class on the book...and trust me guys, I was not forgiving. Now I am sure the NY Times haters will give me .my first lapel in conservative mob bashing! World is flat ko, the ocean takes you to India ni. Nonsense and fabrication.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Why Do You Strive For Excellence?

Just came back from a five day vacation to the East Coast. During the trip already tagged Operation Thunderbolt or for Yoruba translation, “Operation Magun” (a play on the widely acclaimed widescreen theatre Yoruba play I remembered watching in UNILAG theatre when it was released), I had the opportunity to visit Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland and Rhode Island. In between all these shuttling, I rode the plane for seven hours, the rail for fourteen hours, and probably used the road five hours- in the passengers sit of course. This period provided an opportunity for reflection; a period to relax, visit friends & relatives and just see new places and things.

But the eventuality of this Monday morning resumption got me thinking why we even work. Or put it another way, why do you strive for excellence? The answer to this question will vary depending on your station in life. Very early on in life, it could be to simply make your parent and family proud. Me think I don pass this stage by now, even though it is still a factor but it is hardly the most important reason. Other reasons may be that it is in our DNA. Certain people are surrounded by so much excellence either by blood or filial relationship that they feel a need to constantly have their A game on. It also might be for fulfillment and satisfaction. I for one know that I generally won’t feel satisfied until I have put in my best. Even when my better showing is someone else’s superlative; it won’t suffice until I have put up my best game. Even then, if it fails, I simply don’t care provided my inner voice tells me that I had put in my best. It won’t matter hence, going forward.

At other times, why you work so hard might also be for even less selfish reasons including but not limited to ensuring a better life for others. It might be your children, or even your grand children. Other times, you might be striving hard to make your country, region, state or locality proud. The most altruistic ones amongst us do it for the human race. I personally don’t see myself doing the last. Am simply not that global minded: okay now, Mr. Holier than thou. I currently work hard enough to put my family, relatives, future descendants, state, country, and race ahead- but doing one for the human race is way beyond my reach right now…or so I think. May be this is just mediocre thought after all. One more confession, I guess.
P.S: I completed my first pacesetter in more than ten years. Love on the Rocks written by Sesinyi, Andrew and set in Botswana. Good read. But an even greater reading was the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by C. Maxwell that I finally closed on in the rail while headed to Providence. Everyone should have a copy and live by these laws to stay ahead of the pack and do right by those you lead or intend to lead. Followership mentality abounds in the world today, but even more common is the bad leader mentality. I guess some people gotta follow forever right- just don’t want to be the one that’s all. I hope to finish this Obama book…I resumed on it on my way back to Houston. His treatise on race relations is exceedingly insightful.

Talking about widescreen, do you know the new Tinapa Resort contains a multi-million dollar film village with state of the art production studio fit for movie theatre productions? May be Nollywood need this shot in the arm. Watched a very funny Nigerian comedy in Providence at my Uncle's pad- Big Dreams, Biggest Dreams it was called...there is always something original about Nigerian comedy plays...may be the best genre. I can't stand the others. Even with this no name cast, this was just an excellent plot and an even more excellent acting.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Get Inspired

Keep your daytime job and start your own part – time business.
Have many mentors that guide you in different way.
Choose mentors that would help you with your goals.
To be a millionaire, you have to learn how to be an extraordinary person.
Stop trying to live to other people standards.
Take control of your life and create your own destiny.
The key is to overcome obstacles and keep moving.
You know where you will do well, put yourself there.
Be sure to learn from your mistakes
Risk taking is fine, don’t fear risk.
Surround yourself with greatness to achieve more.
Don’t place blame on others, be at your best.
Pinpoint your strengths and use them to achieve greatness.
If you focus on the positive, you would succeed.
Lastly, start small and if business grows leave a job.
“Remember; Life is tough, but never give up”

It is better to try & fail, than die regretting you wished you had tried!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I Need a Mentor

I am reading one of the best books I have read in a longtime, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by J.C. Maxwell. I am still in the third chapter, yet I have learnt so much about myself- especially, what I am not. In the three short chapters I have learnt the law of the lid, which speaks basically to potential. The law of influence, which summarizes leadership in just that one obvious yet oblivious word. Ultimately, the third chapter is the law of process which forced me into thinking-whoosh! The law of process is that of learning how to be a levder. It is the law of "Rome was not Built in a Day". It is the law that leaders produce leaders, and that any aspiring leader must learn at the feet of an established leader.

This brings me to this blog entry. While reading the chapter on the law of process it became apparent that I need a mentor. I have had great mentors in the past: three to be precise. First was my father. I cannot be what I am today if not for the greatest source of my inspiration on what a man should be. Second was my first boss in Corporate world: coincidentally, he is my kinsman (and I did not know it until my last day at work here in Houston while working for an Oil major). My Boss, as I choose to still call him (Oga), was hard on me. He straightened me out, crushed my wet in the ear ego & prepared me for the challenges ahead. The third mentor I have does not even know it. He is a much older friend. His insightful thoughts/words on life & family came in handy when I needed it most. He is a friend indeed.

One thing however unifies all my mentors today. They are miles away , do not engage in my line of endeavor & critical mentorship can hardly take place. To some, I might have outgrown their mentorship, to me I have simply been bettered by them enough to start seeking new hands to continue where they have stopped. The author, John C. Maxwell spoke about seeking out your mentors. I am determined to do so in 6 months.

So now you know- mentors wanted. Qualification: God fearing, visionary with outstanding qualities to lead & mould a would be leader & preferably within reach. By experience, what makes great mentors is fearlessness in the face of failure: even while being observed. I have watched my great mentors fail. Mentors are not selfish, they share, they are influential and rub off nicely on their mentees. Mentors see the big picture, they accept their unusual position with exceptional humility & dignity. Oh men, I need a mentor. Only when I am mentored, can I truly be a mentor to someone else. Tell them- I need one fast!

Updated: I just spoke to one of my mentors mentioned above, who agreed to introduce me to a suitable new mentor. Great mentors seek out greater ones. Lesson learned.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

On Coincidences & the Dark Child

Sometimes repetitive observations serves useful purposes; but you start know you on the edge of losing your mind when you start gloating over mundane coincidences. Give say, seeing a particular number on the bill boards than others. I have since concluded it is eternally difficult to find a single person without a six in either their birth date, drivers licence number, license plate number or cellphone. If you do find such person, go ahead and tell me. To prove this, I had to mine my cellphone data in an Excel file- only busanga - and sorted it for six. I swear, 89% of all numbers on my cell had six in them. If you think say I dey lie, try am.

But one coincidence has even been troubling me lately. Check this out: I had started to fill up weekly at this Citgo gas station down the street. I normally used a Valero on the other end of the road, before I started noticing an appreciable price differential in the socialist ran, Chavez owned Venezuelan oil giant retail outlet. Not someone to pass up on cheap stuff- awoof dey run belle - I started gassing up the ride there. But to my amazement, five times, five weeks, different prices but characteristically empty yellow indicator, and I have always paid fifty bucks for gas at Citgo. How probable is that? With gas tax, to pay $50.00 five times? No penny less, no penny more. Personally, I think the machines in the station are communists! Okay may be I am paranoid, but am not complaining. The fifty bucks is five quids less than I used at Valero on the average.

Just finished reading the Dark Child by Camara Laye the Guinean author who dies in 1980. Such good re-read. I last read the book when I was twelve. The inflexions make more sense to me now. More detectable is the effect of translating from French to English. Personally, I don't think the happy dignified langauge that the book got translated in was the intent of the author. Some lines also got translated literarily like when he said: "my mother put herself out there for them than us". That is a literal translation from a West african thought- at least the Guineans had this in common with my own native Yoruba. "Mo ko ra mi si ta" means just that in Yoruba..."putting one self out".
The actual translation could mean being lenient or accommodating. Nevertheless, it was such an enjoyable read..a joyful story of growing and living in a lost Africa- one rural, yet so peaceful; shut from the rest of the world yet orderly; one agrarian yet so hopeful. That continent is forever lost to the upheaval of post-independence and the death of culture of reason, order & respect. The new continent is one without a soul- where anything goes!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Paris Hilton Tax is a Good Idea

Okay, now you can call me disingenuous but I do think the recent uproar over the preferential treatment given Paris Hilton should be a reasonable ground for proponents of estate tax to tax inheritances to escalate the national debate on this. This "slut of a whiny" (apologies to Jim Cramer who used those exact words on her) is a poster child on why mega-billions waiting to be passed to heirs and heiresses is such a bad idea.

Put aside the failure of the judicial system of God's own country to be fair and consistent, the overall picture you will get is a young lady whose only public claim to fame is a raunchy porn movie to which her parent were purported signatory after it leaked (thank the so called Enabler i.e. her mum) and a penchant to appeal to the dead beat cameras of the paparazzi & the country's adulation of low achievers like George W. Bush and herself. This young woman has never held a day job in her life, but is somehow expected someday to control Billions of the Hilton empire. If that is not good enough, the risk she will use this money to peddle smut rises by the day; I mean the more often you forget your underwear in the house, the more I believe you really want to advertise your anorexic goods- herself and Brittany that is. This girl is famous for nothing. She has no talent (even the smut video sucked- can u imagine?), except to be notorious.

The recent incident of her purported early release from jail simply because she was too sick just exposes the uneven judicial system in this country where justice has always been reserved for those with the right amount of money and the right color. This is a girl who was pulled over twice for DUI, caught driving under suspended licence twice yet did not see the big house on each of those occasions. Let ordinary Joe try the same thing- in fact it is a sure one strike and you are out. Yet somehow, the cops pulled her over, only wrote a ticket and allowed the luxury of Lawyer instead of a bails bond man! If that is not enough, even after being caught in violation and being placed on probation and then violating that all our "heiress" gets is an automatic 27 days of credit for good behaviour in advance. Gosh! This stinks to high heavens. Who gets good behaviour credits in advance from inner city jails? I mean which black man?

Now our own new age Jenna Jameson, gets to go to the big house and was released five days into her sentence because she was crying too much. Bla Bla bla bla! The Sheriff need to be fired! This was one favoritism taken too far it made no sense. Sick. But in any case, I personally think this smut pusher do not need those millions she is waiting in the wings to collect- it should go to a trust to pay for insurance for the uninsured children of America. If she wants the money, she should go spend one more night in Paris and make more movies! In any case I hope she enjoys her remaining time in jail now that she has been sent back. Geeeeeeeeez!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More of the same Republican Debate

Wow..what a difference four years make unh? Watching the Republicans debates made me ask myself if they were democrats not because they suddenly discovered religion of socialized medicine but because they were just in disarray. They disagreed on fundamentally everything except the war, which they all agree is the best thing after toast bread, and which I think makes even the candidacy of Lincoln running on this party's platform in 2008 absolutely dead on arrival. But at this point I must admit their sharp differences on the issue of immigration, gays in military, President Bush and foreign policy made for better TV than that boring democratic crap called debate. However, how can one fail to see their biggest differences not amongst themselves but with their current mentor, savior and guide (Dubya of course) on the issue of pollution and global warming. I loved their collective spin on this as a security issue and they sure looked good while lying. Typical politicians

One thing that was not different in this debate was their social status, race and gender. Where are the women, minorities and poor persons like Congressan Kucinich in this debate? Did I hear you say Tancredo? I think that moron smoked some weed before he took that stage. People like him make the Grand Old Pedophiles (GOP) look like a bunch of xenophobes. Not that they are not, but at least they are smart enough to reserve such sentiments for their closets or Lou Dobbs TV Show that attract close to as many viewers as buyers of George Bush Proclamation of the end of Iraq War Novel. But Lord , what can ten (now eleven) white men tell you about this party? This is no doubt a party on the brink of extinction. White men are a dying breed- white women don't marry any more, even if they do- they don't like having children, if they do have children it will be one or two, and for the most part nature makes it more likely for them to have girls than boys. See why the party is over? GOP wake up! I know you like young boys (like Foley R-Florida -LOL!) but please Hispanics, Blacks, Women & Middle Class need some love too! I dedicate this group to the cave man pictured above- they are relics

There was no area these rich white men seem more disconnected than when it came to the issue of big oil and healthcare reforms. Not only do they have a losing message, I think the Democrats will relish making them gawk when the real deal starts along with their yeye position on the war. How about that nobody attacking Bill Clinton? Forget Tancredo- as if anyone cared if he was barred from the White House. Ego is evil thing to massage. Yeye man. In any case, I have the perfect answer for Big Oil Profit questions for Country Club Republicans and Pro Growth Democrats- those are my kinds. It is simple- level with the people and let them know big oil pass these profits back to them as shareholders through taxpayer's pensions funds or retirement accounts. I bet you it will fly. Who doesn't own one oil stocks directly or indirectly? Who hates their retirement in sunny Florida?

Okay I am biased, but McCain had a good night- passionate & deliberative, Rudy was stellar in getting his message honed and Romney was unapologetic. Me thinks Bush was the only loser- he lost his party tonight or better still they lost him. Gosh- even my guy Paul won't pardon Bush's second brain. What is happening people?

Monday, June 04, 2007

CNN Democratic Presidential Debate …Arrrrrrrrgh!

Yaaaaaaaaawwn. I was greatly amused (and bored) by the democratic debate yesterday evening on CNN. The point of course of watching this, I don't know except may be simply because the Republican line up is nothing but just a bunch of 10 (now 11) white men clowns in black suit who somehow still believe the war in Iraq is the next best thing after toast bread. In short, what makes the democratic debate worth watching is that fact that the Republican debate is a non-starter. Can you imagine?

For all the interest however, it was more of the same. Long platitudes, winding answer, no passion, "I have a plan" mantra, big spending, tax hikes and of course Bush hating with no concrete vision. The most disappointing of the line up was Barack O'damo (sorry Obama). Man, that guy needs a coach in public speaking or presidential debating. He was wonderfully trounced by even floundering candidates like Biden and Dodd. Gosh, see the VA Hospital question by spouse of a serving soldier- this man was aught napping. Instead of simple, coherent answers what we get is some Obama thesis; I am sure will soon get Obamaspeakezee as a political buzz word. Deep intellect doesn’t win elections, and George Bush is a solid testimony to that. Passion and empathy that was sorely lacking in that debate wins the White House. I can imagine Billy Boy (Bill Clinton) answering the same question on the VA hospital restriction for veterans- he not only will stand up from that IKEA European edgy stools that CNN somehow supplied this elitist minded lot but go down to embrace that soldier's spouse, press her flesh and get some quick photo shots for tomorrow’s papers. That is empathy and passion. None of this lot would even bend forward in a show of passion except for Senator Clinton and Biden- the rest were dead on Arrival (DOA).

Obama by my account had the worst night. What more proof than when it took a New England White American Senator Biden to run with the issue of Darfur while the only true African candidate on the podium equivocated while 300 000 people are slaughtered? Obama looked like a wash, commending Edward and Biden for visiting Darfur. Gosh! You are the one with Kenyan blood, yet you will rely on second hand information from this lot? I agree with Biden and Richardson, a no fly zone and a threat of boycotting the Olympics are two ways to stop the genocide now and forever. Any other thing amounts to Nero fiddling while Rome burns. During this segment, the passion of Biden trumped the indifference or obliviousness of O'damo (sorry Obama). Senator Clinton looked stronger than ever, and I am afraid it appears Bill has been coaching her- she seems to be getting better. Biden, Dodd and Richardson had a good to neutral night. Edward will need a little help from the pollsters, but his message is worn and old; he still got a little left in him though (at least more than O'damo)

But overall, the lack of imagination in the candidate's program was remarkable. Same old, same old. What happened to pro-growth democrats? No one on the podium could say the truth about business: that America prospers, when business prospers; that small business, innovation and education are the engine of economic growth and that spending not tax cuts are the problem. My proposal: Cut $70 billion of corporate welfare for big business by half, redirect this sum to encouraging small business and education, make current tax cuts permanent, increase estate taxes(yeah, whatever- call it death tax) on the dying super rich (more of them will die soon-LOL) and tax private equity income on income tax level of 35% instead of the 15% loophole currently being exploited to pay off cost of universal health care for minors up to the age of 18, create a catastrophic health insurance system similar to the natural disaster insurers on state level paid for by stopping the current bleed in military and war spending to significantly reduce premium costs, restore line item veto and pursue a balanced budget amendment to drive these drunk spenders out of DC. If all these are done, watch as the DOW hits 20 000 and Social Security solvency is restored as the dollar regains its strengths. That is how pro-growth Clintonian Democrats think not hiking taxes, and price gouging investigation nonsense. By the way, the price of gas in the US is too cheap as Senator Mike Gravel said- lowering it is encouraging bad behavior (i.e. polluting our world and encouraging terrorism). Higher prices at some point will dampen demand and encourage clean technology innovation which is good for America and bad for terror and polluters.

P.S: O'damo is a way of saying "You Do not Recognize" in Yoruba.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Las Vegas Memorial Day Weekend Escape

I got to Las Vegas, the ornate gambling, gaming, boxing, magic and fun capital of the world yesterday evening-11pm to be precise. Hurriedly escaping Houston lethargy this holiday weekend was a goal that must be fulfilled. I am savoring every bit and pieces that this city perched in the desert and set against gorgeous Nevada mountains has to offer. Las Vegas is an excess, an exaggeration of the classical & medieval. Vegas is a testament to man's ingenuity and creativity; it is a celebration of vanity, excess, greed and human weaknesses.

I woke up 4.30am local time today obviously still operating on Houston's time. Spent a couple of hours planning our way round town with my partner before we departed Harrahs in Mid strip where we lodged. Harrahs is a nice hotel- cheap and with good machines (I shall leave it there people- approco). We made it early enough for breakfast in Paris. Paris is gorgeous and like the real thing, will always make you come back. We took a ride up the Eiffel Tower replica and ol boy do you get the beauty of the strip when you are up there. I missed taking my camcorder with me, and I quickly went back to fetch it for use for the rest of the day.

We made it by leg (yes, it was one heck of a trip), first to Venetian- which perhaps rank only after Caesar's Palace in grandeur on this strip- in my opinion. We took the outdoor waterway cruise in this Vegas replica of Venice. From this point I hiked by newly built Wynn to Stratosphere where most of the fun was. Strats has some good machines too (keep on reading my friend, you are getting distracted). Over 108 stories in the sky, the sky view of the strip was spell bounding and the Hot Shot ride in the sky was a helluva experience. I had a caricature souvenir from the Strats too..That was grand. After making some money, I headed back to the Hotel for the last leg for the evening.

The Festival of Lights at the Bellagio was a site to is an hopeless romantic's dream come true- u can check out a clip I took here . Not that I am any, but it is highly recommended (take notes my friend). The statue skits & display at Caesar's Palace followed. No detailed description is more poignant than the video feed here- it is a free must see. The night ended with the Improv Comedy Show at Harrah where I am just coming from. As I lay down in bed-trying to write this & counting my cash(fine boy no cash my people) I am exactly where I left off in the morning plus twenty buck, after spending twice as much on food, entertainment and tickets for the day. Not bad for a first timer.

Second day was mostly spent animal watching @ MGM & Mirage. Check out this video of the animal trainer interacting with the Lioness @ MGM. The Dolphins, Tigers, panther & mountain lions featured in the Mirage- they put up great shows there. The road trip to Texas begins on Saturday..

Selected Pictures of Day 1 & 2 see here..

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Time To Kill- Notes & Updates

I have finally begun feeding off my reading list for the summer. Reading comes naturally to me but the discipline to finish a 500 plus page book is what I often lack- especially John Grisham. A little background on A Time To Kill (TTK)... this is one of ten Grisham I hold in my 110 fiction & non-fiction collection. However of these ten, I had gotten around to reading three of them, started but never finished another three and yet to get to the remaining four. It is my hope that TTK will be the fourth completed Grisham.

Grishams fascinate me because of their courtroom characters- judges, lawyers, criminals, prisoners, convicts, law enforcement officers and the jury. Lawyers of them all fascinate me the most. This is why The Firm will go down as my best Grisham till date. They are vain liars for the most part who can be ideological in one minute and be plain downright unethical the next. No wonder most politicians are failed lawyers or extremely successful ones! Of course, I love a good debate. Reading how a lawyer weave web of intricate lies in your face as facts and how an innocent detour in a cross examination can change the fate of a guilty defendant is lovable. No one does a better job of placing these characters in the right place and right circumstances than John Grisham. I love me some Jeffrey Archer (Best Among Equals & Fourth Estate deserve special mention) as well as some Tom Clancy, but no one does a better job of throwing light on the legal profession and its characters, human emotion, clash of interests & above all the strength of the law than John Grisham. Well, that is why Amazon got rich off me. Three years (I bought TTK on 4th April 2004) later, I am finally getting around to digesting this Grisham...and I am half way through.

TTK was the first of Grishams. This evidently so because it lacks the sophistication that later Grishams assumed. It was loosely based on a real life experience of the "wet in the ear" newly minted lawyer Grisham was when he ran across a case that made him agonizingly watch a young girl paint the picture of her own rape on the witness stand while envisioning how it feels like to be in her father's shoe. It is a story that precludes the elegance of the Firm, the heart stopping pulse of The Testament or the stomp that the Partner was strewn across the Amazonian jungle.

Will Update..
Update 1: The main characters in the plot is Jake the Ole Miss trained defense lawyer that inherits the practice of Lucien Willbanks, heir to a long line of legal luminary that was brilliant, eccentric and ultimately disbarred. The other main character is Carl Lee father of the girl assaulted by two rednecks whom he later disposed off with M16 he got from his war buddy from his Viet days. Set in Clanton Mississippi, the story has every touch of the south. Issues bothering on racism, the constant struggle to preserve peace & justice while not loosing the folksiness the back country is renowned for. The characters are utterly Southern- if there is any such expression; proud yet lacking in self confidence, warm yet suspicious of foreigners, ignorant yet common sensible, bigoted yet well meaning: these contradictions are best expressed in the way Grisham had them interact. They take the next man as serious as far as he could be kept. Certain lines stand out. The best for me was the one Jake (the lawyer) used when he was seeking loan from his banker & was asked for collateral; he said and I quote:
"My House is a landmark with landmark mortgages, and you've got lien on my car, remember? I'll give you the first mortgage on my daughter, but if you try to foreclose it I will kill you. Now what security do you have in mind?"
Now that is a wicked line. John sure has his ways with words...Page 335 & reading on.

Update 2: I just closed the last page of the book...the best was saved for the last. The courtroom drama was enthralling. Buckley could kiss a good solid case good bye the moment the amputated deputy took the stand. The psychiatrists testimony was perhaps the non-effective tie breaker. As ironic as it sounds, their testimonies amounted to nothing but wash technicalities. It all boiled down to few brave people- Mickey mouse (the klans man mole who paid with his life for snitching good), the jury foreman, and Wanda the girlfriend of the stubborn grand jury man-Mack Lloyd Cromwell(who was going to stall the trial at the grand jury) that somehow walked her way to the jury. How Buckley missed that shows the difference political ambition and raw talent can make. All fluff no action- in all Lucien was egoistic, Harry Rex was vain, & Carla Lee was a free man. Watsup with these southern double names? If you don't have stomach for the "n" word, then TTK is not a must read. In all, it shows the triumph of Southern common sense over legalisms.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ouch! 2: On Life, Death and Pain

I am about eight hours removed from my last dental visit. This time around I had to face my devil and remove the molars that had been degenerating faster than was expected. In fact, one of them had chipped two weeks ago causing me incredible pain that can be better described than imagined. Ultimately, I had to give in to the dockies advice to get them all removed at once. I had been managing the pain for over a week and was going to get it removed last week Wednesday only to be moved to yesterday because the surgeon found I had an extra molar. Which kain blessing be this? Na so I wise. Thank goodness, the extra one is not awkwardly located so it will be left alone. Doing so without upsetting the remaining set up is the deal that made me bear the pain of a chipped molar for an extra week. Trust me, I would have paid someone to pull the whole 36 out this last week- the eventual pain of extraction is not comparable: at least so I thought.

I had been advised to bring company since I was supposed to be on anesthetics. Na one of my paddy guys drive me go Clinic yesterday. Between man and God the last I remembered was entering my car in my house. How I got to the Clinic, checked in, did the procedure or got back is beyond my reasoning. Which brings me to the issue of death. I have no memory of what happened in that three hour window of my life. I remember slipping slowly into partial oblivion and that was it. Some others said it was an out of body experience for them..mine was a total switch off. For where? If man go, na so im for just go. No memories, no pain. That brings me to issue of death. When people die, we cry. Obviously, we cry for the pain of loss not for the dead. Because on crossing that thin line that separates life and death these consciousness are eternally lost. It does not matter those whom you leave behind, you are gone and gone to face your creator. My three hour window beyond the earthly yearnings of this world, is my triple play on Life, death and pain.

P.S: As I sit down here thoroughly drugged with pain killers from the procedure, I am in good shape- thanks for the thought. I am still bleeding slightly- but men, na the hunger my people. My stomach no fit handle am. I never chop since 7am Wednesday to avoid throwing up during the procedure. Since I have lost the use of my mandibles for the next 24 hrs, na suffer head be dat. I was able to manage Ice Cream before going to bed yesterday. Pls don't suggest custard. Wetin dat thing go do for a six footer plus? I miss my Eba, Efo eguro and egusi soup I beg. Anyway God dey! Peace out, till we meet again.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Combating World Hunger

If poverty, hunger and diseases are mentioned chances are that we think people speak of developing Nations or some war stricken, poverty ridden third world country somewhere on Africa or Latin America. The truth however, is that a lot of people down your street in North America, Europe and indeed the developed world cannot afford a single meal a day. World Hunger is a reality and unlike competing interests like healthcare, education, and terrorism- it is hardly a mantra of the brain dead politicians. Everyone has enough to eat appears to be the assumption underlining the bogus discussions that political undertake everyday and the egg head journalists co-opt them to go on about. Neither in the Presidential Candidate debate in USA, is UK or France the need of the poorest of the poor ever raised. They are invisible- whose needs are the least of their concerns. Along with the "homeless", whom society have impugned some kind of horrendous label, the hungry is unseen, unheard and not catered for. All we hear about is the spoilt brat, entitlement flushed middle-class. It is very common to hear the left wingers go on preaching about the middle class squeeze, and the right-wingers sermonize on middle class tax cuts. The question is- what about the under/lower/poorest class?

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to be asked to devote a tiny piece of my time to the cause of feeding the hungry through the meals on wheels program- a crucial feed the hungry dive in Houston inner cities. The stark reality of poverty will not hit you until you see two loaves of bread, peanut jelly butter and a 30 oz pop(Kool-Aid), becoming the miracle of pre-K children who hitherto would have gone hungry without the innovative program of Meals on Wheel program. The sad part is that hunger is combatable and in a rich country like the USA and even the poorest ones, it is simply inhumane that we look the other way while it over takes the youngest and most susceptible amongst us. More often than not, it takes our time to feed poor more than our money. In Brazil, President Lula have made it a core thrust of his administration to combat hunger in his country and it is working. If poor Brazil can do it, why not the great US of A. Well, you and I know what the priorities are. Only those who make big campaign contributions or who vote get taken care of; that is exactly why dumping 1 billion dollar daily in the watering hole called Iraq is a greater priority than fixing the broken healthcare and education system here at home. We also know very well those corporations and smooth talking execs that are making good off the war anyway.

All these aside, you can be of help in combating world hunger in a number of ways. Visiting a local soup kitchen or shelter to volunteer your time in packing lunch will be a good start. Donating to UNICEF, who I believe is doing an honorable job in many developing nations where help for the middle class not to talk of the poor is non-existent, will also be a step in the right direction. You can be sure that for every minute you spent packing the lunch, you touched a child; for every child you touch you might have touched a soul; and every soul you touched could be the next driver for change in the world: A child that will find a cure to cancer, another that will take man to the moon once again and others that will sit in the oval office just like Bill Clinton- whose family once lived on those food stamps. No one knows the future, and it is immoral to starve the future. Feed the children of the world, and fight world hunger to a stand still.

Headed to Vegas
I think am ready to hit the road this month. I should be in the Sin City for Memorial Day. I intend to fly there and drive all the way back to Houston- a twenty two hours drive. I am actually more excited about the road trip that will crisscross five states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and of course Texas. Texas is a 12 hours stretch- a big state indeed. But the rustic country sides and beautiful view of the mountain, desert and grassland over a 22 hours lap is definitely worth the trouble. While everything that happens in Vegas should stay there, I promise to share pictures of the road trip.

I saw the Last King of Scotland and Blood Diamond finally. They were both masterpieces. After these phony elections in naija, I wonder whether our continent will ever get it right. Bobby and the Queen are next on my Blockbuster list. My summer list is complete but one book...I shall share my progress in the next post.
Are Americans really stupid?

Friday, April 20, 2007

It does not Matter…

What of it fails?
What if the sun doesn’t shine?
What if I stray away?
What if it falls apart?

You wonder about what is,
The wonder of the unknown
But who knows what is yonder?
You wonder if the yoke of it all is worth it
What about “it”?

All I say, is that it does not matter
It does not matter how many times we fall
It does not matter how many it fails
It does not matter how many hecklers you got
It does not matter if it bothers you

Reaching beyond the wonders of the stars
And the beauty of rising beyond the deep blue sky
Lies in the secrets unlocked behind it
Because it never matters how far you fly
How high you soar or how low you sink,
It never matters how much rot you have been

All that matters is that the sky is blue,
The sun is red, the earth is brown
And the rain falls where you and I rest.
All that matters is that you are with me
At least on this

Why does He not call me?

1. Because you are now boring
2. Because you are now annoying
3. Because it just doesn’t matter anymore
4. Because in the ranking order of thing, you are CURRENTLY not a priority
5. Because all the above are incorrect and he is brain dead

I had to let you people in on this. This stuff is funny- I beg check my man- naija man out on You Tube. This dude is crazy. For Laughs

Check this Vintage Car collection out and you just might want to see Australia Hailstorm and the ravishing beauty of Sydney draped in the white stuff. What a wonderful world!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Reconnecting…and Related Musings

Usually the hardest part of knowing people, growing up with them or them growing up on you is parting. It is a truism that we meet to part and part to meet (hopefully). The fun part of parting of course is meeting again. This is usually true for old pals- people you shared a lot in common with. It is just simply exhilarating like a kid in the candy store. Nothing best exemplifies this than going to naija trust me.

I remember entering Ibadan the land of my birth late night on New Year day 2007 after spending the previous weeks in Warri and working out there in Lagos. I had been in Lagos for a while and as such made it to join my family coming from Warri in IBD. You will think after the long festivities and journey of the day, it was going to be a short one. But no o. I had to catch up with the Avenue crew. We grew up on this block…shared mind boggling letters (gone are those days, na email dey reign now) that we hastily passed through our parents as they shuttled between Warfi (where my siblings and I schooled) and Ibadan. Going through the pile of letters in my old room when I was there in January was hilarious. My style of writing has hardly changed- so has the people around me. We might have grown up, but speaking into the wee morning with my pals –Delag, Laxzy, Tom-Tom, Ladesky, Sir K, Dapsy (big ups boi) et al just took me back many years. We hung out exact same way a decade ago against the reprimand of our parents of course. Now we were adults- some of us had jobs, others were doing their advanced studies in different part of the world, some are engaged ( Eww! Especially the ladies- na wa for dis hitching thing sef) and we had simply moved on in life. Yet we were the same. Of course, the very younger ones amongst us are now a lot matured- the babies of the hood. LOL..I hope Y and B don’t read this. But both of them are nearing completion of their first degree…life and progress indeed does go hand in hand like Okro and Amala- o sweet Ibadan!

Now I feel nostalgic. Of course visiting my alma mater was also fun. It was catching up time. I tried to take in the environment. Of course I still remembered the places I hung out during my juvenile escapades out of class, the spots the Vice Principal cleaned up my butt with his bulala in DCCW or more interestingly the rocks I hung out with my first “love” at my primary school- yes o, I be strong man in those days too. So you thought I only started today? Shame on you- yeye dey smell. Of course, UNILAG was a whole lot different ball game. The adventures on and new Newest Halls are still very green and I am sure quite a few are still not statute barred. I had a dinner meeting with my UNILAG den mates- about 13 of us in J201 Sodeinde Hall and other neophytes who shared our bed for good and evil in those times. It was fun hanging out in The Palms…how times have changed and all of us have changed with it, yet we remain the same.

Of course, reconnecting is even more enjoyable if it is for the better. Back in December while in Warri, I had gone to the bank and had just alighted from the vehicle when I suddenly heard the shout “senior, senior prefect!” from the middle of no where. There to my amazement standing and looking all manly is B. You see B was my least favorite student while I reigned in the halls of DCCW. He was a truant, rascal and scallywag all rolled into one. But his mom gave me full permission to discipline him and boy did I use it. B suffered no be small. But today he is for the Better. He ran towards me and embraced me. He is now in College and doing very well. I was so proud of him.

So it was with so much surprise when I got an email from an old school mate from primary school this last week. She had so much to say and so did I. Esther na big girl now. My earliest memories of her was being a spoilt gentle kid of a popular politician (names withheld), yet very respectful. Somehow she remembered me for routinely including her in the list of noise makers. Now that is cold. But she is now a woman. We sure will meet some day somehow whether we like it or not. Hence, the lesson is to treat everyone you know or meet fairly/ well or at least try because you never know where life will take you. As the elders say- omi le ni yan. Just my musings

My Folks Were Here!
Talking about catching up, my parents just left Houston after a well spent two weeks vacation. It is always different having them around even though I was in naija in Christmas. I had not spent enough time at home in December shuttling between several cities trying to catch up on old time and indeed work. But they had me all to themselves this time around. It always fun having my folks around- they make the best parents in the world. You can see some picture here. 1 2 3

Summer Reading List Round Up
Am thinking of re-reading one work of Sidney Sheldon (In Memory of the Great Author of political theatrics) and perhaps picking up a John Grisham I have not read. Hence A Time to Kill which has been in the cooler and Windmill of Gods make a fourth and fifth addition to my summer reading list. Two to go.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Can Women Drive?

Okay my country people, I know I missed women day or whatever it is called. So I apologize to all grandmothers, great grand mama, mother, aunties, nieces, sisters, fake sisters, blood sisters, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, wives, ex-wives, sugar mummies etc I know. Approco, I see your eye brow is already raised- did I say all of them are mine? I said the ones I know. Nonsense and fabrication; however, for this reason, this posting of mine shall be the sexist type.

Naturally, I am not given to huge traffic. I live in Houston a city notorious for its rush hour traffic which is even made more deleterious by the long wide roads and the swath of smoking automobiles that form such urban eye sore. I mean, if traffic catches you for NY or London, at least you know you can park and walk or catch public transport. Well in Houston, let us just say pedestrians were not even factored in at the design stage of road construction. Na so for last Friday I wan do some quick waka for peak period I; comes see me see trouble. I was on the toll road, the freer route, and yet a journey of twenty minutes was taking me an hour and a half. In the midst of my frustration, I realized I had maintained a single lane and it appears to be the slowest.

As per a naija man concerned, na so I change lane fast like a sharp man. But before I could complete my maneuver na so this mad person just rush my bumper like say the yansh of my car na ten kobo stripper. In any case, she missed- thank goodness. You see na woman; and as if this has not gotten more ridiculous I drove less than a mile only to see that we all have been delayed by another yeye woman at the head of the traffic queue. Believe you me, this woman was reading a novel and driving. More surprising was that she literarily has stopped moving and everyone else behind her was in stand still. No honking, no bellowing. As you can guess rightly, at least the next two cars behind her were also driven by women; and were each at different stages of distraction. If it was not involved in some serious gist on the phone, it was moving rhapsodically to some music. They think say I get time? As I journeyed home, I looked around me to observe fellow drivers and it appears to me less than 1 out of 5 women driving were concentrating. The rest of the crew were either doing make up, adjusting their hair, talking on the phone, reading novels/books (so ridiculous) or plain gisting with their fellow passenger; so for your viewing pleasure I am including a picture of how a female only used and operated garage looks like that was sent to me by a co-worker. What a wonderful world!

What Happened to Sexy Air Hostesses?
Jesu, I was waiting for my people coming from naija on Saturday when I saw couple of Air hostess coming out from the Arrival Hall. What happened to Air hostess that you can’t have enough of looking at? Ones that make you book a flight you don’t need to take? Like good meals on air travel, beautiful and sexy air hostesses are a thing of yore: a past that we might never see again. Can you believe this; BA even has this 300 lbs plus Air Hostess? Say na wetin? Me I go fear to enter that kind plane o- imagine just five of these jumbo sized air hostesses: the plane is more likely to go down and more so the food in an infinite journey will probably not go round. Okay, just kidding. I got me some love for the obese sisters too. Big girls need love. Abi no be so? Peace.

Summer Reading List: I am compiling my reading list for summer: my peak reading season. I intend to read at least 7 books this time around; I know I am lazy but you know say with this acada plus full time work thing man must chop. I have three books already lined up and ready for kick off after school quiets down a bit in April. I am open to suggestions and I shall update you as I go…here is the current list: Uncle Tom’s Cabin (H. Stowe), Master of the Senate (Biography of LBJ-Robert A. Caro), Beating the Street (Peter Lynch).

Visiting: Houston Museum of Natural Science and Forbidden Gardens this weekend. I shall share pictures if I am allowed to take any.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Suffer Head No Good O!

My country people, may God never make you a carrier of suffer head. The kain tory wey I wan knack una im sweet my belle make I no lie. And I mean am , as I write am. My belle dey sweetie me, because of the gist wey I wan land una.

Na dis morning wey I wake up, I realize say I never cook my lunch for today. Una sabi say, as I be Ijebu man for my papa side seven generations removed: to dey spend my hard earned ewe on top burger and fries no be my idea of enjoyment. In fact, the suffer wey I suffer last week when I skip bringing lunch to work no be small. I mean wetin; fries and double cheese burger go do for African man? No be Lagbaja talk am – put am well, well.

As I come wake up realize am say, dis suffer head go fit continue dis week na im I come find quick solution. I get one correct white soup wey one of my twin sisters knack me (una no abi say eleven of us my mama born the same time? Since im no get equivalent for French una fit calls us deca-plus-one-tuplets). As a Warfarian, when soup dey you are one minute away from nutritional bliss. Na so I knack correct fire for under my gas cooker, boil quick water, add some correct yellow-garri. My Eba was done in few minutes. I come package am with some of my insulation ideas (proprietary- Patent Pending) to keep am warm, carry one better bottle of cold orange juice with my correct spicy white soup with gizzard and beef in it go work.

Una sabi say, when man dey hunger presentation na secondary. Na so dis “The man” work carry me enter post-noon when the hunger don knack me well, well. Nobody tell una broda how to warm the soup quick-quick for the agbero microwave wey dey our pantry area for work. As I come dey settle down, na im I realize say as per African man concerned I don forget to carry cutlery follow body. Wetin concern agbero, with over load? Abi, wetin concern postman with bad news wey dey inside letter? As I reach my desk , open my soup come see me see trouble o. All dis oyinbo people come dey cough like people wey get epilepsy! Na the pepper o my people. Anyway, na so I no even mind them. I shele go wash my hands, settle down like king – consume my Eba like no tomorrow.

Craze people dey look me why I dey use hand- I dey think for my mind say “see this mugus, suffer head go kill una”. Na so one dey chop chips dey think say im dey civilized. As I look im sunken eyes and red nose, na im I realize say a lack Eba consummation is tantamount to suffer head raised to the power of infinity. As I dey use my correct orange juice dey wash down the Eba, na so my mind come reach all of una wey dey chop burger. Suffer head no good o!
Please Sing After Me
O eba, O eba
When Shall I see eba
When shall I see egusi soup
I will never forget pomo...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ouch. My teeth!

I am just back from the dentist. And wait a minute- it doesn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would. I think I was hypnotized. Dad talked about a dentist of his in the UK that used hypnotism. Okay- I guess his type might have been different. You see, I am medic-phobic; whatever that means. I hate going to clinics, hate the way they smell etc. You will think this is not the case given my upbringing. But I will practically do anything to stay out of the clinic.

This usually means that I always need an incentive to see a doctor. There is no better incentive than a combination of pain and hope of seeing a beautiful woman. Oya, judge me- Mr. & Ms. Holier than thou. You no like woman? Okay na man you wan make I like? In any case, I always generally prefer female docki (doctors in a razz way) to the male ones. This is especially true after a weird physical examination experience- the first when I got to the US of A. That gist I shall reserve for later and it shall be told only by popular request. If you like call me racist: all things being equal too, I prefer minority female doctors. “Minority” is PC word for non-white at my neck of the wood. Hence, my GP is a sexy African American woman married to a naija man. Let us just say she knows her stuff- plus: cute nice woman who is a big flirt- can it get better than that?

While I was in naija for Christmas, I started feeling the pangs and pay back for my years of neglect of my dental health. You see, I was one of those kids that will eat the toothpaste rather than use it. You sabi dem, abi? Yes, I mean them- meaning you. As if you no do am. Add this to the fact that I am so scared of being under that their interrogation room like light, then you have a recipe for a dental disaster! So while having my fill of correct suya, biscuit bone, eran Ileya etc. I realized around Christmas that my perfect resilient dentition was not all that anymore. The pain became unbearable when I came back to Houston. So I decided I needed to schedule an appointment to see one of these White Herbalists. After a thorough search that was driven by good practice coupled with the need for a dead drop gorgeous docki I made up my mind.

I mean I was not disappointed when I walked into her practice. A pretty looking Asian lady greeted me: she looks as if she is in her early twenties but I am sure she is older. For a second I thought she will be better suited for one of those Asian Massage parlors (see no evil- I talk am) than just being a dental assistant. But I was in for a surprise. “Hello I am Dr. Tracy your Dental Surgeon- we….” The rest I cannot remember. I was so enthralled, the rest of the words got lost in translation. It looks like I will get double dental work the way it is going. Can you imagine that name too? Tracy: name of a heartbreaker- sounds like Anna Nicole Smith to me.

In no time, Doc Tracy got to work. After the x-ray came the examination when she rattled off some alphanumeric rendition to her assistant- stuff I can never get a handle off and soon confirmed to me that my fate was sealed. My dentition was a project work for final year dental surgeon student: a case study of everything gone awry. According to her, I needed four wisdom tooth extractions (which I will not do), six fillings and one crown; and of course some deep cleaning. I thanked her and scheduled to be back today after of course seeking second opinion: if you know the ways of dentists.

Before I left, she sure went personal as they (single career ladies) always do when you go professional on them (catch me if you can). She asked what I did for a living- I told and then sugar coated it. Shebi you don forget say I be naija man? In any case, just when I was about to step out she made an off the cuff comment to her assistant about being bored this weekend and staying home alone. I ignored it but offered gentlemanly to take her to lunch if my pain disappears by year end due to her hard work. You could see the smirk on her face when she said – “year end!-?” Question or exclamation, I do not know. All I know is that she is game, but I do not intent to fulfill that promise. Not after she has made good from my Insurance and Co-pay. I be mugu? Na me be Bank of America?

I went back today to get my first fillings done; you won’t want to start with the most painful procedure trust me. And it appears it might have gone well. Dental practice is always weird stuff to me. They are doctors, yet they use tools of carpenters. They have their saws, drills, mirror, marker, measuring tape, mitre rule etc. Okay, I know dem no dey call am these names; but I remember Doc. Tracy screwing something in or on my tooth at one point. Ouch! Just pray the anesthesia work; thank God it did. At least I have few hours before it wears out and the aftermath pain hits me for real. I can handle it not to worry. I am numb on the right side where all four fillings were done though.

Anyway, right now I am so hungry but cannot eat. Will do anything for Moi-Moi and ogi. Shebi you are now so Americanized abi na Britico that you cannot even remember what that is again. Custard ko, jelly ni. Omo iya oniru. Nonsense and fabrication

Watched: In pursuit of Happiness- this is a must see movie. This movie wins my Oscar.

Finished Reading: I finally got around finishing Uncle Wole’s memoirs – You must Set Forth at Dawn. Somehow, I had been stuck in the last chapter since November (even after finishing Prince by Machiavelli and Saro Wiwa’s memoirs between then and now). Somehow I wished the story never ended- Uncle Wole sabi gist provided im no introduce dem bombastic oyinbo wey even dey confuse Aunty Liz (i.e. my Cousin- Queen Elizabeth II)

To Finish: The Life of Oluadah Equiano, the African… stuck on this book like Uncle Wole’s …this needs to be done with.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Houston We Have A Problem!

Ka chi na ko...I received the above from a good friend. Hillarious. It brightened a rather tedious week. Indeed, the past few days have not been the brightest...but am glad it is all over. Case Dismissed.

I couldn't help but laugh about the woman astronaut that will drive in diapers all the way to Florida to stalk a fellow flying saucer because of a colleague which they are mutually longing to be with. One, why diapers? I mean if the excuse was not stopping until you get to Florida from Houston, Texas may be we need to call NASA and find out where that future car is that can make that nearly thousand mile journey non-stop. At least you will stop to gas up and might as well answer the call of nature. And get this, she was married and just recently separated- weeks actually. Now that is sad. Anyway, my own astro-nuts is not coming any time soon or my Colt .32 might have a very good use. Okie- just kidding. Lawd have mercy.

Koinange's Nigeria

Now you folks should give me a break. Andrew Young not Jeff Koinange of CNN has the PR Lobby contract from Abuja to polish Nigeria's image. He has done his job- and his job is called Show-Biz. Show meaning fake, business meaning making money. CNN is serious business I know but there is also an entertainment side to it. Moreover, they do not manufacture the news stories they just air them. So if our sorry politicians in Abuja through their own inefficiencies have created the nut-case called Niger Delta Crisis, so be it. Jeff's own is to air our dirty laundry for us - and may be if half the energy Nweke have expended on insulting CNN is put into finding a permanent solution to the problem, we might not be doing this six months down the road. This is beginning to sound stupid. The way out of the Niger Delta problem fiasco is to let the people of Nigeria be. Let every region develop at its pace, utilizing its resources. Abuja has no clue what the people want; they are as clueless as the threesome called Atiku, Buhari and Yaradua. Add OBJ to make it is a group of senile fellows.

And This too shall Pass Away

Who send me? This professor has no clue- who still uses hand calculations to calculate power flow analysis? What are computers for? Anyway, na im fault? I know no who send me graduate school. But I enjoy Franklin: practical , straight forward and educative. I wish all classes are like that. But no telling. After a ten hour day in front of United All Confusing Engineeringsm any more of that gibberish is simple old and worn out. How I long for those days I get home from work and just watch TV. I wish- if wishes were horses.

Last Week

Issues we all got 'em was a blast. Watched it at Verizon Wireless theatre in the downtown Theatre District. The actors were superb: soul food actor- Darrin Henson, Dave Hollister and the Kim Fields were sure superb. The Nigerian character Osaji was something else! Issues we all sure have them. The company I had watching this was also superb- don't you ever quote me. Catch it when it come near you.

This Weekend
Golf...Golf..Golf..With a late spring time, the weather could never be better: Am going tommorrow after service. 13:00 Tee time.

Next Week
The time I should see a new drama or magic show with a friend. Something outside the usual routine, at least until the week this space.

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