2011, The Year That Was

Have a blessed 2012.

In 2011 – I attended a Retirement Benefits Authority seminar. Whenever invitations come to the office, they’re shooed away to some old guy’s desk by default. This time he good naturedly commanded two of us to go learn about money in old age. Well, they did teach retirement and money – and then some. Sickness, loneliness, menopause, marital strife and feelings of loss of purpose in life among other old age challenges. They also put us through a few hours of candid talk about flailing sex in old age and what to do about it. Yes, that felt like hours.

I gave my story outside of this place. In case you missed it or would like to read it again, scoot over to Q & A Monday: Shiko-Msa at Wamathai’s.

This blog landed on Zuqka. The writer there ‘passes by for a dose of sassy and smart since the posts are a sweet mix of both’. Gracias.

I took a wrong turn. I bought an Ideos. No biggie, except I was completely unable to bond with it. Speaking strictly in terms of hardware, I was coming from a solid aluminium Nokia 6700 to a light weight battery guzzler that broke apart when it fell. I was coming from a 5mp Carl Zeis Optics camera for crying out loud.

I gave the Ideos to a nephew, only to win another one in some quiz. Tarots?! I decided to use it for some time. Nothing in recent times ever tested my patience as much as the Ideos, not because its a bad phone, but because I was a tad too impatient with its short comings. Even at the most normal of technology, say hanging and taking eons to come on, I was quite unforgiving. It pissed me off too often, so urgent replacement was a matter of human rights.

Some restlessness I’d started feeling reached peak. I need change. I need to distabilize something and start over. I need a storm. This rut must die. I’m currently orchestrating the murder of said rut. Go on, wish me luck.

I had my first car crash one bright Sunday mid morning. I was not hurt and neither was anyone else but I broke a windshield and a few other things. As much as just about everyone concluded that Sunday morning is Saturday night, I was totally sober. Lessons? Serious injury or even death are never too far away. Seat belts save lives. Car repairs take longer than speculated and cost much more than estimated.

I sat in for a colleague who was away on leave. Among other duties, I got to order stationery and the most I could do was ask people what they wanted on their desks. I got to learn that clear document pockets are called those transparent wharevers, thumb tucks are called those short pins and stick pads are called tu-yellow yellows.



Lady Gay1 182x300 Ladygay....

Ladygay is not just a lotion to me. Its the signature scent of my mother. If gizzards were my father, the sweet gentle scent of ladygay was and still is my mother. Her showing up at home bearing a gift – a new dress, a pair of shoes, or just tropical sweets that seemed to live in her handbag.

The ladygay scent was the calming reassurance in her room whenever scared little me moved there in the middle of a rainy night with particularly loud thunderstorms.

Ladygay was the scent that wafted through the house in the morning when she was getting ready for work and little me knew that mum was awake, alive and well. That the world was safe.

Today is not mother’s day or anything. I was just musing over what lotion to buy myself this time round when it occured to me that my Mum has used the same lotion all her life. How?!


Why Do I Blog?

Why do I blog? As in why do I own a little space in the internet abyss to write whatsoever I feel like? Why do I have a medium to interact with bright souls from all over the world? Because its really cool thats why. Seriously though…

  • Blogging ushered me into this community of great thinkers young and old. I love the idea of having a peek into the serious assortment of brains that is bloggers. Brains I would otherwise never have gotten to interact with in the brick and mortar world.
  • Contrary to possible expectations, I don’t talk much. Even if I did I doubt I would have talked this blog. Now I heard that bottled up ideas result to voices in the head. If I had not churned out 200 articles in my two or so years of blogging, I’d probably be stack raving by now.
  • Blogging makes me laugh. In the course of my blogging I’ve encountered many crazies who make me laugh real hard. Online, I relate better with good natured virtual conversations and humour than I do with manufactured jokes, quotes, inspirations and such.
  • Blogging got my online persona out there and as a direct result of that, I’ve made some not too few coins. Whether for fun or for money, blogging shall inexplicably be a contributing factor to my overall growth. I’ve known a lot of people, made a lot of friends, gone on to meet some, developed and executed other ideas in the real world and …. grown. No I did not meet McShiko from the blogs.
  • I like to try things. I’ll try out everything within my reach at least once. Key words ‘within my reach’. Thats why I intend to milk a goat soon. Ish like going to space with Richard Branson is not within my reach. Neither is Karaoke.
  • They kept telling me I could write. I kept asking write what. Write where. Then blogging came about and the rest is current affairs. When the Lord asks me what I did with my life, I seriously think I would say I put whatever little writing ability I have to some use.
  • In here I have a small time family of me own who I believe would offer support and encouragement in a jiffy if I put a cry out there.
  • Is it silly to say that I love Decor? And that in a blog I have an online house to decorate as I wish? Splash colour, put bows, ribbons and nice little badges if I wanted to?

Nothing to blog 300x218 Why Do I Blog?

I think in the end I blog because I can.

Before I started blogging I was warned that I would have to develop a thick skin because some mean people out there would come and say mean things. I’ve never seen the need for that because I don’t see why someone should come to my personal space and spill vitriol. If my space is any offensive, you kinda sorta just don’t show up no? If blogging involved having to deal with barbs and online feuds daily then I really would have to think twice about it.

Why do you blog?


This Is A Comp And This Is A Mouse

Dear Boss,

Congratulations for the purchase of a new computer. For finally seeing the light and embracing the information age albeit in old age. It’s never too late for these things you know.


  • Your keyboard has all the letters in the alphabet. Let’s avoid that ‘this keyboard does not have R’ thing. It does. Why can’t they put the letters in alphabetical order? Because typing and finger movement is a well thought out science and one finger typing was not considered.
  • The right and left mouse keys are not all yours for the pressing. Ok they are but forget about the secondary side until later. It can make life difficult for a beginner. Speaking of the mouse, it’s not to be pushed around with the finger tips but rather held firmly with the hand.
  • You can finally drop the unnecessary paperwork. When an E-mail is sent to you, in most instances you’ll not need a printed copy. The information will be identical anyway. We have a planet to save. Best over the counter sleeping aids.
  • Every once in a while you’ll need mega doses of patience. Ever seen a donkey that  completely refuses to move no matter what? Computers do that too. As you can see, all our hair is still intact so chill out and learn to restart.
  • There is E-mail and Internet. Something dot something dot something is not an E-mail address.
  • ‘But I only missed one small dot!’ Yes it was just a small dot but in this world you just joined it can stop you going places.
  • For double click to work it has to be fast. Real fast. There’s also triple click but you might not need it.
  • And finally a little secret. Windows+M. The best 2 keys on your keyboard. For those times when someone happens on you reading inappropriate/confidential stuff and in your panic you cannot find the X to click. Emphasis on inappropriate. Something like reading berocca reviews while you should be working.

You’ll love this world as you get to learn it. Trust me.

PS: This article is writen with full blessings of the subject. He’s fully aware that his situation is material for a blog post. A what? A blog post. A blog is this place on the internet that ………


Who Is Your Chief?

Up until yesterday (August, 30) I was of the opinion that I’d not been enumerated in the ongoing Census. After all, nobody had knocked on my door and there was no calling card to indicate that they came in my absence. I’ve since learnt that the enumerators did come but never got past security. They asked for information at the gate and security was happy to oblige. So much for the answers I’d prepared to their questions of whether I use electricity, what level of education my 3 year old nephew had attained so far, what type of floor I have, whether I own any livestock, canoes, handcarts or chicken. Anyway, if they were satisfied with the info they got, fine by me.

But supposing they had not come? The next requirement was to to to the Provincial Office or the local Chief. This I was not going to do but all the same it got me thinking, who is my chief? Heck, who is my District Officer? Who is my District Commissioner?

My earliest memory of a Chief is back in the village when at a young age, Mum gave me a small piece of land to grow veggies for the family and food for my rabbits. Nearby there was this huge tree that was dwarfing my weeds and I saw no reason why it could not be cut down. I mentioned that to Mum and she said we would have to get permission from the village Chief. True nobody was allowed to cut indigenous trees without permission from the authorities. Chiefs were a respected lot although I could swear their high standing in society came second to that of teachers. But in this case Mum was just joking and that was her way of putting the matter to rest.

The issue was instantly forgotten until i came across said Chief and asked him if the big tree could be felled. He gently declined my request. I think he even laughed and I hated him for it at that time. But now I understand. It’s a Mugumo tree and it stands to date. Such is the beauty of innocence. Felling a Mugumo tree because it was overshadowing baby potatoes, spinach, peas and rabbit feed.

The next time I had any business with the Chief was when I was registering for my National ID. The then Chief has since retired, I’ve no clue who the current one is, his/her office, his/her area of jurisdiction and what he/she does exactly. Both home and in Mombasa where I spend most of my time. I guess I need to find out just to know.

So, who is your Chief?


Thomas Beatie Pregnant Again

After giving birth to this beautiful baby girl earlier in the year, Thomas Beatie the transgender who made headlines for being the first ‘man’ to fall pregnant is at it again. He’s expecting his second baby in June next year.

Their unique case is also a business opportunity of sorts. Having sold pictures of the baby for an estimated $300,000/-, I wonder how much money the couple will make when their second baby arrives.


Which Doctors for Peace?

Our local media is either ignorant or pretends not be aware of the practice by members of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo to speculate on the possible nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize. Either way, it seems to serve them well to stir-fry the guesswork with such hype as;

The World to Fete the Big Three

… President Kibaki and the PM were believed to be frontrunners for the Nobel Peace Prize”.

Then after the winner had been announced, they wept;

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have missed out on the most prestigious peace award that some western media-houses had bet they would win“.

The news lines are obviously mere pandering for which politicians are known to pay for, sometimes quite cheaply. It is only after fifty years that we can confirm whether the two found their way to the list and by what route. Personally, I’d love to celebrate that the two never even made it to the list before wondering who in their right frame of mind would think of suggesting their names.

But we not need to wait that long. First, because I think that in half that time the two will have been buried in the rubbish bin of history and therefore seeking out such details then will not be even remotely stimulating. Secondly, judging from the feigned enthusiasm of the University of Nairobi to confer honorary doctorate degrees upon the two and the accompanying feeble citations that echo the recent media hoopla, the dons at the UoN easily give themselves away. Presumably the doctorates will compensate their favorite sons for losing out on the Nobel Prize.

Of course the university has a right to decorate whomsoever they wish with whatever degree they can create. Inherent in that right also, is the freedom to massage the ego of whichever potentate that directs the flow of money. What they cannot do is fool the citizenry that Kibaki and Raila deserve any award for engendering, restoring, preserving or fostering peace. It is akin to applying lipstick to a pig in recognition for its lifetime achievements in cleanliness.

Kibaki and Raila are culpable for all that went wrong during the post-election violence as the just released Inquiry report suggests. Their names are very likely to feature at the International Criminal Court in uncomplimentary light that makes them totally undeserving of the Nobel Prize for Peace. The UoN cannot pretend not have been aware of the reservations regarding the role played by the two in the mayhem. It is therefore intellectual dishonesty to rush into conferring degrees upon them amidst such damning allegations. They cannot pretend not to have read that some plotters of the mayhem even held their meetings at the President’s official residence. And the PM is on record for repeatedly calling for the release of suspected arsonists, murderers and rapists in police custody because “they were fighting for democracy”.

For sure, we have a goodly number of disingenuous copy typists masquerading as news editors who regularly sell headlines about Raila coughing or Kibaki’s midnight row with the First Lady. But while the regular servings of empty-headed politicking and rumor peddling have thus far kept them in profitable business, this venerating of villains is particularly offensive. Not only are they both culpable for plunging the country into the said inferno, they are yet to employ the power that they share to sort out the after effects. Photo sessions with plaster grins and awards every other week are an insult to the hundreds of thousands who are still to this day suffering the consequences of the violence.

During the award ceremony, the vice-chancellor remarked that he was pleased Kibaki and Raila are being seen to be getting along well and therefore dismissed their surrogates to “continue bickering if they wish”. By extension, for as long as the two are smiling at the cameras together, their supporters can continue hammering each other if they so wish.

A man cannot set his house ablaze, watch from the fence as his neighbors put out the flames then later adorn robes to claim an award for having let in the firefighters.

What a doctoral way of achieving
peace… or a peaceful (piss-full) way to achieve a doctorate.


Telkom Kenya Mobile Services

At last some stiff competition is coming in the telecommunications sector with the unveiling of Telkom Mobile Services this week. Things can only get better for the end user since hopefully prices will come down and existing telecommunication companies will introduce more services and improve on existing ones.

Telkom for most people has been a complete nightmare with their landline service in the past. Their name reminds one of the bad days when it was synonymous with corruption and bad service. With their new management, re-branding and rolling out of new services, I’m optimistic that things will change.


It’s Blog Day!

It’s blog day. Too bad I have to do this post in such a hurry. It’s almost evening of the material day (August 31st) and it may just pass me by.

I have so many favorites in Blogosphere the only criteria I could think of was picking the very first blogs I got to know when I started blogging.

Mt Kirima
I first heard of the Blog Day concept from self confessed gadget freak Kirima. He has recently been out and about Kenya and brought us some interesting pictures and facts about magical Kenya that you might not find in an average tourist promotion catalogue.

Siku Moja
This is the one site from which I’ve learnt so much. A Nairobian Perspective brings blogging tips, business and entertainment. He and I share common interests especially about Reality TV. Recently I was pleasantly surprised when he put yours truly among his A list blog sites in Kenya.

Spin Digest
Hlumiti is my team mate here on Wanjiku. He has recently done some very comprehensive articles on Kenya Ports Authority on his site.

Maisha Africa
Maisha is just that. Life. The blogger posts anything from spectacular pictures of Magical Kenya to her personal struggles with stretch marks. She recently hosted my humble opinion on the Naivasha vampire and I’m looking forward to hosting her humble opinion here soon.

Our Kid
We seem to have very similar interests and a common point of view. We both have a love for reality TV shows. This blogger was recently kind enough to lend me a post which I could never have managed myself.

Those are 5 already but surely I can’t leave out Kumekucha – the first place I ever blogged seriously.


I Wanna Text You Up

Smtyms I dnt rily unstnd da msgs pple snt 2 me thru da 4ne so I thot t wld b a gd idea 2 pas da msg dat brevty is, in txt msgs, not da sol of wit. So hia I am str8 up, telng u dat dnt b tripn: write the words in full, please!

Ur msg may b kul but sup wit da abbreviations? Credo? Tym? Wat? Ur in a hurry whn txting pples? Wat is hapng is terrbl! Tis a WOMBAT! Waste of money brains n tym!

Dring my bday, I got sevrl ‘H Bday’ msgs! Imagine dat! I cnt w8 4 X-mas coz t wl b sun hia n u cn bet ur ass dat pple wl txt u to ask: Wea u @? Mry X-mas n hppy nu yr!

Grrrrrr! Tll b gr8 2 ctch up. But dnt do it thru sms. Plz! Plz! Plz! I rlly wnt 2 knw hw ur festiv cson is bt not n dat manner.

Nxt al hia anaa guy telng me hw he saw sm chik readn my blog n burstg out laughg. Wat am I mnt 2 do? Bottle ma blog n sel it in spmkts?

Dat wnt sel 4 ril! Ppl cn say, ‘U r da bomb’ bt wnt buy da blog. All I cn prms is da nxt blog ll b kul.

Or my bddy who txts me n sez: Mt me @ Ambsdr Hotl. Let hm thnk abt tht! Why dint I sho up? How cm? Well, I dint undstnd! So he txts me again: I snt mny msgs en no rply fro u!

So hia is da rules! If you mis me, don snt me dos txts dat say: Gawd! Bn mssng u. Cnt blve u dnt no tht! Spendg lotsa tym frm u is no gd 4 mi. I lyk u so much! U mek mi proud 2 b ya frnd!

I wnt undstd! And u cn bet I wont rply wit a txt dat sez: U r not juz ma pal bt ma pearl! Cant blv u lyk me so mch yet am juz a 1ST class guy wearng 2ND class clad in dis 3RD wld city of Nrb.

No. Dis gotta stop! Or sun, I cn picture my boss snding a txt memo to da staff: WHEN @ WAK, DNT RID A MAG! DNT CHT ONLYN!

Undstd? Aaaaah. Tis getg beta! N thn 1 of us will rply: UGTBK :—)

You’ve got to be kidding? To da boss? Dat wld b crzy! Cm on! L8rs!