Thursday, 27 March 2014

Visualisation

It is always interesting doing homework with the kids. I was really crap at maths  as a kid, took me till I was in my early teens to really get it. But as I explain to the boys I start to see why kids struggle to understand maths at the primary school level, a time when it is very important to understand the foundations of the subject. Take angles for example, it easier to visualise it than present not clearly understood formulas. If a particular number in a pie chart represents half of all the values then it is 180°, it is that simple. The formula to find it out becomes easier to grasp.


Visualisation should be a core technique in teaching mathematics. At that level a lot of kids will not hold up their hands for further explanation, their comprehension skewed by formulas they are not ready to learn.

***

Had an interesting discussion about race yesterday lunchtime. Last weekend a referee sent off the wrong "black" player after a football red card foul. Black was the word my director used and I reminded him they were mixed race. He countered he had heard one of them refer to themselves as black in an interview. Of course I kept it up, arguing the definition was not technically correct, but got me thinking. My wife is mixed and defers strongly to her Jamaican side, speaking in patois with her relatives, even once criticising me for preferring white people food (what? So I chose a Sunday roast over pounded yam and soup?). But she has a cousin, mixed too, the complete opposite and very white in her demeanour and views (don't ask, it's my observation).

look alike don't they?

So what matters more? How we see mixed heritage people? How they see themselves? Or the technicality of it all? Remind me to ask Tiger Woods

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday Morning..

Heard L.U.S.T's Sunday Morning off the Sensi Movement mixtape I posted the other day, thought I'd check YouTube for a video. Turns out its a cover of a Maroon 5 song.  Both great, constant rewind ..





My new morning shower song :)

Enjoy and have a Happy Sunday

Friday, 21 March 2014

#YOLO

... Is getting stoned the fcuk out in an Amsterdam coffee shop, singing Bob Marley songs at the top of your voice with complete strangers, all the while some weirdo trying to convince you to push Class A drugs. Is sitting in a room, watching in admiration as a bunch of beautiful black women have intense sensual sex. Is walking the streets of Lagos or a Morocco village square at 3am in the morning, not a clue where you actually are. Is falling in love and actually knowing it. Is having a semi dysfunctional life and loathing/loving it. Is meeting a deadline at the very minute. Is being struck in the chest with a broken bottle, the Jesus bronze medallion hanging off your neck taking the full force of the blow. Is coming to check your third year university results, finding out you failed one and the damn resit exam is the next day, buying a book and a jar of coffee and studying all night long, cracking the required reading by dawn, sitting half asleep in the exam hall, knowing the max you can get is 50%, kicking yourself for not trying hard enough the first time around.


Is smiling because its fish and chips Friday

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Lovers Movement



Sensi Movement sound-system, live from Chemnitz, Germany, brocking up the airwaves since 2003! love these guys!

Featured on the mixtape ...



Have a great day!

Land of the rising Sun

Sometimes you have give to dap to the intelligence and perception of others, doesn't matter how they view you (well.. it does) or what has gone on before. To read their daily observations is a delight, a reminder of why you admire them in the first place. You wish you could explain, mend the broken links, put past issues behind. Make love not war. Some issues are (have become) deep seated and definitive of complex emotions, unattainable dreams, confused priorities, misplaced loyalties.  Interestingly, the important bits remain firmly intact, in place.  It's because of, not in spite of.  Despite the Devil's best efforts, but now he's gone (why did we let him in??)

We compromised a lot in the pursuit of fleeting pleasures and idle curiosity, and now all we have left is the sight of nirvana. Still, the sight alone of the promised land is always good, like a Sunday afternoon on the sun kissed beaches of Agadir, the symbol of Allah visible in the distance, proudly displayed on the side of Mount Agador. I want to go to heaven but I don't want to die first.

I stand alone on the mountain, meditating on what could have been. But still I count sheep. I'll be awake soon

***

I seem to have finally found a semblance of work life balance.

For the last few years I was pulling to many all nighters, trying to make ends meet, keep on top of numerous responsibilities, sometimes for stupid reasons, completely ineffective. There is a lot of mileage in working smarter. The Christian ethos of hard work doesn’t always cut it. It's like you work long and hard because society expects this, the working man and woman looked up to for their honest grind. Then the Chancellor taxes you the fcuk out of hard earned bread anyway. But modern life means there are fewer chances to counterbalance this. I was going months on end not catching up with friends and relatives, making excuses for not attending christenings, parties, the odd get together. In the old days everyone lived close by, community at the heart of one's living experience. But London is very transient a place, one having to make an effort to keep track of movements.

These days I delegate better, take on what I can honestly manage, call it a day when I feel tired or have had enough. Can't always rely on the gym for endorphin fuelled well being, sometimes plonked with a drink in front of the TV can be nice. Or a simple "how are you" phone call/visit.  Or a smoke with the dread, meditating life.  Just have to always make time.

No Mr. Director, I don't want to fly out to New York for three days to toil away in some server room, I have a wedding to attend!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Classics

Two really really classic tunes! One of my dope home girls has been schooling a dude up on the classic love songs.  In every song there is that really romantic bit, super cool crooning, that foolish in love bit.



"its especially romantic at 2:30 
I love how he says, "make me do for love, what I would not do"



"there's a moment in the song that i always tear up
it's so romantic
and tragic
and warm
2:50"


lol! OK, this doesn't fit the profile, but fug it, hilarious.  more @Naijarish Baby YouTube

Vapourware

Not everyday I wake up feeling like a complete mug. The proverbial sheep


You see, at the height of the 2008 "Global" financial crisis I gave the trillions of dollars in "debt" a good think. This has got to be money from peoples saving accounts and stuff? Government bonds and rich people investments. Right? like real actual money these banks are lending out to home buyers? So.. what exactly was the debt? I never heard a soul claim their savings accounts were wiped out? Neither did I hear it was to do with a lot of people defaulting on repayments. So why was the whole thing that obtuse and why was the maths to understand the recession so damn complex?  The financial system is massive to comprehend but with innumerable types of check and balances (sic), why didn't the accounting just not work?  If the Government bailed out all these banks, where did they get the money from? I am yet to actually meet an ordinary soul who could simply explain the recession to me, in idiot proof terms.

Then I slowly read the article I just linked. It clicked. As sleight of hands go, this is fucking good. And very scary for what it truly means.  As long as the machine keeps the system from overheating, it can create as much money as it likes.  No limit to what it can do.


In other words it's complete and utter vapourware. None of it exists, the recession was and has always been a construct. So much for our social contract with the government.

Monday, 17 March 2014

WHAT DO NIGERIANS THINK OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ..

I owe you money yeah? I am so outing you! But for really, 14 years for one's sexuality? Is that like, I dunno, like how long it takes to make a gay person straight? How these laws get passed .. smh, hopeless

Sexually frustrating

Happy St. Patrick's day. Be Irish (or Nigerian), drink Guinness

Beautiful morning, sunshine, smiling faces, London transformed. So nice I left the house late for work. Got a dental appointment but I'm cancelling, not in the mood to have drills buzzing upside my head. To think I'd never been to a dentist till I turned 25.. My diet in my twenties was utter crack, full up of fast food, coke and packs of cigarettes. I was a skinny wretch, gym and exercise a nominal affair. Looked at a picture of myself at 27 the other day, I must have weighed like 60kg. I did play a lot of soccer (for hang out with the boys reasons), probably what saved my unhealthy ass. That and a stupid amount of pussy, not in a craven man being on nuff women way, but good sexual active. Whatever happened to that wake up in morning nooky?


Talking of nooks, it must be unusual for couples to have no sex life (or too much) in their relationship. Last night I watched a reality documentary on a sex clinic dealing with people with sex addiction, impotence, even classes teaching people how to have sex, debunking my views that these issues where the preserve of middle class/rich white people. (Black people don't have sexual issues. Discuss!!) The recurring thing was highly educated folk, representative of everyday UK, stressed out from everyday life.  But I hear the same things.

A brethren telling me his girlfriend had gone off sex, I think because of some religious reason or the other, and was stumped as to how to take it. I recently got told a mutual friend was having problems with her new man cos he was demanding sex every night, she dried up and sore cos of it. The irony, my girl has been searching for a man from time. Stop! I don't even want to know! I'm no therapist! I should refer them to the clinic. I don't know what the average should be with these things, once/twice a week? Twice on Sunday? Once a month? I am still laughing about the bipolar lady from "first dates" who needs constant sex to control her condition, must suck and scare the daylights out of potential partners. She should hook up with Michael Douglas.



It's a function of modern living that sex has become dysfunctional. So people are a lot more liberated, with swinging and casual nsa coitus, sex toys, audio and visual stimulations, etc but at the same time a lot of issues. Have we over modernised shit? Or is it that the human psyche remains unchanged and the mod cons are against our basic nature? Or is it age old and we just talk about it more?

Maybe people are forgetting how to make love, taking instructions from TV

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Champion of the Great Unwashed

I've been mulling over the sad passing of Tony Benn for the last few days.  The last socialist, as the media have taken to calling him, was a champion to many and a thorn in the side of establishment.  For someone born into privilege he was anti status quo to the core.  The video below sums him up (big up the youth! they are not politically dumb as the system likes to make out!)



My fondest memories was the first time I heard the gentleman speak on stage during the Stop the War coalition demos in 2004 (He was their president until his passing).  We all knew Saddam Hussein had no Weapons of Mass Destruction and we couldn't understand why Tony Blair and George Bush were so intent on attacking Iraq.  Mr. Benn broke down the science to its atoms, explaining it wasn't a war against a dictator but the relentless march of American Neo liberalism and corporate capitalist ideology. The whole thing was scary when one looked at it for what it was.  It all made sense that day, and I read back on his articles and speeches and impressed by his ideological consistency.

See the machine wants to place us as right-of-center, leftist and left-of-center political ideology to be frowned on.  I watch the political parties (Labour, Lib Dem and Conservatives), and beyond the far right, Christian and Green parties, I can't tell them apart.  No wonder people don't vote as much anymore.  The body politic is a corporate entity, apolitical in nature.  I am left-of-center and while I might subscribe to hard work and taxes, I wholly disagree on paid school tuition and bailing out bankers.  I won't make a good capitalist lol! But point is uniformity of political view does the nation no good and we need people more politically and ideologically engaged to inform the great discourse of the nation.

For starters we can get rid of the Queen and the Monarchy, get the Conservatives out of power

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Coffee shops and white dudes

Line from GZA of the WuTang pops into my head as I walk into the quaint coffee shop. Bohemian like, white people country. Heavily tattooed guy behind the counter, cutting up carrot cake. Red apron, slicked back hair and Doc Marten boots. Quirky joint, Buddha statue next to the coffee machine, fridge magnet of naked ladies stuck to its side. 1950s. Kinda place you could sit in for hours, kill time. One of his tattoos stood out. Face of a beautiful lady, smoking a cigarette. "Mother" inscribed beneath.

"Nice tat.  you really do love your mother"
"Thanks, but I never knew my mother or what she looked like. I was abandoned as a child"

I asked no more questions. The Americano coffee tasted very nice, no milk, no sugar. Dark roast. Colombian. I went to catch my 9.47am train from Deptford to London Charing Cross. The fog had lifted. I am starting to fall in love with Deptford again.

)

***



Watched "First Dates" on Channel 4 last night. Beautiful dates and really cool conversations. Restless camera panning from table to table. Filmed in a restaurant of the same name.

"Do you like dating older women? Doesn’t age matter?"
"No, age is nothing but a number"
"Pah! All men say that! Lol!"

The 27 year old historian dude and the 40 year old psychic chick. I was grinning just listening to them banter. I wanted their date to blossom to much more. I don't subscribe to huge age differences, but fuck it.

"So what's so attractive about English women then?"
"Let me say it in French, I don't have the English"

French dude had English woman laughing with his flattery and restless energy. 48 and 47 years respectively. Shes been married twice.

"Wow, twice? No way!"
"Yes. I also have another confession. I was diagnosed with a anxiety polar condition a few  years ago. Only regular sex can calm me down. I am addicted"

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Namibian dreams

Got an excited call from my Rasta client (sometimes mentor) last night, needed some quick amendments to his online education/marketplace portal. He's been in Namibia for over a year, teaching and stuff, and has been selected by the ministry of education over there to provide educational content to their web for schools initiative.

"Brother! You need to come out here, they are desperately crying out for your IT skills!"

It seemed like the other day we were chatting about a change of direction, trying other things for richer life experiences etc.  The Namibia gig came from him simply picking up the Metro free newspaper and responding to an advert. He literally got up and went, his wife joining him a short while after. Enterprising fellow.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

One

One won't do it, two is not enough for me though.. One won't do, two is not enough for me though! A J Dilla tribute soul mix pumps through my headphones (I'll link up later).


Tuesday morning and I'm suppin' on a coffee Revolution Americano, regular . Yeah I know, my coffee rant from previous post and all, but the brethren's price is good, £1.50, and he always good morning banter. Plus it's a smart disposable black cup, matches my black bandana and black semi automatic Israeli glock (I'm tripping) . I still feel battered from all the brain power at work yesterday, still mentally asleep. Gotta hatch an escape plan, the work is too much. Ai Yo! Reggie! Blu! BC! Lottery numbers please :~/

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Corporate Negro

"What kinda description can I possibly fit? Was he wearing a tie? c'mon men, I look like a Republican"
"You going downtown Jigga!"
"I don't listen to rap, that much, anymore"



"and Maegen! I need you to do power point slides, talk to the techs about a webcast girl!"

"what about the dirty work?! what about the dirty work?!"

Man! These brothers, pistola.com, used to drop the hottest sketches on the Internets, way before it was the Internets! They'd satire every and anything, pin point, razor sharp social commentary. Wonder what happened to them?


I hate to think in terms of race, but when you work in corporate world, dominated by white people, there are times you wanna stand up and scream.  Thankfully not so often lol! The stereotype chit chat, the odd slip, the feeling that you guys are worlds apart.  Sheez! the brethren network is so small I know brothers working maintenance in the basement of the next building!  And 5-0? The less said about them, the better.  If I had a penny for every time I've been stopped and searched ...

"Chrome, you seem to all the black people in this building and the next?".  Gave my director a cute smile, he won't understand if I explained it

***

The Sapeurs, Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo. Mad creative advert from Guinness!  You damn well know We Guinness drinkers got style (as well as all night game)



.. and a short documentary on the distinguished gentlemen ..

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Humane? No such thing

Not having the best of days. Dental fillings the other day, today neck hurting, swollen gums, sat at doctors with people coughing all around. That's my day off down the pan. I'll survive (Gloria Gayner did).

Interesting the odd week day off, sat at home, listening to talk radio (beats daytime TV, with Jerry Springer and the likes. Is he even still alive?). Big ass debate on halal and kosher ritual slaughter of animals. Denmark's banned it and liberals want the same done in the UK.  I'm sure it's the Vegetarians behind it somehow.  All sorts phoned in to the show, from the super scientific subject matter expert to some dude who blamed the devil and communism. The crux was shouldn't the animal be "humanely" stunned before its neck is slit blah blah. Humane, dangerous word.

I don't get any of it. How can you "humanely" kill anything? You are about to take the damn animal's life as it is!  What difference is stunning, be it electric shock, club to the head, whatever macabre technique these abattoirs come up with, going to make?  "Sorry Mr Sheep, looky here, I am going to kill you, but don't fret, I will stun you the fuck first, you won't feel a thing when I slice". See how ridiculous it sounds when you say it.  I got brought where slaughtering an animal was a right of passage, and emotions was the first thing you had to put aside. It was be swift with it or be ridiculed, let the family down. You only get into debates like this when people are too far removed from the food they eat. I see all these school trips to the city farms, knowing the teachers never get round to or have the guts to tell the young kids that these animals will eventually end up on the dinner table. So you end up with emotionally wonked adults endlessly debating animal rights.

If you care that much about the animal, don't eat meat! Or see a psychologist. Jeez! It's bad enough the food chain is so fucked up, with horse meat masquerading as beef, mad cows, mutant chicken and artificial sugar, without endless debates on this and that. Muslims, Jews, stun the damn animal already, lets all rest. This ritual business is dated and old skool (same thing?). Else the veggies will eat you lot.

Just seen the doctor and she asked if I have been stressed of recent. Darling don't get me on one, I've been stressed out for far too long :~) She gave me fancy pain killers and sent me on my way. Smh, waiting rooms and doctors surgeries.. Another blog post.

Good night

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Without a Gong

Watched the Oscar Academy Awards 2014 highlights during my lunch break and was miffed Chiwetel Ejiofor didn’t win an Oscar. The man put in a star performance in what was an incredibly great movie (rightly awarded a gong for best picture).


His co-star, the Kenyan chick, got best supporting actress award and I think the script got an award to. Quite how the very vessel on which everything was hung, the very person around whom everything spun, doesn't get an award is beyond me. Maybe I don't really get the Oscars. Maybe that's why I rarely pay it attention. Still, Chiwetel, godisblack.blogspot.co.uk salutes you, a legacy established. For years to come we and our children will watch this film and hail it as a historic document.
As for the Oscars? Fuck em. Institutionally Racist.

****

Feeling this mixtape dedicated to R&B and Soul Female Vocalists .. enjoy



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

War, Software and dental trips

The beauty of a sunny winter Tuesday morning. Deptford train station, waiting for the 9.42 to London Charing Cross, surrounded by a gaggle of school kids, reception age, looks like they're going on some trip to a museum, people smiling and drinking coffee and tea. It's so beautiful.  I just wish I could feel the sun on my face. Just came out the dentist from a routine filling, and I still can't get used to the weird numbness from the local anaesthetics. Very hard to describe.

"Ma! I can't feel my face".

I'll probably miss my 10 am Skype call with my Ukrainian crew of Alex and Egor. Funny this particular gig, like here we are talking about exotic, essentially meaninglessness financial software while the Russians threaten to pulverise these guys to smithereens. I try to avoid talking war and politics cos one never knows the affiliations of others, but I sympathise. My African side doesn't do English politeness, there's always a comment or observation to be made. I joked the other day about reading of a Ukrainian software developer protesting outside the Russian Embassy in London, was met with silence and uneasy laughter.  The KGB must monitoring Skype. It is a very sensitive situation and these things can take a rapid turn. Funny enough I am scheduled to have a discussion with a Russian web developer working on the UI side of the project.

In essence I am in charge of a team of Ukrainians, a Russian, and two Indian lads. Globalisation ey?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Love Sensimina

I know this lady called Sensimilia.  Beautiful Coolie lady, always with a bright smile.  I saw her dad the other day.

"Val, why did you name your daughter Sensimilia?"
"Listen this, I love Sensimina"