Thursday, August 31, 2006


A Kenyan I met in the USA told me that as a student he had been assigned a dorm room with a fellow African. Both he and his roommate asked that they be given American roommates because they had came to the US not just for book-learning, but to learn about Americans and their culture. While the Kenyan Blog Ring connects me with a majority of Kenyan bloggers, I am glad to take part in Blog day, where I can talk about bloggers who do not necessarily share our culture, language or ideas. The following are some of the bloggers I have visited and I know the suggestion was 5 blogs, but as my family knows, I tend to get rather enthusiastic about things. Well here goes my edited list (and believe me it is edited!!)

Big Brother Uber Gorgeous One
This gentleman says "For a long time, I felt as if I had no voice. Now that I have discovered my voice, I plan on making up for lost time" According this blogger, he is a mouthy introspective nice guy with a big heart and room for a few good friends. He is curious about himself and the world he lives in. I like to read about his life and and his journey to understand himself, his name and his age. My friend is recovering from a fight he had with a vending machine at work. I like his humour and his easy going attitude.

Ethical Thought
As an avid knitter, I am always learning and being challenged by knitters in the blogosphere. I was pleasantly surprised to find not just one or two men knitters, but a whole community. I chose Ethical Thought because he combines knitting with his studies of bioethics, teaching and his profession – Librarian. He loves to knit and play the occasional on-line game. He is in his 40’s married and has 2 children and a dog. I particularly liked posts that included a picture of his son, learning to knit and his growing courage to knit in the train. He is a brave and evolved man!!!

Diane's little Journey of Faith
Diana is from Malaysia and has a large extended family. She is the first Christian in her family (you go Diana!!). She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is majoring journalism. She speaks five languages fluently. Diana taught herself to play both the guitar and drums and she started her blog to share her walk with God and her everyday experiences. blog
This next blogger is an avid knitter who knits some of the most beautiful things I have seen, including socks (I have yet to try socks!!). She knits everywhere. She has been blogging in October 2004, and in 2005 began designing patterns for sale. She has had patterns published by, in Interweave Knits. Her other interests include book binding and cooking. She is developing her website to include other things like a forum for knitters and a gallery of finished items from her patterns. She welcomes visitors and knitters with questions.

Morphological Confetti
This next blogger was a link from Brother Jero. (Asante BJ.) Stephen Bess lives in Washington DC where he entertains and educates with snippets about life in DC, his family and most recently a visit to a plantation in the south. The number of visitors to his blog increases daily, and he will acknowledge your comments (not like some lazy roses). He explores writing, history, poetry and culture. He has recently added a flicker as he is a photographer.

This blogger says “I'm a good wife (after 22 years I think I finally earned the title) and a good mother. While my almost 20 yr old daughter will vouch for that, my 17 yr old son still has his doubts, I'm sure. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and while some days it feels like I'm shadowing Him from a distance, most days there's a sense that perhaps He is indeed having His way in my heart. I'm a professional by day, and distance ed student by night, as I plug my way through a midlife career change, (just because starting all over again, from the bottom, is, oh so appealing).. and yes, it took me all this time to figure out what I REALLY want to be when I grow up, and now at 44 find myself optimistically terrified.” Her interests include reading writing decorating and peace making.

The Catbird Seat
The Catbird Seat was created to encourage, delight, refresh and humour and move and even challenge visitors by the blogger’s on-going life experiences. She hopes to share her struggles and victories in the faith (and in life) in a real and transparent way so that others that feel alone in those same struggles and victories will realize that they’re not alone.

Catbird does not care very much for people who think housewives are intellectually inferior to people in the workplace or students of educational institutions.

Her “Chair of the Week” page it is fun.

I hope you will find time to visit the people on my list. They are a great bunch of people.


Monday, August 14, 2006

You've come a long way typist

I can't help thinking how far the word processing has come as I sit here with my laptop on - well my lap. I learnt how to type on a manual typewriter eons ago at Secretarial college. These machines were murder on the hands and for what seemed like months, my wrists were in constant pain. The typewriter pictured is almost like the one which I learnt how to type. Apart from the sheer muscle power needed to use these machines, there were some issues that came with these typewriters.

The typist had to listen out for a bell which warned her when she got close to the edge of the right margin, so that she could turn the carriage return lever, on the left of the typewriter to begin a new line on the paper. A lot of the old typewriters didn't have a separate key for the numbers one (1) or zero(0) so we improvised, using the lowercase letter l for the letter 1, and the uppercase O for the zero.

Oh the fun that was in changing the ribbon!!!!(made up of inked cotton strips which you used until they faded) and in correcting typos. If you threaded the ribbon the wrong way, you spent the whole day with inky fingers and tears of frustration, a ruined ribbon and a whole pile of black papers. Most typewriter ribbons were black; black and red ribbons were for used for special letters. The typewriter eraser made of a hard rubber, which had an abrasive material, and a stiff brush to brush away eraser crumbs. We had to be careful because if erasure debris fell into the typewriter, a build-up could cause the type bars to jam. The hell that was correcting carbon copies was a whole science in itself, and we to use something known as an eraser shield to stop the pressure of erasing on the upper copies from making carbon smudges on the lower copies.

When Liquid Paper, Wite-Out and Tipp-Ex arrived on the scene, it was like a miracle - these were sort of opaque white fast-drying paint which somehow produced a fresh white surface over the error. No more erasers, no more brushes. I could not find a single picture of a typewriter eraser anywhere. No big loss.

Of course these typewriters did not have different fonts, graphics or bold and italics. Words that needed highlighting were underlined. Even now, I cannot bring myself to use Times or neither Courier fonts, I do not underline anything. Reminds me too much of manual typewriters.

Electronic Typewriter (first seen in the early 1980s) changed the face of typing completely. The height of which was the IBM Correcting Selectric. The Selectric, and similar products, incorporated a black/white ribbon and a character memory. It suddenly became easy to make corrections (on the letterhead) with a single keystroke. It was nothing short of a miracle.

Most typists equate the invention of type balls or golf balls to cooking with gas. They replaced the type bars and eliminated “jams" when more than one key was struck at once, which happened when you typed too fast for the old manual and eventually when we were able to change the golf balls, multiple fonts could be be used in a single document.

The old ribbons were later replaced with "carbon film" ribbons that had a dry black or coloured powder on a "once-through" clear plastic tape. These could be used only once but later models used a cartridge that was simple to replace. Unfortunately, the text typed could be easily read from the used ribbon, thus making them unsuitable for typing classified documents. A document reconstructed from a used carbon ribbon was portrayed as the key to solving a crime in an episode of Colombo.

Oh yes, you have come a long way typist. I happily consign manual typewriters to museums and wholeheartedly embrace computers with all the benefits of fonts, spellcheck and graphics.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sun fried rose

While almost everyone is moaning about the heat, and putting their fans at full blast, I am in my element. I am one of those poor sad creatures who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). So I come alive as soon as the temperature rises.

Well the other day as I was taking my ease after supper, reading and knitting as usual, I began to feel woozy, confused and about to faint - an unheard of occurrence. After a few panicky moments, I made a rather shaky walk to the bathroom and splashed myself with cold water. I began to feel clearer, so I went to the kitchen and downed several glasses of water. I was HOT, HOT, HOT; my whole body was radiating heat. For the next few hours, I did everything I could to lower my body temperature – showered, shampooed my hair and drank cold water.

Eventually, I told my roomie what had happened. According to said roomie, heatstroke happen to anyone, not just the elderly. When I explained to her what I had gone through the last few hours, she showed me a website (she’s good at things like that) that talks about heatstroke. This website said that once the human body reaches a certain temperature - which I do not wish to know - will not recover but will start cooking, like an egg, and death will surely follow.

Talk about a worm in the apple!!! Now by my side is a bottle of cold water and a spray of water to lower the temperature. NO,I do not have air-con and I cannot stand fans. To show that it is not just dumdum who was affected by the heat, my sister, nephew and niece had the same experience - in the same week.

On a serious note, I am aware that a large number of people, not just the elderly have died during this heatwave, and I hope that soon, the western governments will take global warming seriously and work towards reversing its effects.

Enjoy the summer carefully everyone!!!

Friday, August 04, 2006


Six weird things about myself

I was tagged by Mental (I will get you) and Spicey (and you too my pretty!!) to disclose six weird things about myself that will NOT be used against me.

1. I love the company of children. They are good judges of characters - because children see beyond the masks we wear. I learnt a lot from children, especially what Jesus said of them –accepting the Kingdom of God like little children – without calculation, questions or doubts.

2. I loath small talk and making conversations, and “serious discussions on issues” - be they religion, art,politics or football. I switch off when people start arguing to prove their points of view.

3. I am a solitary person by nature and by desire.

4. I can go for days without talking to people – my stimulation comes from within not from without

5. I always feel sorry for competitors who lose. I hate to see the look of defeat on their faces when they come second, third or last.

6. I like the songs of the late John Denver, especially “Annie’s Song”
(Ann is one of my baptism names which I do not use)

It is too hot for me to think about who to tag next – so this time; I let off my potential victims.

Enjoy the summer everyone