Of Coffee and Edible Water after Easter on Independence Day

tea

If you were having coffee with me I would say hello to you hope you had happy Easter holidays. Did you do anything interesting, visit family, hunt for eggs with the Easter Bunny, or go to church and celebrate The Risen Lord. Regardless of your beliefs and faith on Easter I find you hope you never get swayed by the corporate monster, out there to make a quick buck, commercializing every single reason we have to buy a gift or anything really for any occasion clouding up everything till you find you cant go home until you have bought a mother’s day or father’s day, valentine’s day or anniversary gift, cake, presents, Christmas trees, hot cross buns, Easter eggs, spending hard  earned money on meaningless trinkets and  meaningless gestures. Ok, fine maybe that was a bit harsh, its not meaningless and there is nothing wrong with gifts and gestures, and I for one wouldn’t mind getting a gift; even for no reason, actually especially for no reason but they must come from the heart and not because some big corporate splurged a lot of money in advertising and marketing and it’s all inception and subliminal messaging for you To Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy.

But hey the corporate monster just like progress is a multi-headed beast that needs to be constantly fed with innovation.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you saw the April Full Moon, also known as The Pink Moon. I don’t know why it is called The Pink Moon, it was most certainly full but not pink in colour. Here is a fun fact, Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (which occurs March 20)

It still feels like the weekend today, Sunday to be precise but its Tuesday, that’s because today’s another public holiday, it’s been a holiday studded past five days whoop whoop…

Today is Independence Day for Zimbabwe.

Happy 37 years of…… sovereignity.

They call us the Born Free generation because we are fortunate to never have witnessed oppression at the hands of colonial overlords or the blood price that was paid for our sovereignity. Sovereignity is a tree just like liberty it needs constant watering, with blood of patriots and traitors alike. I would like to believe no leader ever sets out to rule with iron words, firm fists and tyranny but the old adage holds true power corrupts and absolute power, well absolutely…. and here we are 37 years later and sovereignity feels a lot like oppression  simply changed skin colour.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you have taken a walk outside and thought to yourself someone should do something about this and then kept walking….. Yeah I do that. Just the other day I was looking for a bin to throw litter in, while walking in the city, I noticed all the different kinds of bottles littering the street thinking yeah people need to recycle or something….. and I kept walking.

Everybody expects somebody to do something and in the end nobody does anything

Fun Fact; Empties is really a word, it means a glass bottle empty of its contents. You might be familiar with bottles that come with a deposit refundable when you return the ‘empties’ or those who wont sell you takeaway beverages without an empty to exchange with. I had always wondered who came up with that word or if it was just street lingo but had never looked it up not until yesterday. When your bottle has a deposit you are less likely to just toss it away without a second thought.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what you think of edible water bottles. I would watch you look at me trying to wrap your head around the idea of an edible water edible. I know I have crazy ideas but fortunately that one isn’t mine.

skipping-rocks-lab-ooho-water-bubble-designboom-04-12-2017-newsletter-818x600

A company called Skipping Rocks Labs has introduced water, packaged in water drop shaped bottles that are get this Edible… made from some organic algae, dipped in ice. How cool is that?  The idea is quite an interesting and innovative take on that recycling and littering problem I mentioned earlier, especially for those who want water on the go…(hello jogging #teamfitness I see you) I don’t know about the practicalities though like you cant have your water and drink it too hahahaha. What do you think

Thanks for dropping by and have an awesome week

~B

PS If you are a Christian you must live each day as if Christ rose today and is coming.  Amen

Photocredit Designboom

Of Queue Waiting: Suggestions

A reader made the following comment after reading my previous post Of Queue Waiting:

Comment  I don’t understand. If you have a number, and you know how much time it will take, then why not head back home? You could come, as you stated, two hours before the bank opens. Get the number. Then return to your home and chill out for a few hours and do whatever you want to. You can use your 3 and a half minute average to calculate how long you have till your number arrives. And according to that you can leave for the bank. That way you wouldn’t have to wait in a queue. 

… it seems such a simple solution doesn’t it….Confession: I have even wondered the same thing myself. Theoretically it’s ridiculously as easy as that …… For half a second you can’t help wonder why people waste so much time waiting around in queues… you could hold a position leave then come back but in practise such a system would fail mainly for one reason: The Human Condition. People are generally not the most honest of beings, and if you are not there in person to witness what’s going on, with your own beady little eyes; shenanigans will happen….

Even when you never leave the queue you for any significant amount of time you still notice people worming their way into a position in front of you from out of nowhere claiming they came way earlier than you did and got a position before you or “claim” that someone else was holding the queue position for them. (sometimes it’s true) It doesn’t help that some enterprising individuals see a business opportunity in selling premium queue positions.

It’s like stealing candy from a baby, not that am giving anyone any ideas but if one were inclined to make a quick buck, all you need is a pen some paper and maybe a scissors

numbers.jpg

You get to the bank very early before anyone else does….

On the pretence of wanting to maintain “order” in the queue; you start handing out your list of numbered little papers corresponding to queue positions but here is the trick; you keep some numbers for yourself so it means that the actual positions in the queue are vacant… When people start queuing in earnest; when the bank is open and the ATM is dispensing cash, you then approach potential “clients”.

It’s easy to spot someone in a rush, desperate to get their cash, milling around at the back of the queue looking longingly at people at the front, and in their hand a lil paper that’s showing a triple digit number and little chance of their getting cash that day. Or the executive type who drive up to the bank in their vehicles and wind down their power windows and ask “zvakamira sei nhasi?” which translates to anything from “Whats up?” to “Any chances of getting cash today and what’s the withdrawal limit today?”

Those are the ones willing to pay to get a position in the queue… You spot your mark and say “Good day to you, pardon me for intruding I can see you value your time, I am selling a spot in the queue I can even organise that you get in the top 10 but those one cost you extra…” If you are of unscrupulous disposition, you can even sell the same position more than once (after all you made the numbered lil pieces of paper you could make duplicate numbers)…. Easy as pie.

And if all this is happening right beneath your nose imagine what would happen if you were to leave the queue for too long….. Not forgetting that unforeseeable circumstances might mess up your calculations anything could happen while you are away, you could come back and find that the whole queue has changed you don’t recognise anyone you see and that might be because the people you were with gave up or went to a different bank and new people showed up… what do you do.. what do you do…? Oh yeah and the bank just might run out of cash while you are away…..

The longer you spend outside of the queue the harder it is to get back to your position especially as you get closer, to the ATM people tend to become aggressive in allowing people to in front of you and they will eye you suspiciously when you say I was in front of you, especially if they sweated all day in line and never left it for a second and you expect just to waltz in ahead to the front of the queue goodluck with that…

Maybe just maybe if the banks took a more proactive role in the maintenance of order in the queues cause it seems they have a morbid fascination in having people just queuing up outside, as if they have no better place to be, and that’s also it, where can you go when you have no money going home and coming back is an unnecessary expense, so you wait…  It’s also a convenient excuse for anything, “yeah sorry about that…{insert anything from being late to not showing up for an appointment or work or school or even forgetting to buy flowers for that special someone’s birthday] I was at The Bank the whole day you see…” It could even be an alibi for how to get away with murder…I was at the bank the whole day…

If banks wanted am sure they can even tell you the exact number of people they can serve before cash runs out so you don’t have to just wait and hope… It’s fascinating I have been reading in our local financial papers how banks have made massive net profits in the region of million dollar figures. If they wanted, they could afford it, to make a wait in the queue such a pleasant affair, ice cold refreshments, chairs, benches, entertainment, free WiFi while you wait…

How about even making a system like those pizza places where you get a timed buzzer when you place your order and it a buzzes when you order is ready, or better yet use a system like at the doctor’s. Where you make an appointment you know exactly the time to the minute when you will get your money. How about a Queue Buddy mobile banking app that lets you track your position in the queue giving you real time update as to how long you have till it’s your turn to get served… The bank could even send you an sms remainder or call you to confirm if you are still coming to make sure the system runs smoothly and you never have to wait in a queue with longer than five people (That’s 15 minutes at the bank tops…)

Anyone with any suggestions on innovative banking solutions please do share….. maybe we could start our own bank and make million dollar profits too………….

 

Of Words and Red Dresses

Guest Post: Leeanna Lazenby

guest

The Importance Of Words And Red Dresses

Late at night, I laze about in a red lace dress pretending to be a diva and often take a stroll through my Twitter feed to see the latest poetry written by my online acquaintances. Okay, I don’t really wear such a glamorous outfit at all times but I do appreciate reading the talented words of many phenomenal people… and perhaps I should appreciate red dresses more than what I actually do. You will understand why I say this in a moment.

First, I must mention that I am sometimes lucky enough to stumble across Twitterers (as my Mother likes to call us) who have travelled across oceans to meet each other. They record their love affair or journey of meeting up through an exchange of one hundred and forty characters. The funny thing is, we have all done it. Most of us who are part of this tight-knit poetic community have connected with people from across the world in an uncanny, unexpected way. I, personally, have been blessed to find companions all over the place but there is one particular agonizing story that I have been longing to release and share. I was originally going to give the following account via Twitter but prolonged making it public as I was afraid that it could potentially bring my friend harm. I am not sure that I will ever be able to describe her extraordinary light in true form but I was then offered the opportunity to guest feature on this blog.

For this, I am very thankful as I now have a beautiful space to dedicate something to my lost soul sister. Thank you. As you read her tale, please know that I think of her daily.

Once upon a time but not too long ago, I opened a poetry account on Twitter as a way of recording snippets of my creativity. Naturally, I began to network and follow other like-minded individuals.

One day, a girl sent me a message and we exchanged a few words. We started to correspond frequently and eventually switched to emailing so that we could have more elaborate conversations. She was from Egypt and I, London. We were the same age so we could easily talk about boys, celebrities, fashion and life plans but it became much deeper too. We had lengthy discussions about the Higgs Boson experiments, scientific theories and philosophical viewpoints. We were unbelievably similar in countless ways but incredibly different for one catastrophic reason. She was oppressed whereas I had my freedom.  I could make my own choices in life. I was able to work, study, socialise and have friends. She, on the other hand, was confined to being kept at home by her extremely strict parents. They tracked her phone, did not let her have a bank account and withheld her passport in case she tried to leave for a better life. She was subjected to countless physical beatings and verbal insults on many occasions. She was not even able to take a walk since the city in which she lived was suffering from rioting, protests and violence. There was a lot of division between the inhabitants so it was dangerous to go out alone. She wanted to be herself but she was treated as an outcast by her family as they did not understand her personality or attributes.

This resulted in us having to communicate in secret. Sometimes, I would not hear from her for weeks on end but she would Skype/email as soon as she was able to. Her family did not want her to have a friendship with a “westerner” in case I was secretly a male and even when she showed them my photograph, they did not trust her to be telling the truth. They told her that a poet would corrupt her. I was a sinner for being creative. She was a sinner for associating with me.

Over time, she gathered money by any method that she could and kept it hidden. At one point, she managed to have an anonymous poetry book published on Amazon and was earning money through advertising via the online edition of her masterpiece. Her words were magnificent. She wrote in extravagant detail about mermaids and sea creatures without any hints of the daily struggles that she had to put up with in her own reality. She was planning to fight for her emancipation and have the life that she deserved. She was going to flee.

But then it happened. She could not see a way out and she became depressed. Hope left her. We spoke every night on a messenger and I tried to raise her spirits or at least restore her faith but she could not cope with what she had to experience. She attempted suicide. Not once but six times. Yes, six. They put her on medication and locked her away for months. I heard nothing. I thought she was dead.

Then, one day, I received a message from her. She told me that she was okay and that she had been sectioned in a mental institution for the entire duration of her absence. They were releasing her on the condition that she carried on taking the pills. She agreed but I know that she probably never swallowed them. You see, there was never anything wrong with her. The people at fault were her family and those around her. She was a creative type in a life where expression was forbidden.

She used to tell me every day how a woman like her could never be free in her world. It was wrong for her to be filled with passion. Can you even begin to imagine what that would feel like? She could not write, she could not take a walk in the park, she could not do any of the simple things that I took for granted. The most basic thing that she longed for was to be able to wear a red dress because I had one on in my photograph. In fact, I had one on in all of my photographs. She used to imagine that she was going to buy one from the shopping mall and have a collection of vivid lipsticks to match. She would joke that we would, one day, walk around London together and be the “red pair” without having to worry about what anyone thought of us.

She ended her email to me by explaining that my messages had kept her balanced throughout many of her traumatic experiences. She said that she had read my poetry every day and cherished the stories that we had shared with each other in our emails. She was very thankful that I gave her a sense of “normality” because we had our companionship. Her final statement to me exclaimed that my words filled with support/friendship could not have a value put upon them and that it was those very words that saved her life.

This was over two years ago now and I have not had any correspondence with her since. I have tried contacting her but her phone is disconnected, her Twitter is deactivated, her Skype account is permanently offline and the emails bounce back. I do not know what happened to her but she made me promise that if ever she disappeared, I would tell her story and be the voice that she never had. I cannot do her justice with my words but all I can say is this:

“There is a girl, location unknown, who writes of magical creatures and believes in freedom. She is one of many that is misunderstood but despite her sufferings, she is a strong person. Her mind is filled with creativity whilst her tongue whispers stories from her hushed dreams. And somewhere, in the depths of her beautiful imagination, she walks freely… swaying elegantly in her sparkling red dress.

I am forever thankful for all of the lessons, laughter and wisdom that came from this remarkable girl. Who knew that a mere poem on a social media outlet would bring such a wonderful person in to my life. She enriched me with a friendship beyond description.

Thanks to our poetry, two girls from opposite lives were connected and intertwined in a way that seemed impossible. You never know the power that your words will bring.

After looking over this, I would like to add that she is unaware of the impact she has had on my life. She always spoke of being courageous and having strength. She used to tell me, in her own way, that anything is possible and we have to follow our dreams. I can attribute many leaps of faith to her friendship and I only hope that she is out there somewhere experiencing her own slice of freedom.

—–

By Leeanna Lazenby

(Poet with the parrot and the red dress collection.)

***Please note*** I am aware that her individual circumstances are not a reflection of life in Egypt in any particular way. You could be anywhere in the world and experience a very strict family/upbringing. The mention of where she lived was entirely for context to highlight how we connected despite the distance between us.

Poet in The Red Dress.jpg

Lady in Red

Bio:

“Leeanna is a lover of taking bits and bobs from her head, dreaming of poems and making them in to tiddly chunks of art. Put them all together and you may just have a picture of what’s going on up in there.”

Leeanna wants to say a big thanks to @Beatonm5 for the opportunity to write on his blog. Thank you!


Thank you Leeanna it has been a pleasure having you, and thank you for sharing your story, words alone are not important its also having someone, to take a moment to listen…. When I have a story to tell that’s all I ask for, a listener.

Leeanna and her parrot can be found on the Twitterverse, tweeting poetry  @24LoveHeart24

~B

 

Of Recovering Private Yahoo

yahoo log in

I have been trying without success to log into my Yahoo account which is more or less my personal primary email account. I have had it for frankly quite a long long time, it was my second email address after I forgot my first username completely (something ridiculously pretentious like Representingtillforever2 I presume) or maybe it got deactivated because servers would automatically delete your account if you did not log in for a certain period of time, we will never know.

Email account creating used to be such a big deal back then and some people even paid to get it done (I was paid once or twice to do said procedure). I wouldn’t blame them the process could easily take 2 hours on the internet partly due to slow internet in a net café and you had to complete an online form that required more details than a VISA application procedure. The form would not submit if even a single field was left blank then you’d have to start all over again, (Field cannot be blank)  not to mention the tricky ZIP Code bit. Zimbabwe has no Zip Codes on addresses, so you had to pick a different country, make up an address that had a ZIP Code and not only that it had to be the correct one for said state. I had a fictitious Boulevard in Beverly Hills 90210 address.

So enter the second email address I ever created. Thinking this time I would do it right, a proper username and password, made sure I logged in regularly (every 3months) even if I had few people to email and even fewer who emailed back, mostly chain messages, spam and notifications from Hi5.

I even suffered through that ghastly change from Yahoo Mail Classic to Introducing Yahoo Beta.

And here we are easily 15 years later and I cannot log in to my Yahoo email address because the silly thing keeps saying either my username or my password is invalid.

How am I supposed to know which one is invalid: Guessing games

Password or username?

Why be so secretive about it?….

I tried so many times the account got locked and was advised to log in via desktop. (Had been trying on my phone all along,  guess its not as smart as its makers claim)

I can only come up with 3 explanations:

  • I got hacked and somebody changed my password.
  • A bug or glitch in the system
  • Or maybe neither is wrong and the system is simply punishing me for negligence after my migration to “that other email service” because it’s easier to setup and it syncs with my wickedly clever phone, apps, contacts and cloud storage at the click of a button (less of a click and more of the tap of a screen icon but that’s neither here nor there)

Anyhow finally I got to password reset options.

After a most interesting journey through memory lane as I struggled to answer security questions younger me thought I would always remember:

  • My second name…
  • My best friend…
  • My first grade teacher…,
  • My favourite musician  …
  • What do I have in my pockets…

I almost failed the “easy” security questions for the answers were certainly more than they seemed. I had to pause and applaud the sheer genius that is the mysterious ways young me thought, I can’t write the answers here for security reasons obviously (I will however tell you that I do not have a second name and field cannot be left blank)

Know this though, anyone else, who isn’t me, who doesn’t know me as well as I know myself, would have failed the security questions but then that kinda is the whole point.

*smug look*

And FYI I just changed the security protocol for the new password recovery options so don’t be getting any ideas.

Ok finally got to password recovery settings:

Please create a new password.

*And if the password is weak it refuses to let you proceed (whats the deal, I mean its my password I understand the risk of it being easy to hack let me be but noooooo password too weak it insists)

…and for all we know the demands on the requirements for a strong password might as well as read:

  • Your password must contain at least 8 characters,
  • one of those a capital letter,
  • one a numeric character,
  • a verb,
  • an adjective,
  • a noun,
  • a mysterious symbol,
  • an element from the periodic table
  • and a plot containing a schizophrenic insomniac ending with a surprising twist,

For your: “Convenience” and “Security

And that is why I will probably forget my new password and why I most likely won’t remember it once I log out.

Till the next time

~B

PS I just remembered I don’t remember my WordPress Password and my recovery email is the yahoo one, oh boy ..so if I never post again

 *clicks stay logged on*

Digital addiction

I’m from the new age nation,
A social network creation,
With digital addiction,
a notification,
is the cue to start conversation.
One new message received,
One new retweet
I have a Crush on Candy,
I am her winner,
I post pics of my dinner,
I am a FarmVille farmer.
I get 55 likes and 22 shares,
I think everyone cares.
I make fun of your status I am a joker,
With superior grammar,
my friend’s a transformer,
their profile pic is a car,
just like bumble bee,
Unique reminds me of me.
I complain it’s too hot,
and than hate on the cold.
I am a big shot,
I’ve been told,
so my selfies are old,
And my dreams are too bold.
I took down my profile pic,
and tomorrow I’ll repost it,
Will you like it?
I used to make phone calls,
but now I’ll inbox,
And send you jokes.
All of it original posts,
But secretly hope my quotes,
are never traced,
cause I accepted applause,
For a copy and paste.
My relationship is a status,
my profile pics are the baddest,
My imagination the wildest,
I could be anyman,
I’m Clark Kent,
“S” on my chest
I’m Superman,
with cape on my back,
I checked into KFC,
and snapped a pic,
of someone else’s dessert,
Posted it as mine,
not even one like,
My confidence is shaken,
I smoke digital narcotics,
My drugs weigh an Instagram,
this hippie’s electronic.
Hash browns wrapped in hashtags,
The hashtag man in a hashtag world.
We can only be friend’s if my request was accepted,
I’m back on the FaceBook,
Five seconds after I left it.
I’m on the network now,
I wrote you a message,
The lil green dot says you are online,
The time stamp says seen at nine, Yet you never reply any of mine,
You were always outspoken,
And I am heartbroken.
Is there is another,
you would rather,
I am devastated.
I am sophisticated,
My status is a relationship and its complicated.
My last post is feeling lonely at home,
Am I ever alone?
A stranger says hello
And another laughs aloud,
Is this cyber world a place,
more real than home space,
Phones and computers,
whispering loudly,
In capital letters,
telling secrets boldly,
to everyone only,
and to noone also,
In capital letters,
New Notification,
Friend request verification,
Online toast Cheers,
Drinking virtual beers,
with virtual friends,
at virtual events,
nothing but a username,
And a profile image,
Sending bits of bytes
Of this and that,
Pixels and data,
To other users.
Are you,
Like me,
A computer too?,
Or are you like me a spectator?,
Prove you are self aware and you matter,
Then write me a letter,
call me and lets chatter,
Before I forget to use my voice,
The new age geek,
Who forgot to speak,
And became a program
With a chip for a brain.