Thursday, December 24, 2009

How do you greet someone around this time again?

compliments of the chef...wait, that's not right...condiments of the seasoning...still rings...hollow...curry of the thyme...are we there yet?...congratulations on your long thing be this o! chei! see my life! plantain on the mountain...look, this thing can't kill me. just understand the sentiment! and have a merry christmas and a happy new year in advance was that it?.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I feel like an idiot

this post title does not imply in any way that I am one. I just feel like one. I woke up not long ago to darkness around me. Not suprising. The lights were turned off last night. What was suprising was that the inverter was showing a drained battery and had tripped off. It wasn't the first time ever, but it was a first for me in a long time, since it was my first night at home in roughly three months. I then remembered what someone (a former serving colleague) said about my laptop: it draws more power than a tv.

I've been trained as an electronic/electrical engineer (as far as my alma mater is concerned, anyway), and have taken great pride in showing my understanding of not just my (academic) field of study but other fields of study. Yet I dismissed Femi's calculation (I even gave him the final answer) on the power rating of my laptop adapter, and the implied consequences, maybe because he was not a B.Sc holder but a HND graduate, or maybe because he studied mechanical engineering.

My pride and arrogance had blinded me to appreciating the fact that he was certainly the highest earning corps member in my local government, maybe even in the whole state. It can even be argued that he'd be a candidate for the same nationally. Not on his federal or state allocation, but via his skill. In electrical work. My field of study. And so I despised and forgot his results and what they implied, until this morning when I realized for myself my laptop was the single biggest culprit in the inverter's decline.

It's fitting that I heard a message last night, and the speaker talked about someone like me, reading from Ecclesiastes 10:15: A wise and poor child is better than an old king who will no longer be admonished (paraphrased)

As Timbaland said, "The damage is done". But I hope I've learned one vital and valuable lesson: I don't know everything, and I don't need to become arrogant. I'd never been faced with the results of my arrogance like this, but what else might I be suffering from — or even causing others because of arrogance and the blindness it brings?

You still don't get to call me an idiot

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Found a rat in my room this morning. Called D over after trapping it. When it ran into a folded mattress, I took great pleasure in pounding said mattress, then stepping on the crippled rat (ending its existence) after it fled its erstwhile hiding place. I always suspected I had bloodlust. Now I have proof. Since I don't take alcohol, I guess I'll have to blame it on Bleach. And Hellsing. And all the anime.

Only today realized that I & I are the only Batch B corpers left in Party House, maybe even in Tsafe. Odd I didn't notice that as at Sunday, I was the only one of my batch in PH.

I'd appreciate specific info on Glo's mobile internet service (speed, ease & method of recharge/top-up, available plans with costing, etc).

I realized with a new clarity today that it's a wee bit uncomfortable taking a leak when you understand you probably can be seen about 200 meters out doing so. From the wrong side. In broad daylight. Grow, grass, grow!

S is breeding two cute white rabbits in PH, male & female. My first time seeing any in real life. Anyone interested in buying after they breed contact me (I'm interested. I'm only wondering if I can keep up the commitment needed raising a pet).

Apparently, while I'm still here, it's ok not to answer calls I don't want to pick up, then later claim I was charging my phone. Or not. On the phone issue, I should blog later about my recent experiences with Java mobile browsers. when I get 'real' internet. For now, staying awake to complete this post is an issue. So I'll go to sleep. Night

Monday, December 14, 2009


Edit: between the rats & not feeling well, I ended up sending the
email for this post to the wrong address. Oh, joy. Plus, I found a couple of issues with emailing to post on this blog. And this blind spot on my phone screen has been hiding stuff from me. It pours. Heavily.

I feel horrible, so bad I had issues recalling today's date for this
post. And worst part is I'm awake because of darned *rats*. I'm the
only one left in my room, and it seems they've recently discovered
Party House. Considering PH's state of disrepair, it's no wonder the
infernal creatures can get in. Why do I get to battle rats & there's a
directive from NYSC at the federal level that corps members shouldn't
travel (just heard a rat wandering about on the ceiling. Why are the
blasted creatures mostly nocturnal)? As you can probably tell, I
*really* hate rats.
I've decided that travelling 30 mins or more to access the internet
for (arguably) serious stuff is unacceptable (you might also be able
to tell that I also don't like going to Gusau). So I decided I need
internet access here in Tsafe (by this time, I'm wondering why Nokia's
T9 prediction brings up 'babes' just before 'access' on my phone. Are
even they trying to say something?), and I can choose between the
major GSM providers that also supply internet. Question is, what will
pay me? Already hearing woes about Etisalat's billing & recharge
system. A definite minus, since power is an issue in Tsafe.
I've no idea how I'm going to manage till after CD on Thursday to get
out of town. There's been no power for several days, and I'd estimate
there are less than 50 corpers left in Tsafe, less than 15 of which
are left in Party House. Yay. I'd better crawl under my curtain & go
to sleep.

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Well...haven't done this since the NCCF national conference in Jos. Hope I still remember how.

Jos was cold, mind-numbingly, excruciatingly COLD. And unlike Tsafe here, it's a moist cold, not a dry one. Every night the bedding felt like someone just poured ice-cold water all over. Turning the mattress over didn't really help after about 3 minutes. I usually sleep with just a tee in Tsafe (and maybe something to cover myself with). In Jos, I wouldn't dare the same. At least once I wore a shirt, my NYSC 'khaki' top, and my windbreaker on top to boot as sleepwear. Also only parted with my headwarmer when I realized my brother wasn't using any.

It was great seeing D at the conference. We hadn't since the wedding, and he'd been busy with work & studies. We took time to look for trouble together & took a trip to Jos itself (the campground isn't in Jos per se, but it's relatively close).

D introduced me to some of his fellow corps members (mostly ladies...oga, please explain). I'm wondering why my younger brother's taking after a slacker like me. It requires some serious thought & possibly prayer. One of the ladies I met through him is a lovely young lady named Udeme — I'm forced to remember all the times we just to joke, 'my husband Udeme is an irresponsible idiot' from the Guinness ad. Can't look at the name the same way anymore.

Burned a great deal of my phone credit at camp looking for and trying out file managers for my S40 phone. Eventually settled on BlueFTP, but should try out a couple more soon. Got appointed to a zonal post in fellowship the weekend after Jos. Who donates people all these bad ideas, anyway?

By the way, I'm doing this from a friend's phone using a 'custom' build of Opera Mini. I want to appeal to the mobile service providers in Nigeria to make GPRS browsing cheaper, and allow people to legally use Opera Mini. All this free browsing is lost revenue for them, & they're seriously underestimating the Nigerian (& human) appetite for freebies. Later

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This might be my last blog post for the duration of the NCCF national
conference. Got to the 'hostel' & it doesn't seem that I might be able
to charge my phone easily here.
Have been procrastinating about calling my dad. I'm not really sure I
told him about the conference, and calling him now that I'm in Jos
seems...rude. I still need to make that call though, uncomfortable as
it might be.
As many things involving group action & somewhat poor planning, it was
tiresome. I gave up my sleep only to discover it was unnecessary. We
left Tsafe for Gusau almost two hours late, and Gusau over 3 hours
later than scheduled. One good thing is that I finally got to see the
NCCF Zamfara family house. I'm glad I wasn't posted to Gusau. I might
have had to stay there & I found some of the house rules there
restrictive. Some things I'm glad about though. Yesterday when the
batch C corps members passed out of camp, a vehicle carrying some of
them to Gusau had an accident, and one of them died. This became the
choice topic of discussion - a poor choice of pre-journey conversation
topics. The state 'Uncle' took charge & talked about not letting fear
The trip to Jos took about 7 hours including stoppage time. There's a
part of the road where we got covered in dust - first white then
red-brown. I've no desire to see what my head looks like now, since my
jacket looked (at last check) really old. An issue with the bedding is
its on the ground, and it feels cold & damp. I'm grateful to God I'm
here in one piece. I hope to learn just why I'm here at this time.
I'll check in later if I can.

Sent from my mobile device

Friday, November 20, 2009


Today's been one of those days. First, woke up to a really cold
morning. I had the distinct feeling that someone left the deep freezer
in heaven open & shoved us in. Kept trying to put off my shower this
morning, but ended up doing so since I needed to get the financial
report to be presented at today's CD meeting printed & copied.
Got to the place I usually print, but it was locked. After waiting for
over 30 minutes, went looking elsewhere. Found a place, but their
generator didn't start. Went back to the first place, and met the
acting CLO there & the owner trying to start the generator. By that
time, my patience had already gone (as Rudyard Kipling wrote) where
dead crabs go, since it implied I wouldn't make it back to Party House
in time to wash dishes, prepare & have breakfast. If I only knew.
When I got back to Party House, I just dropped off the pasta I bought
earlier & went to bother A, who was playing Scrabble at the time.
While I'm on the subject, can someone please explain this 'live S'
stuff I keep hearing? M & I told A to play 'metes', and S said because
the dictionary didn't have 'metes' in the definition for 'mete', it
shouldn't have been allowed. In my opinion, since 'mete' is a
transitive verb, how would one use it for the third person in present
tense? Let someone tell me that.
CD today was (expectedly) very long & tiresome, since the financial
report of the batch B & C welcome & send-forth programmes was
presented, and there was a deficit. Plus, we got into a big to-do over
the standing orders of the house. Personally, I don't get how
graduates of institutions of higher learning in Nigeria don't know
what a budget is, or what it represents.
At long last, the ordeal that passed for a CD meeting came to an end
after almost 4 hours. After finally cleaning up, I prepared lunch,
ate, and debated whether or not to go to Gusau. I finally decided to
go, chiefly because Reflector was giving me grief, and I have never
gotten to browse in the only 'cybercafe' we have in Tsafe. Big
mistake. Talk about download speeds of less than 1kB/s. Reflector is
less than 1.5MB, but it took almost the whole hour to download.
Ah well. All's well that ends in the well

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It's gotten cold again. And dusty. Very dusty. I need to remember to
get one of those surgical masks or I'll soon be containing enough dust
to build my own house.
It's been fun, but I fear that I've been had. I was sold snake oil. Or
why else would I feel so empty & act so ineffectively? I'm looking for
a way out. Not particularly from this location in a geographical
sense, but a ladder or rope out of this rut. I still look good on the
outside, but it's a matter of time before people find out that the
legs of the corpse I buried are sticking out, as a certain friend
would say.
Not sure what exactly I'm afraid of. If it's fear of being labelled
'weird', I thought I'd given up ever being thought 'normal'. Maybe
it's men's approval I seek so much as to risk the opposite from God.
Or pleasure. Whatever it is, I can no longer suppress the 'ache' I
'feel' as it were. Bruce Wilkerson, in his book 'Secrets of the Vine',
talks about God disciplining branches that don't bear fruit. I'll
suggest you read the book yourself.
Need to go shower, but the wind's blowing. Maybe I'll skip that till
later when conditions are more favorable (tried to remember the last
time I used warm water for a shower, and drew a blank. Probably not in
the last 6 months or even longer. It's never been a habit).
I pity the C batch in camp. They - like us here in Party House - are
pretty much exposed to the air for showers. And they look generally
like a milk-and-water lot. Exceptions abound, but quite a number acted
like students still in school when I was exposed to them in Party
House. Time will reveal if they're made of sterner stuff or lack
backbone, as it does all men. Need to get up *NOW*, even though I
don't feel like it. Off to school again.
Odd that of all things to teach me about doing the right things, it
should be a game. Or maybe not. The last time I played a game, I
played levels 1 through 5, before getting a 'game over' in level 5,
with a score of 11000+. After learning *one thing* about the game, I
played from level 1 to 3, getting a game over in level 3, with a score
of 19000+. Same game. Same difficulty setting. Less time. More
results. It's going to be work working this out, but work can be very
profitable, as I learned from reading 'The Richest Man in Babylon'
last night.
Had a blast last night while there was power. Everyone left me in the
room, so I first started out with Ys: The Ark of Napishtim, then
switched to anime soundtracks & writing code. Found my copy of .NET
Reflector won't run anymore without an update. If anyone can tell me a
way to stop this, please let me know. I *need* Reflector working. It's
one of the greatest tools I know for working on .NET. I feel crippled
without a copy. I want to use ActiveRecord with LINQ (read:
LinqBridge, since it's .NET 2.0), and the lack of Reflector makes it
difficult to grok the LINQ extensions to ActiveRecord. Anyhow, it's
late now. Gotta go to sleep so I can think properly about some design
decisions I need to make. G'night

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hit the wall

Woke up this morning by the alarm on my watch. First time in about a
week. Sleeping on my own does have its advantages.
Thinking about W. I should stop using my head to figure out things &
pray for direction. Apparently, I've gotten emotionally attached to
her to some level. And I'm trying to break loose before I give the
wrong impression.
I've heard when a woman loves a man romantically, she can give
anything to him, do anything for him (people always talk about when a
man is smitten - they should see when a woman is!). Being given that
awesome power is a huge responsibility - if you're willing to act like
a *real* man.
I've heard so much on what being a 'real' man is. One description I
personally like is 'taking responsibility'. For his life, for his
family, for the level of impact he has...and more. And I want to
believe most men know instinctively (for lack of a better word/phrase)
that you (are to) love your woman. You take care of her. You become
her refuge when the going gets tough. Her best friend. Her support
system. Her safety net & armor. You're to give yourself & all you are
to & for her. Your time, money, effort. Your strength of character
(unfortunately, so lacking these days). Your patience. You can't give
up & quit on her. Your commitment. Whatever you don't have that she
needs, you go out to get, because she's your garden. And your job is
to ensure she is radiant & blooming, whatever it costs you - to your
very life. This is a part of my definition of love. It truly (as I see
it, anyway) is an awesome responsibility. And this is why so many men
shy from commitment instinctively. They realize this in their bones,
if you will, and decide that they're incapable of following through.
Even if a man does make a commitment, he's either shut this out of his
mind or is really hoping to be able to follow through. At least it's
what I think.
So I'm hesitant to come out to say I love W. She's built to respond to
sweet words, attention & time - to some degree at least. If I cause
her to turn over her heart (not her blood pump or spirit) to me, then
I must be willing to do whatever it takes to love her. To tell the
truth, I'm incapable of being all that to her. I'm scared shitless of
needing to be all that to her & not measuring up. I want to do right
by this young lady. Maybe this is the real reason I'm yet to get into
a relationship. I've set apparently unrealistic goals for myself, and
am now afraid I'll fail. And something men hate greatly is failing.
It's almost unforgiveable. This is where I stand. What do you think?
Have to go get ready to run around this morning from my PPA to the
LGO's and back if need be. So I need to get to school earlier than
I've been doing. So I'll drop by later.
I'd appreciate someone mailing me price listings of GSM providers'
mobile internet offerings, including bandwidth limits, setup costs &
subscription costs. I might be needing my own internet link & want to
make an informed decision. No attachments please. It's troublesome, I
know, but maybe I'm worth it? Later. I'll just pray about the previous
matter & refuse to be in a hurry. No sense making a wrong decision
because I was hasty. I will hear from God, and I will obey. So I'm
disconnecting myself from the whole sitch. No weighted votes ;)

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I remember seeing the moon out as late as 9.00am on Saturday. Odd.
Anyway, today's been a rather unusual day. We didn't get water
yesterday, and that meant we needed to get water this morning.
Considering the earliest we could start looking for water was 7.00am,
there was a good chance of missing my first class today. A, M & I went
out with the kegs, and wanted to go to the local government tap, but
we decided to try GSS first. We found a long queue there. S said he'd
had it with his business venture, and would leave for Gusau this
morning. I was going to show my joy at getting my bed to myself again,
but his phone was moved last night, so it would not have been
A & I got into a discussion about whether telling people to abstain
from sexual intercourse, then saying they should use a condom if they
couldn't wait was promoting immorality or not. He was a nay, I was an
aye. He maintained that most people would rather have sex now than
wait. I said, essentially that most men rise only to the barest
minimum expected of them. If they can get away with something, they
will. But if more is demanded of them, if they are exposed to a higher
level, very few will willingly want to do less. I don't think that
trying to enforce abstinence will work, but that if we're going to
deal major blows on STI infection rates, teen pregnancy, children born
out of wedlock, and everything born out of extramarital sex, we are
going to have to raise our expectations of people somehow, and make
abstinence & faithfulness praiseworthy, 'hip' and 'in'. We did, once.
Before the Hollywood-propounded myths of free love & sex without
commitment were offered to us wholesale, and we ate them hook, line,
sinker, fisherman, rod, boat & lake.
Missed my first class, but maybe I shouldn't have bothered showing up
at all. I was keenly aware of the language barrier today. Though it
was funny when one of the class 4 girls started crying when her
classmate 'married' her off to S.
Walked home with W today. S split up early. Glad she's up & about now.
She's a lovely young lady, imho, but talking with her today, I'm more
certain she isn't my type, and glad I didn't act on impulse when I
returned from home. W, on the other hand, is more my type, but I
absolutely refuse to be pressured into a decision.
Pretty much every male human has a knight in shining armor complex.
Apparently, smart females all over the world have caught on & used (or
at least tried to use) said fact to their advantage. Case in point: a
lady asked one of my roommates to get her a torch because she wanted
to read a novel.
Had a friend come in today, we got talking & I've got more interested
in my own life & finding ways to solve problems for people at a price.
I do have this feeling that it's due to *his* prayers that we had that
conversation. Kinda pisses me off though. One of the class 4 boys was
seated on the same bench with not one, but *two* girls. Right between
both of them. First time since I got to Zm.
Should go to sleep now. Guys in the next room are arguing over the CD
clubs & I've heard my name tossed about. Probably has something to do
with the fact that I was engineered out of the Road Safety club & into
the Infotech club. The RS club C-in-C is threatening that come
Thursday, I'll be joining them. I think I'll just go to sleep. Doesn't
really matter either way. I merely don't want to be another pawn in
the giant mindless machine that is NYSC. I'd like to do something
worthwhile if possible.

Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I feel depressed. I was faced with something about myself that isn't
good - a major character flaw, and that's knocked the wind out of my
sails. So forgive the melancholy tone of today's post.
Humans are basically need-driven creatures. Some people rise above
this, but the vast majority of people, by & large, fall into this box
for most of their lives. Take me, for instance. I like X, because I
need companionship & a long-term 'someone' of the opposite sex who's
'my very own' (not to mention that she looks great & is smart -
definite major pluses). But X is a smart, classy lady doing great for
herself, so she doesn't really give me the time of day (by the way,
this is a true story. Mine. From the distant past. And stop guessing),
because she doesn't need me. So we have a quandary. I, from
need-propelled wants, want to be in a relationship, but she doesn't
need me. So I need to try to sell myself to her (do I really need to
say that I botched it? I was hardly a blip on her radar: "I came to
tell you I love you, would do anything for you & want to be with you
forever" "that's nice, dear <head pat>. Please shut the door on your
way out" It didn't really happen that way, but the evoked feelings
would probably be much the same). And with that one requirement, as we
say here, she don fall my hand. One of my friends once said it seemed
to him that women liked the idea of me. I'm currently wondering if the
idea of a guy who has so far sucked at selling himself is so amusing
to them. I think it is. As an example, I met a lady during camp, and
we exchanged numbers. Apparently she lost her phone, and since then,
has given a friend her number twice, for me. Both numbers were
unavailable on the networks they would have been on (had they
existed). I don't think it's funny, but apparently someone else is
I've finally downed my dinner of fried plantain, spaghetti, fish stew,
egusi soup & fish. No, I'm not living the life. I don't call 4+ hours
cooking & finding a cut you don't remember inflicting on your little
finger 'the life'. You might.
Well, I'm finally sleepy. So maybe when I wake up, I'll feel better. Later

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, November 07, 2009


The people here are crazy. Or that's my explanation. On Sunday, saw a
basin full of live scorpions in the market. Why were there live
scorpions in the basin? And why weren't the scorpions tearing each
other apart (after copulation, female praying mantises tear off the
male's head. At least some spiders do something similar, & I'm
inclined to believe scorpions don't love each other more. Well, maybe
they do. Washed down with scorpion body fluids). And a live porcupine,
Camp's been going on, with the attendant annoyances. Someone lifted my
water yesterday. And I'm sharing my bed. It's uncomfortable to say the
least. Was looking for my 'good' phone battery & had to wait till S
got up to find it (don't ask).
A & M seem determined to prove something going on between W & I,
specifically on my side. Personally, I admit I like W. She's
attractive, smart & from all the time I've spent with her, she appears
to be a woman of substance, inside & out. It's just that nothing's
going on, plus I think some lucky dude got his application approved.
So I'm just friends with her, despite what A & M think.
I've no idea how I've so far always managed to end up in the friend
zone. I've this lovely friend I'd had my eye on for a while, and we
got separated before I got the courage to ask her out. Somehow, even
though we met up again, I'm in the Zone. And it really pisses me off.
Been the story of my life. Either I got disinterested, or I really
messed things up.
Today, I want to appreciate my parents for my upbringing. I didn't
always get what I wanted, but I got some of the most important things,
like seeing my dad love my mom, getting disciplined by both my
parents, my schooling, and other things. They may not have been the
best parents in the world, but they did a great job (try raising a
knucklehead type like me & see how you do). You rock, Dad! Love you!
Appreciate your important people while they're around. My mom's passed
on, and while I didn't turn out as well as might be expected, I'm not
that bad.
Excuse the lack of techie posts on this blog. I've not done any techie
stuff in a while. Been watching anime & movies (about a third through
Gurren Lagann - I can see why some friends have been making noise
about it).
Well, this post's about done. God's been good, and that's that. He

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009


It's almost 10pm, and I'm sleepy, so I've no idea how this one's gonna go.
I net someone through this blog. That's right. Apparently, Googlebots
(or Yahoobots, if you will) led someone posted here to Zamfara state
to this here blog, and said person found my email (Google!) and
contacted me. We dallied about a bit, and he's now on camp. Seems like
a pretty decent fellow. I've no idea if (or how) we'll stay in touch
after camp.
Ah, camp. The thought brings memories of weeding patches with a hoe,
and aching muscles. And noise. Lots of noise. And lots of people,
prospective corps members and otherwise, some of the former who from
their behaviour should have never entered, let alone left, the four
walls of the institution from which they graduated. I still find it
hard to believe that on Tuesday before 4am, they were queueing in
front of the school used as the temporary camp & its administrative
headquarters. In the blistering cold. That's right folks. Harmattan
has come to Tsafe, and boy, taking showers in the morning before going
to school is not work for a lazy man, as my people would say. Guys in
Party House don't have toilet facilities, so we take showers outside &
'shot-put' (if you're ignorant, may you remain in blissful ignorance).
Hence, for the past few days I've been doing delay tactics when it
comes to showers in the morning. Not that I'm really successful with
them, since I still need to get to my PPA before 8 most days.
Seems like the power company has moved our supply period from about
4pm to about 8pm. The timing is still inconvenient, since while the
camp lasts, NCCF has meetings from 6pm everyday. Still, it's
something, and I'm grateful that we have any at all. The guys living
in the local government housing have none (their transformer has
W's around for this camp again (met her during my own camp). Currently
trying to kill my attraction to her (finally got her digits due to a
bunch of things - methinks that's not a very effective way of killing
emotions). Anyway, need to treat some mess ups over XtraCool tonight,
so it's beddie-byes for now. Later

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Tomorrow's P's birthday. I've not fully decided what to give her. The
day before my birthday, she invited me to hers to eat whatever I
wanted the next day. Being true to myself, I managed to be occupied
till it was late, then sent a text appreciating the gesture (and her
text - it was the first to come in), and give my apologies for not
taking her up on her invitation. If you have a good idea that will
work for a brother on a budget & with a deadline, please drop me a
line, ok?
Dropped by the General Hospital today to meet some folks & get a test
done (no, I already did one to check if I've a brain in my skull.
There *is* one, and it doesn't rattle around in said skull). There was
this little girl who couldn't have been 2 years old, brought in by her
mother. For some reason, the lab people needed to draw blood, and they
tried time and again to do so and kept coming up with empty syringes.
She kept crying, and her pain touched me. Like all those little things
that remind me I'm human though, I forgot her in the rush to achieve
my own ends.
I've a beautiful friend that is an indigen of Zamfara, and on learning
I was posted here, I sent her a text (thanks MTN, for not delivering
it) joking that I was going to the paradise of beautiful women. During
camp, I wanted to ask her if she hid them all. Now, I'd modify that
question: where're all the grown-up ones? I can't date teenagers or
younger (and why am I in a school - a *primary* school? I keep
thinking, I hope they don't marry off my girls while they're still
kids, that they get a chance to grow up & live life)!
I was caught with my shorts down taking a crap today. Make of it what
you will. It wasn't any of my kids who caught me, though, nor was it a
It's raining and it seems there's a cat drenched. It's mewing outside
while the Nigerian U-17 team plays. I'm not watching. There isn't any
point. When our U-20 team played Tahiti, I sat in the common room
where the match was showing *throughout the match*, then had to ask
someone for the scores after the match. I just don't dig soccer.
My test came up negative for malaria parasites and 'too low' for
typhoid. That's odd because I had been having fevers on and off since
Thursday, and even went to sleep with one on Sunday, yet I'd taken no
medication. God must have smuggled something into my mouth ;). My
dreams of boiled sweet potatoes, fish stew & <efo riro> came to pass
this morning, too :P. Pity I didn't eat it warm.
Well, that's all for now folks. Be good, and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Batch C Passing out

Today's batch C's passing out. While it's long overdue, I feel
envious, because I haven't run my course here. I also feel some
relief, because I'll be rid of some people who have had a tendency to
do or say annoying things. A little green-eyed monster is lurking
somewhere around, because some people I'll miss, including the former
Corper Liaison Officer, and the former General Secretary, an
exceptional young lady who exemplifies what men call 'wife material'.
There are women & there are *women*. She isn't the best looking young
lady around here, but her attitude & personality are top-notch. I need
to work hard on myself so I can take care of someone like her (I'm
definitely going to marry someone like her. Who no like good thing?).
Anyhow, I's all good in the hood. Later

Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, October 18, 2009

MTN, like what?!?

I started an experiment today. Yesterday I got a call from a fella I
knew back down South. Said dude has since moved out of the country,
and called me about some help he wanted. My Gmail phone client
wouldn't download the attachment he sent, so I installed Nokia PC
Suite & set up my phone as a modem, connected to MTN & fired up Opera
10 with no images.
Before I started, my credit was NGN 1586. The Gmail homepage failed to
load initially, so I turned on Opera Turbo. I logged in to Gmail,
opened the fella's email & tried downloading his attachment (153kB).
The attachment failed to finish downloading initially & Opera
restarted the download. Once it was done, I shut down the connection.
Results: the attachment was corrupt (56kB), download speed was about
2.5kB/s (average) & I had NGN 1302 left.
Conclusion: MTN GPRS sucks majorly for modem usage & is *WAY* too
expensive for the QoS delivered.

Sent from my mobile device

Friday, October 16, 2009

Houston, need some help here...

So yesterday - in the immortal words of Angry Kid - "was an anus.
Horriblus. Horriblanus". I found my students - class 5 to be exact -
don't seem to know how to divide. For real, 4/2 gave then problems.
Plus, I was called upon to give the message during the fellowship
prayer meeting yesterday.

That wasn't so bad, except someone right in front of me seemed more
interested in looking outside. I do suppose it's marginally better
than that time I was called upon to give the message during Party
House morning devotion. Then, I think someone walked out once I
stepped up. Then again, yesterday, the person couldn't just walk away
- Party House is over 10 minutes walk from the church we use for
Today was much better. A showed up at PH, planning to spend the night
with me. I went to prepare a meal without inviting him cause my last
real meal was yesterday morning, and I'd just come back from my PPA.
Had to give some students 6 strokes each cause they didn't attempt
their Science homework. Wasn't pretty.
Mallam SK put on the gen for almost 7 hours today. Good thing too,
since both my phone batteries had run down by last night. Spent some
more time on C#, lambdas & LINQ via LinqBridge. Then wasted quite the
rest of the time watching Kurozuka.
Odd thing happened this morning: yesterday evening, my roommate went
to get water from the borehole @ the local government office. Today,
he suggested I use some of it for my shower this morning so I didn't
need to stress myself for water. Forgot all about it till now. Thank
God for favor. Well, I'm having dinner, so some other time then.

Sent from my mobile device

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, October 05, 2009

To join, or not to join, that is the question

Erma Bombeck said, "Insanity is hereditary, you can catch it from your
kids" . I agree. There are few human beings as crazy as kids. I should
know. I teach Social Studies & Science to kids at the moment. I hope I
was never a kid. I like to think of myself as always having been sane.
On the issue of kids, we had power yesterday morning & this morning in
Tsafe. It was a miracle. Someone had to have done something *REALLY*
good to have offset all the candy-stealing (from kids) I've done in my
life (maybe Jesus died?).
On the subject matter, I'm wondering if I should join the League of
Nonpaying Mobile Internet Users on MTN. I realize I called them niggas
a while back. Then I got off my high horse for a bit. There's little
difference between software/media piracy & stealing bandwidth. One may
be bytes stored, and the other bytes streamed. Same difference. And
since I've been branded as an unrepentant pirate (I wonder when I'll
kick the fansubbed anime habit, for one thing), I belong in the same
Anyway, I'll be nodding off soon so I can get up early to prepare to
go to the asylum-sorry, school. Later.

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Somebody help!

About 7.30 this morning. A cold breeze is blowing & I'm sitting in
front of Party House swatting away flies that land on my legs. Despite
all I know about this place, I'm still wearing shorts. Maybe I'm just
used to them.
I have a bit of a headache, I've no idea why. My roommate just said
hello. I waved back, but remembered that last night, he asked someone,
'she Dipo na human being?'. It feels difficult to stay positive here.
More & more, this place shows me my flaws all too clearly: my tendency
to look for a crutch, to lay blame, to find excuses, my selfishness, dirty laundry is being exposed. So far, however,
only I see it.
I've been sleeping with someone - literally. At least half of my
room's population is made up of corpers yet to relocate to their
places of primary assignment. One used to be in my platoon. On the
strength of that, and because there was no other free space in the
room with a mosquito net, I invited him to sleep with me on my bed -
and have been regretting it since. Mostly due to my reduced personal
space. It sometimes makes me consider him a nuisance. Now they won't
be leaving until after clearance. Yay. Be still, my expectant heart.
Someone once said it seems to be a crime to supply power to this part
of the state. I remember someone telling me she was posted to a place
where there's power 12 hours daily. I wish that were me.
I feel I'm slowly going crazy here. On the 1st, people were playing
draughts around this time. Shows what the place is like. I've cooked &
eaten out of boredom a couple of times.
I really wish I've something upbeat & positive to say, but it's hard
enough not being actively destructive. There are some good things
about here - you'd be suprised just how many potatoes I got for N100
here; or some of the kids where I teach.
Well, I've gotta go now. I've run down my phone battery writing this.
Have a great weekend.

Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back in Tsafe

So I'm back in Tsafe, Zamfara state. Evenings are boring, considering
there's been no power. It's not yet 8pm, and everyone's indoors.
I'm living in a sorry building called 'Party House', as there's no
accomodation in my place of primary assignment. Quite a number of
corpers are here, some temporarily, some until the service year ends.
I have to confess I don't have a whole lot of enthusiasm for this
place. Since I don't have a matress, I had to get a mat from a kind
soul who let me have his.
I got here just as the fast ended, so I had no luck today getting some
things I'll be needing for the service year.
I'm not sure why I'm not complaining that much. I really thought I'd
be more miserable than this. Or maybe I've not really grasped the
enormity of my situation. Either way, some guys just started asking my
advice about what laptop to buy (something I *really* hate being
asked, because newbies don't easily get that it's not an exact
science). Well, it's past 8, and since there's nothing doing, I'll be
going to sleep. Later

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New blogging option

Since Opera Mini was shut down by my mobile service provider, I've
needed to look out options for doing my 'internetting' (mostly Twitter
& blogging - i'm mostly ok as far as email goes). I've found out how
to make Twitter work with my builtin mobile browser, and enabled
blogging via email. I wish the email source had more options, but
whatever works, right? Later.

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, September 14, 2009

A trip down to the South-South

We (that is to say my family) just got back from a trip to the South-South, specifically Delta State. We went there to attend a traditional wedding ceremony — my dad's.

We left Friday morning, a few minutes past 6am. I was late as usual, trying to complete my previous post, add appropriate music to my MP3 player and phone, and generally get stuff ready to create my kind of atmosphere in a strange land. One consequence of my leaving the house late was that I was left to lock the flat, but someone had taken the key away, so I was basically wasting my time in there. Anyhow, we managed to get to my uncle's less than 10 minutes late, said hello, hi and whatnots to my cousins, and then left for the 'real' convergence point, where some staff from my dad's office were already waiting.

Nobody had had breakfast, and I was just recovered from a bout with malaria, so I was pretty hungry. I then realized I'd left my medication at home. Fortunately, I'd completed my dosage of shots the evening before, and since I was basically on painkillers, I decided it wasn't too much of a problem (of course, I still have a sneaking suspicion that the shots were responsible for some itching attacks I got about my hands and feet). I would have cause to feel some regret about that later. After waiting around for some people to show up, we finally took off from Ojota almost two hours later than we agreed to meet. I promptly fell asleep within 30 minutes of our departure, considering that I'd been up most of the night before, and I've shown very little tolerance for staying awake on long journeys till date.

Anyhow, the journey was pretty uneventful until sometime about 11am, when we got to Ore. Let it suffice to say that quite a number of the rumors I heard turned out to be true, as we spent about 5 hours in senseless traffic there, and might have spent longer had not our driver taken a turn off the main highway and somehow linked to the end of the snarl. At this point, I must: thank God we weren't longer in the traffic & congratulate the Federal Government of Nigeria for keeping to the Zero Point Agenda with such tenacity. The road was in a woeful state of disrepair — it was common for drivers to leave their rightful lane and face oncoming traffic. I can't say I completely blame the leadership of the country, though — attempting to start the necessary repair on that road would probably paralyze traffic. Still, while they vote themselves pay raises and feed fat on the nation, ordinary people have to make do with such sub-human circumstances. Casting blame won't solve the problems facing the country, so I'll get on with my story.

Sometime close to 10pm we wandered into the Ibru Center, Ughelli, Delta State after a long journey. While it's showing age, it's a lovely place, well laid-out. It was built and donated by Alex Ibru to the Anglican Communion. It's usually used for retreats and the like. It's even got a swimming pool. Would have uploaded pics, but the camera I used is actually a camcorder and records better movies than it takes stills (crappy 640x480 stills). The upshot is that we turned in late, really late.

Saturday began at a rather more sane pace. The traditional wedding was to start at midday, so we basically had free time till it was about 11, then proceeded to get stuck again in traffic. We finally got to the venue some minutes to 1, and soon after I began recording the proceedings. Then I had to deal with people walking just any old way and getting in the way of my recording. After some preliminaries, the real action moved into the house while most people started on the food. I was constantly on my feet, pushed around by photographers and cameramen, as well as trying to avoid stepping on people's feet, and soon my patience had gone where dead crabs go (it also didn't help that I'd wanted to take a leak since we got out of the bus). After the customary gift-giving and payment of the bride price, some fake brides were presented :), before the real bride was brought forward. Soon it was over, and then the couple presented themselves to everyone before going to their 'thrones'. Loads of pictures were taken at the point, and after about three-quarters of an hour more, we left. I don't think I have to say what I first went to do ;) I later heard that someone fired a gun into the air. I had seen some guys walking around with arms, but I decided to pay them no mind. These Niger Delta people, dem fit kill person o!

The trip back yesterday was mostly uneventful, except that an idiot mobile policeman threw a block of wood at our driver when he didn't turn as quickly as he wanted to. I wanted to toss the wood outside the bus, but when I saw he wanted to pick it up for another go, I help on to it tight. I guess he was pissed off that he couldn't get something from a younger man, so he punched me in the head. I spent quite some time after that wishing I had super powers, like an ability to stop time or something. Of course, I didn't get any by wishing :P. When we got to Lagos, someone wanted to get off at Alapere bus stop, since we were en route to Ojota via Ogudu. We parked into the bus stop proper, only to be told by waiting LASTMA and mobile policemen (ostensibly overjoyed that some mugus had fallen into their trap) that that spot was a BRT-only parking space and we'd have to shell out 25k. For crying out loud, there's a pedestrian bridge at that spot! Of course law-abiding drivers would want to drop passengers off at the bus stop and not just stop off the highway. Besides, the sign that the space was only for BRT buses was located inside the parking area! You wouldn't be able to read it until it was too late! Anyhow, it was settled in proper Naija fashion — which I'm not proud of.

Well, I'm back and will soon be leaving for Zamfara again, as my leave's just about over.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some things I just don't get

Word of faith guys may hack me for this title, but there are things that I won't understand this side of eternity. One thing I definitely know is I never wanna get ill EVER again. My rump has been exposed to four different women in the last 3 days, and while I joked to the nurses about it — even going as far as being asked "don't you have a girlfriend?" — I have to say that it's embarrassing. It doesn't do anything for my pride (I can't tell about other guys) to discuss my health while an attractive lady (at least one of the four was — and married too :P) sticks it to me with a hypodermic needle.

and that's why I don't understand why seemingly smart women (and dumb ones too) act like the one I sat behind in the bus I took to get my last shot yesterday evening did — her bare rump was quite exposed when she sat down, and stayed that way the whole trip . I wanted to gag. That's nigga behaviour — if the top shows too much or the bottoms sag, CHANGE IT!. I feel so strongly about this that I actually wanted to make a decision on dating someone because she consistently avoided exposing herself. She is fashionable, but not crude

And on nigga behaviour, some cheapskate niggas who use hacked versions of Opera Mini have now made some other niggas working in MTN to block Opera Mini. I've always paid for my browsing using Opera Mini. Now I can't use it. It's like Chris Rock said: Black people enjoying something, niggas come and f*ck it up. later

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back...for a while, anyway

feels good to be home. and i have been home for two weeks today. unfortunately, i was too lazy, too busy, too tired and too ill (not all at the same time, mind) to log in here and update my own blog. geh. anyhow, i'm breaking that cycle now. i also hope to blog at least once a week when i get back to Zamfara, since my local government of posting is a nice little place that has no internet whatsoever.

Camp had its good sides. i wasn't the only person from school posted to Zamfara — a buddy of mine was posted there too (not that it did much good; we did see quite a number of times, happens, you know. and in case you didn't already know it, i kinda get prickly when i think people get too close. defense mechanism. what can i say?). i got stuck in the most unserious platoon, managed to escape most of the hard stuff, and even got to play a couple of Scrabble™ games with a pretty good player. met some chicks, didn't get into any relationships, didn't get redeployed, and got posted to a nursery and primary school.

before i left home i started developing an application for a friend, and due to time constraints, i was forced to use an ORM for the project. since getting back i've worked more on the project and what i really want to say is: how in the world did i live before NHibernate and Castle ActiveRecord? it's going to be very hard doing any development and still using SQL queries and data connection calls. if you're never used an ORM before and you're a developer, you should invest some time in learning one. i recommend NHibernate for .NET developers, but since i think the XML mappings are a pain (turned me off NHibernate immediately), you can use a framework that leverages NHibernate without the mappings. Examples include Castle ActiveRecord and Fluent NHibernate(please be familiar with C# 3.0 syntax - it'll help. greatly)

in developing the application i mentioned above, i have become even more convinced that UI development is for idiots. it feels so much like cruel and unusual punishment. must be why my pay was that low — i hardly did any UI development while i was working. simply focused on logic. mostly daemons and console apps in my kitty.

apparently i pissed off some demonic mosquitoes for being far too heavy to carry away to roast over their campfire in Zamfara, so they retaliated by injecting me chock full of malaria parasites. slow-acting ones. for more than a week after i got home, i never realized anything was wrong. and the flies must have had something to do with it too. that place is full of flies. apparently they overheard me asking several times if there wasn't any commercial gain to be had from houseflies, and acted as informant to the mosquitoes. ah well.

my leave's almost up, and i haven't done anything i wanted to do for myself, and i have so much to do for other people *sob*. well, i'll be off now. i'm glad Jeff Lew finally made his dream of creating his own movie come true (bu he lived on his savings for 4 years to make it happen!). since the first time i watched Killer Bean 2: The Party, i was impressed by his work. Jeff's an inspiration to us all, so get off your butt! gotta run now — i still need to bare my butt to a lady to get a shot twice today. see y'all.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Logging in from Zamfara

man, it's been forever, twice that & a half since i last updated this blog. Partly due to each of: pure laziness, internet issues, & my posting for youth service coming up.

Annoying bugs won't let me post this by my phone (12:44am here, with no power) so i'll be going offline till later. Shower time — i can choose to do it in the rain or use my hard-earned water (i know you're green with envy ;)!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Women...are like...code

it's almost 3am local time. i am tired. beat. i want to curl up and let that snooze rip! and i might be forgiven for this post's crazy title.

i've been called a lot of things, but one that seems to fit quite well is geek. i fiddle around with computers. or at least my computer. i live in a world largely of my own making. and sometimes i write code. not programs, necessarily. and the more i think of it, the more it seems to me that an apt description of women is code (i am quite — sometimes painfully, i might add, sometimes — that i don't have one of my own at the moment). my reasons are quite simple (for the analogy. the singleness will take some more thinking about. heh heh heh, ahem).

while i was actively working (and before then) i'd written code. and let's face it programmers: do we suck. our programs rarely do everything we assume they will do. hence we cover our shame in patches, updates and service fixes. and sometimes, we just might have found a better way to do something, so the application eats less resources (a very big dream, this) or somewhat. so this puts you in a position with Old Code and New Code. stay with me, here's where the analogy kicks in

Old Code tends to work in most cases (except the miraculous corner cases that tend to make stutterers out of the most eloquent of developers. i must add at this point that developers are rarely very eloquent). sometimes Old Code has Major Flaws. like security holes. or eating up all the user's available memory and some. or spawning a twisted creature from the depths of hell (that last one might not be as made-up as you might think). or maybe the changes are (largely) cosmetic, usually as a result of the developer learning a better way of doing something, or more likely, his perfectionism kicking in and him just wanting to squeeze a few more clock cycles out of his app. either way, you know Old Code. it's rarely the prettiest thing in sight, but if you released it, it probably works (one software joke goes: it works? ship it!). this is like a relationship you're in and bored with, or an ex. save for those awful corner cases, you 'know' Old Code (in reality, more like you stopped asking questions, but who needs to know these teensy-weensy details?)

New Code is virgin territory. it's never been released — more often than not, it's still just trying to get out of your skull, preferably with a blowtorch. especially if you're like me and have a perfectionist bent. you generally start New Code saying that you (or your boss) don't like the way the Old Code works or something (boring relationship, anyone?) is wrong with Old Code. you promise not to base New Code on Old Code, but we all know with a deadline breathing down your neck, and your boss(es) usually not having a clue to how difficult it might be to crank out New Code, and pure laziness — pick any one or more — we've based New Code on Old Code (relationships that are most likely doomed from the start come to mind?), and the mistakes and bad choices from Old Code come into New Code. if that happens, be ready to repeat the nightmare.

oh, yes! the analogy. perfect timing. i was just about dozing off on my keyboard. New Code is the hot new exotic babe you just want to go out with/never-noticed-until-just-recently/whatever or the new relationship. and Old Code can be clingy like an ex. granted, she looks fat. and her abdomen isn't flat anymore. in my experience though, there's nothing so annoying as Old Code that works (she cooks, cleans and whatnot) when New Code doesn't. that takes the absolute cake. and is the real reason i posted this in the first place.

well, i have to stop here since i've been at this for more than 30 minutes and i think i see sheep trying to count me. so good morning, and maybe i'll be more coherent some other time. later

PS:i dislike Visual Basic in any form. i had to write some code in it this past weekend (i can feel my skin crawl at the thought) — for the .NET 1.1 platform, nonetheless. however, Boo sounds more and more interesting these days. even more than IronPython.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I's back!

man, i have to stop watching movies like the last two i watched. there's no way i won't tear up if i keep this up. just to be clear, the last two movies i watched are Fireproof and A Walk to Remember. and i watched them after completing Midori no Hibi — my sentiment meter is now sky high :(

and yeah, i's back. as a friend said, hear me RAWR! apparently, NYSC didn't quite pan out as expected, and i'm still around till August. was in school about 3 weeks back to pick up my posting and all that. i nicknamed the place i was staying 'Australia', cause it was far away from school area (Staff Quarters, Road 24, for those of you in the know). couple that with the fact that school was basically empty due to strike actions by different bodies, and the script for my personal pain and discomfort during my stay is complete. the only ride i could count on getting was Ye Olde Legedez Benz, in pouring rain and burning sun. am i glad to be back home. being in school did have its benefits, like hanging out with some friends i'd not seen in a while.

i know of at least 4 weddings of friends taking place within the next 3 months. gah. i swear i sometimes feel like there's something wrong with me. where's my babe? she is so going to get a talking to when she manifests — why in the world is she keeping me waiting? (knowing women though, she'll probably manage to convince me that it's my fault for not 'declaring'). i reserve to right to not be family at any person's wedding. plenty family clothes to buy if i don't reserve that right.

my stand on football (read: soccer) varies from passive tolerance to active dislike. the last match i watched from beginning to end was the Atlanta '96 football final between Brazil and Nigeria. and i don't remember (or care) who scored and whatnot. but my friend's football-oriented social site, Gamen11 is up. so if you like football, register, spread the word and all that. and away from me, if you please, or i will assume you left your mind in the other room. i like my friend more than i dislike football, but i really don't like football, so there.

well, it's past 4am here and i haven't slept all night, so i'll be suspending everything at this point. except of course for the shout-outs. i got a text from a friend saying that he was grateful that i'd impacted someone's life because the person was now helping him out tremendously. everyone is a product of all the relationships they've had and the information they've obtained, or so i'm told, so i want to shout out to God, for being God and not quitting or going on vacation, my family, friends over the years — if anyone appreciates me, it's because you all were there. so thank you. i really, truly appreciate you. later

Monday, June 29, 2009

Conscience vs ease...ease has a more compelling argument!

recently i decided to go the honest way and install a genuine copy of Microsoft Windows XP Home on my lappie. that wasn't too hard seeing that i already had a copy around — the one that came with the lappie. there was just one problem: the lappie is a German product by a company called Medion. well, i decided to just try it out anyway and see what i could do with it. before plunging in, i'd researched and found out that while Microsoft allows you to localize an English copy of Microsoft Windows to a non-English language, you can't do the reverse. so my German Windows XP remains German.

that notwithstanding, i decided to dive in. the format was last night, and it's not so bad with the OS itself so far (i expect major annoyances down the road). my major annoyances are with keyboard shortcuts (for example, i'd usually do winkey, U, U to shut down. i'm so used to it. no more. it's winkey, C, A now). so i have to use the mouse until i either revert to piracy and install an English version of Windows XP or learn the shortcut. in case you were wondering why i didn't mention buying a copy of Windows XP, it's simply because even that aged operating system plays out of my league. a legal copy of Windows XP would cost approximately a sixth of my monthly paycheck. normally, that might not be a big problem, but i'm currently on a budget causing me to stretch a bit for a while. so unless something extraordinary happens, i won't be in a position to donate some bucks to Microsoft's coffers just yet (if i hear any Linux fanboy say anything …). i've had some other issues like on dialogs i rarely use (for instance, i was relocating the swap file, and had to compare with the office box for what some controls were for; just now i wanted to stop Automatic Updates, and entered net stop "automatic updates" at the console. obviously, i got an error message, as the service is called "automatische updates")

i envisage more problems with software and the web. my touchpad driver and Safari both installed in German. a quick look on Google helped with Safari. internationalized sites (and software) such as Google will default to the OS language, though strangely enough, Internet Explorer still went to the English version of MSN. i haven't installed much yet, but i'm hoping it won't be too much of a hassle for me.

so why am i even talking about this? i want to draw a parallel here. far too many people my age rush into relationships due to one thing or the other, and don't really count the cost, just as i didn't fully comprehend the magnitude of the decision to use a German version of Windows XP. i concur that you can never completely predict the future — i was completely not expecting Safari to be internationalized, but you can get some far-reaching insight to what the future might be. for me, one format can solve the problems i mentioned and hinted at above, with little cost to anyone except me. for a relationship, there's no telling where the fallout will hit. so, in the spirit of my last few posts, please take time to carefully consider prospective future partners. we could all do with less heartache. later

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Straight talk

wow. third spagh meal in < 24 hours. if some spiky stuff starts growing outta my head, y'all heard it here first. right, down to today's business. i'm ticked off because: i got home late from church; i'm unsatisfied with my lunch; i was told in no uncertain terms several times today to get into a relationship, and i have a boatload of stuff to do. if i missed anything, i'll mention it later.

today i'd like to share some thoughts with guys. so this stuff may not be appropriate for ladies (and liberal arts majors). in fact, i reserve all rights to this post. so if you're reading this, it's either because you're a guy or you're a curious wench who has ignored my warnings against reading this long. let's assume you're a guy — just for argument. just note that YOU WERE WARNED. i was going to include the whole ERLA, but laziness prevailed, so i'll just assume you read it and agreed to waive any rights to prosecute me if this post does not appeal to your sense of decency. 'nuff said. moving on:

  • You are responsible. yep, you are. for the Flood, for the sacking of Troy, for Watergate, and probably for the Apocalypse as well. ok, maybe not that. but you are responsible for any state you (or your relationship) are in right now. whether you're single or you mingle, whether your relationship sucks or rocks, you are responsible for the state of your life. so kick off any diapers you might be wearing and assume the position (sorry, responsibility). there is no man so weak as the one that assumes no responsibility. it's mysterious, but taking up responsibility makes a person stronger. and it's all the more truer for men.
  • pretty don't take the cake (aka you can't eat pretty). growing up, i ate some of the ickiest (at least in my opinion at the time) stuff anyone might consider food. i particularly didn't like beans (and it shows now :D), and i always wondered why my mum even bothered. there was so much more interesting stuff like ice cream and chocolate. i still wonder why it is that stuff that's bad for you can easily taste so good, while stuff that's good for you needs quite some work to taste good. what's that got to do with women? you can't eat pretty. pretty doesn't keep a home clean and tidy. pretty doesn't help raise wonderful kids. a good woman (please notice the emphasis) does. i love pretty and beautiful things. i also would never marry a beautiful rug. let her looks be the icing on the (already excellent) cake. you can eat cake without icing, but icing without cake will just make you sick (let's not carry the analogy too far, as too much cake can also make you sick). someone once said a beautiful woman devoid of sense is a gold ring in a pig's snout. i realize you're wired to look for hot chicks with great bodies, but hold on a cotton-pickin' minute. Lewz D. Scruz's Guide to Women tells me that you will always find a more beautiful woman. so, looks can be sacrificed for more important things. what are those more important things? how should i know?
  • sex blinds you unless it's in the right context, so don't feed sexual desires. a wise man from the east told me that a relationship is like a model of a house. the model exists to tell you what the house is like, but you would have to reduce your stature to live in the model. that's an excellent description of what extramarital sex is like. you demean yourself if you're 'getting some' outside legal marriage. i'm not talking based on my Judeo-Christian roots. i'm talking from experience. i once tried to live in a kid's sketch of a house — i'm stretching the above analogy here, not being literal. it wasn't even up to the standard of an architect's first draft. it wasn't worth it. for one thing, you sow seeds of distrust that lay low until later if you eventually decide to 'go steady' with the person. or you might end up comparing one person's performance with another person's. the last thing you want to do is call someone else's name when you've made a commitment to someone (it's happened before). i remember once i was talking to an acquaintance, he spotted a young lady her knew and said i suppose fuck that girl, to which i replied that if she slept with him, there's a really big probability the she was — or would be — sleeping with someone else. there's absolutely nothing anyone can do to convince me that extramarital sex does any good, even without the 'benefit' of 'religious beliefs'. the fact that everyone on the planet seems to be mad is no reason for you to lose your head. a really effective way to keep out of extramarital sex is don't feed lust. don't kiss her. avoid pornography. don't jerk off (or wank, or whatever you decide to call it). in short, be disciplined, even in the area of food. you're wired to go in only one direction from doing most of the things above (i mention food as an example because if you let yourself slide in one way, you're likely to slide in other ways). so don't bother trying to fight nature. being the smart guy you are, you already know you'll lose.
  • on your commitment, set, go! we live in a world that encourages us to be irresponsible. as i write, i've a great deal of laundry to do, and i fell asleep at my computer right after lunch. it's easy to leave things undone, just let them 'slide'. the problem is, because life is like a knitted jersey, tugging on one string can let the whole thing unravel. and a great deal of discipline is sticking to your commitments. i don't care if it's just that you planned to do the dishes or you have someone you're 'dating' (how i dislike that word. it gives me the creeps). as Arkad (The Richest Man in Babylon) said, you should complete each task you set yourself to, or how else will you gain confidence in your ability to do other tasks? i 'fapped' this from a friend who won't mind me using it here: If you don't make a TOTAL COMMITMENT to whatever you are doing, then you start looking to bailout the first time the boat starts leaking. It's tough enough getting the boat to the shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on. so take off the life jacket, and start rowing. if you burn your bridges/boats, you have only once choice — win. as long as you present yourself with two options, you cannot focus. once you cannot focus, your chances of winning are reduced. focus is an amazing thing that does two completely opposite things at the same time: expands your vision and narrows it. be like Arkad, who loved leisure, and would not commit himself to things that would become burdensome for him to complete. be picky about what you allow yourself do, but don't do nothing. that's simply failure in party clothes trying to disguise itself. you're a man: to pick up a responsiblity is to commit to it. i remember one of my teachers stamping it into my being that leaders always find a way (for the team) to win. he lived it himself. sometimes i've fely like cursing him for teaching me that, because a lot of times, it was the only thing that spurred me to accomplishing some tasks (no, i've never cursed him, only that when the 'ice cream moments' come — when you feel you did 'enough' and should let things slide — i remember him and it, and i no longer feel comfortable slacking off). i'm told that if we did everything we were capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. this point was beautifully illustrated in the movie Facing the Giants, when Buck did the death crawl blindfolded.
  • this one's so important, i'm tempted to advise you to put your relationship on 'hold' if you're lacking here until you sort this out. have somewhere going (aka have your own business, but not entirely in that sense). a reason a lot of guys don't want to ask ladies 'out' (where? the coffee shop? the mall? Paris?) is that they feel women want ready-made guys. i've been convinced (today, actually) that what women really need is security, and they're willing to hope that a share in your 'business' (or vision, dream or whatever) will provide them that. so, have somewhere going, something doing. be aspiring to something great, and be walking in that direction, running when you can, stumbling or crawling when you're forced to, flying when you have the means to — but be getting somewhere great, a place you can share with her and the kids and other people. a place where you're a real man who looks behind him and sees people following simply because he's impacted them for good.
  • if you're not married to her, and you don't have the same (or very similar) value systems, break it up. let's face it, she's great. she's hot. but there's this problem: she's a party person, and you really don't dig parties. you don't mind a little libation now and then, and she's a teetotaler. stuff like that. please break up. there's the feeling of love, and there's the attitude of love. don't let the feeling blind you, because in a committed relationship, you live off the attitude of love, not the feeling (now you might understand why you never killed your annoying little brother). the feeling will wax and wane. the attitude is a choice. there's no point making the choice all the harder — it's hard enough without doing anything else. wherever you are, relationship-wise, keep driving the blinders back!. feelings are fickle things. it's a foolish man indeed who would risk the joy of 40 years or more for feelings that may have lasted 1 year or less (actually, you really shouldn't care how long the feelings have lasted). you're not emo by nature, so it's easier for you to sidestep your feelings and emotional attachments and deal with issues.

that's it for now. i've dishes to do. no point teaching and not doing. i'll update this later, so later!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Close marking (2)

wow. my lil' ol' blog post garnered some attention on Facebook. thanks for all the feedback. i guess it is true that people are really interested in relationships. so i wonder: are relationships so difficult to work that most people tend to have vicarious relationships, or what? relationship changes are what catches the eyes of quite a number of my friends on Facebook. were i to change my status to 'in a relationship', i'd get quite the feedback. and that's probably because i have developed the persona of the nasty grook.

i like the idea behind Ne-Yo's song She Got Her Own because it basically describes a sentiment i really feel: it's more of an honour if a lady chooses to be with me than if she needs me. that eliminates the "i married you because of your money/looks/body/<insert wanted item here>" problem. we're together because each of us clear-headedly considered options, thought things out, looked at our lives' goals, and chose to be together. guys (i don't think i could ever get to understanding how ladies work, so i'm talking to the people i do understand), it's long overdue that we stop thinking with our testicles (male hormones come from here, so pardon me). yeah, we are attracted by what we see, but for crying out loud — how long will we continue to be implicated as irresponsible playboys?

work beckons. i'll continue this some other day.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Close marking

ki lo'n ro? o kan' fe'yin lat'aro…ki lo'n shele pel'omo yen? (Translation: what are you thinking about? you've been smiling for a while now…what's going on between you and that young lady?). So began a conversation with B today about a mutual friend. normally, i don't really like references to my single status. B's a good friend, so i let it slide. just told him that we're just friends. B didn't want to hear that. told B that i'd asked her out a while back and she said she wasn't game. B countered that even if it was last month, i could still ask her out again. i said i didn't want to, since i'd been put in the friend zone.

the friend zone. there probably isn't a female invention scarier to a young man. about the only thing scarier is the nice friend zone. one chick finds out you're a nice guy, somehow other chicks find out, and soon enough you end up as deputy assistant vice boyfriend to one or more chicks. meaning, you spend time with the chick, but you're disposable. she may cry on your shoulder, but you're expendable. enjoy what time you have with her, because she's got someone else in mind most likely. or so i think anyway. what do i really care?

i got thinking about what B said. she's a lovely young lady in more ways than one, but … i don't really think i'm up for a relationship now. more so since i decided that i don't have that much to offer anyone. and quite a bit in my life isn't going to change soon. it wasn't that long ago i thought any chick who liked me was either batty, extremely optimistic, or didn't know me well. i've since discovered that while the latter is usually the case, i have some redeeming qualities like…em, i'll get back to you on that one, hopefully before the world ends.

naw. i think i'll just sleep this off. and wake up feeling better. cause earlier last week i was feeling a little jealous of a friend. you see, he's in love. and i kept wondering why it seemed it never happened like that for me (okay, that ill-fated relationship doesn't count). till i saw one of my friends lamenting about the same thing on Facebook. ah well.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fooling around with Context Free

have to get to church now, but i was playing with Context Free, and after looking at examples and several tries, i created a checkerboard using it.

the CFDG source is below:

startshape checkerMain

rule checkerMain {
 // modify the numbers at the start to
 // change how many are repeated
 10* { y 2 } checker2 {}

rule checker2 {
 10* { x 2 } checker {}

rule checker {
 SQUARE { b .5 x 1 }
 SQUARE { b .5 y 1 }
 SQUARE { b 1 x 1 y 1 }
 SQUARE { s .25 b .5 x 1 y 1 }

Friday, June 05, 2009

3D object conversion

"Install" is probably my middle name, with curiosity being the middle letter you don't see in there. So my computer is loaded with all kinds of software "just in case". sometimes i play with 3d apps. the ones i really use are Blender, Wings3D, Yafaray. other 3d stuff i have installed now includes Google Sketchup, an old version of Amapi, trueSpace 7.61 beta, Softimage Mod Tool, Mapzone, Terragen 2 and the open beta of Genetica 3 (no longer available, since the full version was released. i just hope they don't come after me for using it past the beta period).

anyhow, i had a few Sketchup models i wanted to import to Blender, since Blender is what i use for primary scene setup. i found out that Sketchup can export compressed Google Earth files, which internally use the Collada format. i exported the models, uncompressed them, and attempted to load the Collada file into Blender. all i ended up getting was a set of axes, most likely because the Blender Collada importer is about two years old. the free version of Sketchup can only export to Google Earth. the paid version is available for 480 minutes of trial, and can export to other formats, including 3DS, Wavefront OBJ and DXF (Blender does an excellent job of importing and exporting Wavefront). so i was in a quandary. Google, clear thinking and patience turned up three no-cost, honest solutions:

  • Use Softimage Mod Tool and Crosswalk to convert the Collada model
  • Use Meshlab to convert the Collada model
  • Use the Autodesk free FBX Tool to convert the model
so there you have it. i can stay honest and withing my (currently) really limited budget and use my Sketchup models in Blender!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

And God sent a blessing in form of a cockroach...

i realize that most people, being completely normal (and not scientists — how did they ever find out a cockroach will live without its head for over a week before dying of thirst? who was keeping count?), will be grossed out by cockroaches. so am i. but i'm really grateful for yesterday's cockroach. may it be happy in cockroach heaven, wherever that may be.

what has God got to do with cockroaches? plenty. apart from the fact that He created them, He's the only one who can explain to the disgusting vermin that we don't want to share home or hearth with them.

anyhow, due to a couple of reasons, i was really ticked off with my dad last night. i went to clean the car, and was really finding it hard to release the pent-up aggression. then out of practically nowhere, a cockroach came wandering on the car. i flicked it off with the cloth i was using to clean the car, and resumed cleaning. a few minutes later, i saw it wandering again somewhere on the wall, got really ticked off, and then dispatched it to cockroach afterlife — if there is any such thing. and then really weird thought came to me: what if God sent the cockroach for me to take out my aggression on? the thought was so ridiculous i had to laugh, but i'm not so sure God didn't. so i'm grateful that God cared enough to send me a cockroach (not that i'm asking for any more) :D

Monday, June 01, 2009

Baby steps with new renderers

ok, so the 3-day weekend was fab. wasted a large portion of it playing Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, which is the most difficult Castlevania game i've played to date (the demon-inspired 16-bit ones don't count). as a review put it: You will die. A lot.. anyhow, yesterday i decided to fire up Wings3D and see what i could come up with.

the original idea was to create a broadsword, but i kind of got bored with making a long blade and created a dagger. very simple dagger. then i remembered an old image in this article (skip to the last page, and click on the thumbnail), and decided to tamper with a good thing. modeling was done, fired up Blender for scene setup and materials. since i was being lazy, i didn't want to create a complex scene. i just wanted to play around with materials and Yafaray and Luxrender, for a couple of reasons.

when i first started using Blender, i didn't really like the internal raytracer. i could never seem to get the same great-looking scenes i saw in the galleries with it. then i heard of Yafray (the project that is now Yafaray), and i thought it sucked even more. i persevered, though, and i learnt how to use it to some extent (check out my DeviantArt gallery — and the scraps, too — to confirm). however, i've had to dispose of most of my knowledge about Yafray, because Yafaray is very different from it. sometime down the line, i started playing with Indigo and Luxrender. i liked both bcause of the great renders i saw, and disliked both because of the same reason — they are both unbiased renderers (which to me, means that they can take forever rendering if you let them. you stop the render when it's as good — think: noise or black spot free — as you want it). for the Basscom pen scene (look in my gallery for details), Indigo didn't render a texture (it only accepts UV-mapped textures), but Luxrender mauled it, so i preferred Indigo. that was until it went commercial (and i wish Nicholas Chapman and Ben Nolan success with Glare Technologies), and i started looking at Luxrender again.

so i worked hard last night to get my scene working well with both Yafaray and Luxrender, and left my lappie on all night rendering with Luxrender.

here's the Yafaray render (approx 2 minutes):
and here's the Luxrender render (6+ hours):
the materials suck, but it's a start. i'll see if i can dress it up some more and make it better. if you want the .blend file, please download it and the textures (you'll need to 'remap' them) from this link. please use, don't abuse. Edit: i almost forgot. yesterday was also my first time creating my own texture in Mapzone. it's the table texture. Mapzone is the only Windows-only software i used. everything else at runs on Linux and Mac OS X, but you might be able to use an emulation environment for it.

The Nigerian web is NOT ready for the mobile revolution

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Something for a web editor!

ok, i finished Fable: The Lost Chapters last night as a goody-two shoes with a halo round his head and ghostly butterflies who tossed Jack of Blades' mask away. and i have a mild headache. since i finished it (finally!), it's off my computer. maybe until i get bored again. but that's not what this post is about.

i have recently developed a strange condition called a 'conscience'. meaning i currently kick against the order of the day here in Nigeria, where pirated software and software license violations abound. for the most part, anyway. somehow, the old "i can't afford it" line seems old and worn to me (even though it's basically true for me anyway — some weeks back i was ranting about how some stock photography @ 100USD+ would cripple me financially). at least for now — maybe this time i won't be able to suppress my conscience again.

being an on/off software developer, i agree wholeheartedly that software developers should receive something for their efforts. and that's why i praise open source developers. the time and devotion needed to complete any software project is appalling. to continue development when you're not getting paid for it is praiseworthy. so i moved toward using freely available software (mostly open-source) for most of my work, including web development. unfortunately, since i'm getting older (and hopefully wiser), i lean more toward RAD ways and means, including WYSIWYG. since i'm not currently using Dreamweaver, and my web development tools of choice are of an 'edit source then preview' variety, i miss the design view of Dreamweaver. i've literally forsaken a project because i've no interest in hand-editing XHTML. so if anyone can recommend a non-sucky design-view-type freely available web editor, i'd be glad. i might even give something for it. definitely not my kingdom though. it may be small, but it's still quite valuable. well then, later.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First 'useful' Python script

here's my first 'useful' Python script. it converts a Crosswire SWORD IMP file to the XML needed by OpenSong scripture files. if this is useful to you, please let me know. and please use, don't abuse. you can download it here. full source code available below, and you'll obviously need Python to use it. Want to try it out? Grab a SWORD module (raw ZIP only, please!, convert it to IMP by following these instructions as far as creating an IMP file is concerned, then use my script.

# imp2opensong - converts a SWORD IMP file to an OpenSong XML file
# author: lewzscruz
# date: 18-May-2009
# license: public domain, i guess. use, don't abuse
# version: 0.2 ('cause i only tested with one source file!)

def strip_markup(line):
    '''Strips ALL markup from a line'''
    temp = line

    while True:
        # get first opening angle bracket
        open_angle_pos = temp.find('<')

        # quit if there's none
        if open_angle_pos == -1:
            return temp

        # get first closing angle bracket
        close_angle_pos = temp.find('>', open_angle_pos)

        # strip out the markup
        temp = temp[:open_angle_pos] + temp[close_angle_pos + 1:]

# prompt for input and output files
sourcefile = open(raw_input('Where is the input file? '))
destfile = open(raw_input('Where should I put the output file? '), 'w')

# start writing
destfile.write('<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>\n')

old_book = current_book = ''
old_chapter = current_chapter = ''
verse = ''

while True:
    # read lines till EOF
    line = sourcefile.readline()
    if line == '':

    # trim the newline
    line = line[:-1]

    # don't do empty lines,
    # empty verses will be handled below
    if line == '':

    # and 'useless' lines
    if line.startswith('$$$['):

    # if we have a 'control' line
    if line.startswith('$$$'):
        # get the colon's location in the line...
        colon_pos = line.rfind(':')

        # ...and that of the space between the book name and the
        # chapter and verse
        lastspace_pos = line.rfind(' ')

        # we know what book we're in...
        current_book = line[3:lastspace_pos]

        # ...the chapter...
        current_chapter = line[lastspace_pos + 1:colon_pos]

        # ...and the verse!
        verse = line[colon_pos + 1:]

        # if we changed books on this line,
        if old_book != current_book:
            # and we didn't just start,
            if old_book != '':
                # close the old chapter and book

            # start a fresh book
            old_book = current_book
            old_chapter = current_chapter = ''
            destfile.write('<b n="%s">\n' % (current_book,))

        # if we changed chapters,
        if old_chapter != current_chapter:
            # and it's not the beginning of a book,
            if old_chapter != '':
                # close previous chapter

            # start a fresh chapter
            old_chapter = current_chapter
            destfile.write('<c n="%s">\n' % (current_chapter,))

        # output real verses (there are fake ones in the source file),
        # including empty ones
        if verse != '0':
            # get the next line and strip the newline
            nextline = sourcefile.readline()[:-1]
            # output it, stripping any markup and whitespace
            destfile.write('<v n="%s">%s</v>\n' % (verse, strip_markup(nextline).strip()))

# finally, close the last chapter of Revelation,
# Revelation itself, and the Bible

# thanks for all the fish!