Tuesday, June 26, 2012


So you've decided it's time  to go to war against that beer belly, those chips and chicken thighs or that pizza (read peet-sa) @$$ that keeps sending you to the 'boutique' for another pair of jeans. I know he says he likes you with some meat, that he wants stuff to hold onto when the riding gets a bit vigorous, that your wobbly bits are just so cute, but please, why do you think he keeps staring at that chick at Chillies?
Do I look fat, sweetie?

No, honeypie, but...
 And you guy, why do you think she keeps avoiding those cuddly moments when you're in the mood, watching videos of Tyrese and exclaiming, 'banange wow!', hanging out at the rugby club when you're watching soccer with the boys and hinting that you should revive your eons long defunct rugby career, huh? Why do you think?

This is not a sport! It's called entertainment, people are laughing, at you...
 Me, I don't know why, but if it has occurred to you that you ought to do some roadwork, get the old engine racing again, perhaps jog to Taste Budz for a 'Meat Eaters Deluxe', then you're going to need some help getting started, right?

Enter a million fitness gurus and gym instructors who have no doubt failed at all else in life and would rather spend the active chunks of their days telling others to do 'one more rep' or move 'leeeeft, right, left right, left right, left right, and back and front, turn around...'

"Those who can do; those who can't teach; those who can't teach teach gym; those who can't move their arms or legs teach us to laugh at others."
 Anyway, your motivations aside, the first thing you'll be told to do is to stretch your muscles, loosen your limbs, warm up, get the blood flowing, 'woo hoo!, yeah!'

This is allegedly meant to help keep your muscles from getting sore as well as reduce the risk of injury but according to research conducted by this guy, these guys and this guy there's no point.
"Stretching before or after exercising does not confer protection from muscle soreness. Stretching before exercising does not seem to confer a practically useful reduction in the risk of injury, but the generality of this finding needs testing. Insufficient research has been done with which to determine the effects of stretching on sporting performance."
 Which begs the question, why? Why do people stretch when they're about to embark on a 'seemingly' major feat of physical exertion?
  I've come to the conclusion that it's all about steez, you know, showing off. Have you ever been involved in a near-fight? The kind that's thankfully stopped by that one friend of yours who's not as high on testosterone or the things you've been imbibing. There's always the guy who's screaming to be let go and he shows the other guy what's up. He prances here and there, arms flailing, trying to break through the protective cordon around him and run to his death. That's the equivalent of stretching before exercising.
Chill me! Chill me and I show him! Raargh!
Meanwhile this is the guy he wants to 'show what's up'.

*deep breaths*

So, back to the stretching. That means all that stuff professional and especially amateur sportsmen and most especially 'fitness freaks' do is for show and if there wasn't an audience, well, then they'd probably just get on with it, like you do on that early morning jog by your lonesome, or that stroll down to the bakery or take-away.


Um...7.5/10..that girl's gonna rock it!
A very bad idea!
We're going to the Y.M.C.A..we're going to the...

Somebody's watching me
How to come last in a marathon

Before the fight

Fight Night! Guess who didn't bother to stretch

Okay Jack, only 1000 reps and we're off to work...


Monday, June 25, 2012

Take me to heaven

Take me
Take me to heaven
Up to the mountains
Into quiet
Bluegrass gardens

Take me
Let's leave together
Lost in the moonlight
In the land of
Perfect dreams
Hold me
Hold me forever
I close my eyes to
See if memories

Longing for those nights
When starlight was bright
Under the great
Great great sky

La la

Take me
In your arms hold me
Don't ever leave me
Never will I
Be the same again
Take me
Just for one moment
Just one more time
In your arms close
To your heart

Hold me
Ever so tightly
I close my eyes
But the memories

Longing for those nights
When starlight was bright
Under the great
Great great sky
Starlight was brighter
Starlight was bright
Under the great
Great great sky

--------------------- Laibach (Iron Sky Soundtrack)

Friday, June 22, 2012


“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Banksy

Piss off!

“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”
---------------------------------------------- Banksy

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On Cricket

After years of patient study (and with cricket there can be no other kind) I have decided that there is nothing wrong with the game that the introduction of golf carts wouldn't fix in a hurry. It is not true that the English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavors look interesting and lively; that was merely an unintended side effect. I don't wish to denigrate a sport that is enjoyed by millions, some of them awake and facing the right way, but it is an odd game. It is the only sport that incorporates meal breaks. It is the only sport that shares its name with an insect. It is the only sport in which spectators burn as many calories as players -- more if they are moderately restless. It is the only competitive activity of any type, other than perhaps baking, in which you can dress in white from head to toe and be as clean at the end of the day as you were at the beginning.

Imagine a form of baseball in which the pitcher, after each delivery, collects the ball from the catcher and walks slowly with it out to center field; and that there, after a minute's pause to collect himself, he turns and runs full tilt toward the pitcher's mound before hurling the ball at the ankles of a man who stands before him wearing a riding hat, heavy gloves of the sort used to handle radioactive isotopes, and a mattress strapped to each leg. Imagine moreover that if this batsman fails to hit the ball in a way that heartens him sufficiently to try to waddle forty feet with mattresses strapped to his legs, he is under no formal compunction to run; he may stand there all day, and, as a rule, does. If by some miracle he is coaxed into making a misstroke that leads to his being put out, all the fielders throw up their arms in triumph and have a hug. Then tea is called and everyone retires happily to a distant pavilion to fortify for the next siege. Now imagine all this going on for so long that by the time the match concludes autumn has crept in and all your library books are overdue. There you have cricket.

-----------------------Bill Bryson in Down Under

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Of shared meals and stolen worlds

I don't like eating by myself so much so that I would go to the extent of saying I 'hate' it.

Hate is a tricky word. You toss it out there nonchalantly, perhaps remarking to a friend on how you hate people who talk too much and can't mind their own business and you go on for the better part of a half hour even going to the extent of tossing in a few examples, some picked from your mutual pool of friends or more likely from your exclusive (you think) pool of acquaintances. Lips pursed, mssschew and a few one sided conspiratorial chuckles punctuated with question marks inviting your friend to share in your ire and the apparent mirth you seem to derive from this exercise. Your friend stares at you, hmmms and aaahs at the snide remarks and thinks to him/herself that its about time they un-friended you and that they just might actually dislike you enough to say they hate you, out loud, to another friend.

I dislike eating by myself and yet I have done it a whole lot lately. In fact, right now I'm off to find some food that I will hopefully enjoy and not feel sad about the eating alone.


Fast forward several days later and I am happy to report that I didn't eat alone that day, in fact, last night I had dinner by candlelight with a special someone and the fear of falling has left me.


Hands off dammit!
 Some bajaj guy nicked my book. I had a copy of NEMESIS by Isaac Asimov which I've been carrying around and leafing through every spare minute I get. On bajis (pronounced bajiz (which I'm told is (the reading) beyond pretentious)), in the taxi, in any waiting room, in the middle of  a boring conversation, during the 'State of the Nation' address and any spare minute I get. I've taken to reading a lot again, after a stint of a few years during which I could hardly muster much interest in reading anything that didn't tend towards the philosophical and I'm happy to discover that I still enjoy filling every spare moment I can get with words.

Back to the bajaj guy and Asimov. So I get a taxi from Kamwokya to town and I want to stop at a clinic on Bombo road next to City Oil but the taxi takes Nakasero Hill Road, better known as 'ku Public Service' so I get out and decide to take a bajaj or baji from there to my destination. I jump on the first one I see, which is coming down NH road, and tell the guy 'ku City Oil, pronto, pronto' and he turns round faces up and heads off towards Lumumba Avenue. I begin to protest and to tell the guy that it's a much shorter distance if we take the main road but he mumbles something about traffic and keeps going. I tell him to suit himself and I whip out Asimov and catch a few sentences, okay, no, I didn't on this occasion seeing as it was a short distance.

On arriving at my destination, I jump off the bike, hand the guy two coins of 500/= and walk off. He revs after me, agitated, and demands another 500/=. I decline, pointing out that it is an outrageous amount of money for the distance covered and adding that the choice to take a more circuitous route had been entirely his and that I was not going to add him any amount of money. He parks his bike and runs after me, actually he takes a couple of steps to get in front of me and hinder my progress forward. I stop and stare at him, really stare at him and attempt the Jedi mind trick. He looks at me, looks away, at me again, away and refuses to budge. This is becoming a scene and I don't want to bandy words with him so I tell him as politely and firmly as I can possibly manage in broken 'kagi' that he will not be receiving any shilling more from me.

He hands back the two 500/= coins and then demands that I pay him. I've had bajaj and taxi guys try to pull that one on me, the one of trying to guilt or shame you into feeling stingy, less of a 'mugaga', broke, uncultured and many other things all in the name of milking an extra shilling from you. I always say thank you, pocket the gees and stroll off, smiling. So I am thinking this is where we're headed, a few colourful words and then the guy is going to leave me with my 'lukumi' and proclaim to the whole planet how I'm a broke ass. No such luck. He keeps demanding payment of 1500/= and I keep reiterating calmly, while holding out my hand with the two 500/= coins that I will do no such thing.

We stand there for a couple of minutes, me staring at him hoping the Jedi trick will finally kick in and him staring off into the distance saying that we should stop another bajaj guy and ask him how much the standard asking price for our journey is. I counter with a suggestion of asking a pedestrian if they think 1500/= is a fair amount for said journey and so we go silent and stare at each other for another minute, me holding out the two coins, him refusing to take them.

I decide to pocket the coins and flip open Asimov's NEMESIS, thinking to my self triumphantly that I will outlast him. I locate my point on the page; Siever and Eugenia are trying to convince Marlene to get off Erythyro and return to Rotor on account of an unknown plague that afflicts people with minds inclined in a manner such as hers. Marlene will not budge and insists on staying put. I flip the page to continue the argument and the baji guy walks to his bike, fastens his helmet to left handlebar and returns. I close the book and await the next phase of this drama, still calm, still not willing to budge. He walks back, grabs the book and yanks it out of my hands, runs back to his baji and rides off, with my engaging book and zebra bookmark. This takes about fifteen seconds and all this while I'm thinking to myself that I will not be moved to violence in the physical sense.

When he takes the book and jumps on his bike, I think to myself:

Cost of Book: 3000/=
Pages Read: About Half
Net Value of Book to me: 1500/=????
Cost of Bookmark: Priceless! Effin thug!!!

Then I hope that he finds a way to extract his 1500/= from the book or even better, read the damn thing and enjoy it rather than toss it in some bin in a fit of pique.

I stare after him for a few seconds and then continue with my plot, thinking to myself that this inflation is doing things to us, dare I say it's shredding the social fabric or am I just a stingy asshole who can't compromise? Hmmmm.

There is no moral to this story other than that you should find mealtime company, it does wonders for the digestion.