Friday, April 22, 2005

I am Back!!!

So...i think when last i was here i mentioned that i had surgery scheduled for monday morning. Well thats done, things went far, and i was back home on Wednesday, a day earlier than planned. I will now be at home for the next 5 weeks recuperating. I woke up this morning feeling almost as good as new. There was absolutely no pain, i could stand up straight instantly and walk around normally.....whew....i almost dont feel like the invalid that i Definitely won't be playing any tennis any time soon.

Well this was just a small update to let you know that i am alive and doing well....I will save all the unpleasantries (like the West Indies Cricket Team) for another time.

Take care y'all and i will see you again real soon!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Another Week, Same Story

So today is the day i am to be admitted to the hospital. I think i did mention that i am having surgery tomorrow morning. I am a little nervous, but i have been there twice before, the only difference is that the times before was at the hospital that my mom i KNEW that EVERYBODY was looking out for me. Anyways, i wont be able to blog for maybe two weeks....but thats nothing new huh? Tennis will aslo get killed for at least three months...i hope the little skill doesn't take a sabbatical!!!

Did i finish all the stuff i was to do at work? OF COURSE NOT! I actually still have work with me now....i am gonna try and do some and then drop it off later for completion by others......well I tried!!!

The budget was read by the finance minister this week...they raised taxes!!! Our general consumption tax (GCT) was raised by 1.5% to 16.5%. This is a tax applied to most goods and services and was originally supposed to replace income taxes. At the time of its inception, and it was 10% then, income tax was reduced from 33% to 25% , but this has not been reduced since. Now I am all for upping GCT to about 20% AND reducing the income tax to about 10 - 15%, because afterall with GCT the impetus is on you whether to spend or not, while with the income tax we have no choice. Plus the GCT nets a wider range of people than the income tax, cause alot of people do not file taxes. Only the relatively few people who are on the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, where the employer takes it out of your salary before it even gets to you, are burdened with this tax. Let me add that they did up the threshold for income taxes, meaning that a greater number of people in the lowest income brackets will not have to pay any income tax. This benefits everyone because people in the higher income brackets do not pay taxes on the threshold amount. Of course for me, that probably means an extra $100 a month (insert eye rolling smile here!!!). Whew...that was a mouthful.....

Someone in the public eye, can't remember who, made the statement " There can be no peace without justice." A very profound statement that embodies day to day life in Jamaica. There is certainly no peace here. A young man, witness some years before to his mother's and step father's murder, was executed at one of our busiest intersections at the busiest time of the day - 8 am. He was travelling in the back seat of a cab and was shot three times when it stopped at a traffic light jut metres from where i work. Two men on a bike rode up behind the cab, one man got off, walked up to the cab, and shot the man through the rear windscreen. Strangely enough the police held the two men sometime later, and then eventually had to release them due to lack of evidence. I for one hope they turn up dead somewhere.

Elsewhere, on this same day, a peaceful by-election was taking place in the Jamaica Labour Party stronghold of West Kingston. I dont think there was one report of violence in this election which was of course won by the JLP in a landslide.

Remeber that police/army operation in Spanish Town, well not one weapon was found, a few people were detained however, lets see what comes of that. Another area was put under curfew after completion of that first operation. I hope the police have better luck? here.

I think this may have been my longest post to date. I am actually tired....i have to go...and I will see you all again soon.


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Action At Last!!!!!

So this week had one of the most interesting events that i can remember. The police and soldiers carrried out a sneak operation in one of the most violence ridden communities in Spanish Town. They went in at about 4 am in the morning and imposed a 96 hour curfew and is doing house to house searching among other things. Students and workers with valid ids are allowed to enter and leave, everbody else is on lockdown!!

I for one agree with the proactive action of the police force and hope that some good comes of the operation. My discussion on the subject has not turned up one person who is against this move. At first it was reported that the community was also supportive and then suddenly their political representatives are crying foul, and saying that the communities are being victimized. Please remember that this was one of the three communites mentioned last post with more than 50 murders since the start of the year. Of course, the rhetoric has turned to those politicians who in their zeal to represent, actually misrepresent!!!

My fingers remain crossed.

So I just completed my second to last week of work (and tennis) before my 6 week layoff. Unfortunately, there is still so much work to do in my final week, that i am extremely stressed right now. Not even 2 hours of squash thursday night, plus 1.5 hrs of tennis this morning is helping. Yes you read correctly. I played squash for the first time ever this week. Four of us had a little company lyme, three of us were playing for the first time. I lost 9-0 like a million times to the one dude who plays regularly, but i was able to eke out victories over my other two compatriates!!! Maybe i should give up tennis for squash!!! But then who wants to be running around a little room chasing an even smaller ball!!!! It was good fun though. My tennis is probably the best it has ever been and i am gonna have to take at least 3 months off....STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN IS GONNA BE TOUGH....BUT I'M GONNA MAKE IT!!!!

Well gotta go now, i have a full day of work planned, see you next week!!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

On the Edge?

The past week was an interesting one to say the least. On one hand there is all the revelry that comes with Jamaica Carnival and on the other the violence that continues in sections of our society. There were some interesting statistics in one newspaper this week and i will quote it unchanged. The following can be found at the following url:

"Jamaica's homicide count stood at a frightening 411 at the end of March, according to police crime statistics. Three of the country's bloodiest divisions ­ St. Andrew South, St. Catherine North, and St. James ­ have contributed to just under half of the number of persons murdered since January."

St. Andrew South: 56
St. Catherine North: 69
St. James: 40

And to top it all off, there was a prison break attempt at our largest correctional facility on the very last day of the month. Four people were killed in the melee.....three prisoners and one correctional officer (prison guard). Someway or other a handgun got into the hand of a prisoner just after the start of visiting hours and he fired at the guards who eventually returned fire. Does this sound like WAR????

So i have been watching alot of tennis this week at the Nasdaq Open.....via my tv of course. Venus is always my sentimental favourite but she came up just a little short vs Sharapva this week. The finals is later to day, Sharapova vs Clijsters and i expect Clijsters to take the crown. I have already played tennis today and will go back this afternoon to play another dreaded guess the sabbatical is over.....wish me luck!!!!

I have also been trying to work a little harder this week. Work is extremely stressful, too much work and too little time and too little human department needs another person desperately and to top it off, i will be out for 6 weeks starting in the middle of April. I plan to do a relatively routine operation but the recovery time is listed as 6 weeks. I think they may provide me with a laptop to help me (them) get through the recovery period!!! I dont think i can sit at home for 6 weeks doing absolutely nothing but watch tv anyway!!!! I would go crazy!!! I expect my internet usage and thus my phone bill (yes i still use to triple during this period!!!!

And i cant tell the last time i went out!!! Hmmmm too much work and no play, does not a happer person make!!!!

I am gone again for now....i am sure you will see alot more of me very soon!!!