Friday, July 26, 2013

2 reasons we should stop calling it 'the Jubilee' Government

Today I’d like to put to you something that you may have noticed, or not. Whenever you watch news these days and the government is mentioned it is referred to as “the Jubilee Government” which is very accurate as they control both the executive, the legislature (both houses) and, depending on whom you ask, the judiciary too. I can’t really fault the media for reporting something that is an obvious fact but I think it’s time we stopped referring to them as “the Jubilee government” and just call them “the government”

There are two main reasons for this.

One is so that we can get out of the election mind-set; the presidential elections have been over for over 3 months and so have the court cases associated with them. No matter what your feelings are on the matter there’s nothing you can about it until we have our next elections which are in 2017, so it’s time we put them out of our minds and get back to the business of building our nation with single minded focus. Vision 2030 is not going to happen if we keep this perpetual election mindset.
The Prezzo and the DP [image from www.firstkenyan.com]
Second and perhaps more important in the nearer term, is the for the sake of unity. I’ve noticed recently that whenever people in my house talk of the government they say “This Jubilee government this…” and “This Jubilee government that…” Whenever this happens I get the feeling that they don’t really feel like a part of the government, there a “us and them” mentality.

It’s true that this government was mostly elected by two communities, a tyranny of numbers it has described as by a political scientist more learned in such matters than me (side note: the phrase ‘tyranny of numbers’ has become a part of our national vocabulary if you’re just hearing those words now you need to leave the rock you’ve been hiding under more often) in my house we mostly voted for the main loser, I voted Martha Karua because I’m rebellious like that. Anyway it doesn’t help the feeling of loss when the government that is supposed to serving you is constantly named by the team that defeated you. I think it subconsciously reminds people who voted that this government may just serve the numbers that voted them in and that’s not a good thing.

I’d like to point out at this point that I don’t know how the government will rule and divide resources, but I’d like to think they’ll be fair with it. Also that the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, is an alumni of my old school St Mary’s Nairobi - greatness by association.:)

My mum and other members of the household have begun to refer to certain members of certain tribes as ‘waJubilee’ or just ‘Jubilee’ despite my best efforts to stop them, especially in front of my ten year old sister who I don’t want to get tribal before she’s even experienced life.

This us versus them thing we have going is not good for the stability of our country. There’s a lot of latent anger out there and I feel that the media’s insistence on calling the government ‘Jubilee’ is only adding to it. We didn’t see post-election coming, except those whose job is was to look out for such things like the NSIS (though looking back I should have there was a clear sign).I think we’re at a very fragile time in our history and we can’t afford to stoke the fire any more than it is now.

I’d like to hear what you think, feel free to comment below and/or hit me up on twitter (@cdooh).Peace!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Editor is taking a Break

Hey everyone? How we doing? This is just a quick update to let you know that my editor is taking a personal break that will last until the end of next month, August. He said that he needs some “me time” something I completely understand. Editing my work can not be the easiest thing in the world and I appreciate everything he does, pro bono, around here.
I don't think he's walking away from his computer but you get the point [image from http://radargaming.net]

This however leaves me in the unfortunate position of having to edit my own work, something I don’t particularly like so I’m contemplating taking a break while he does. That doesn't mean that I won’t be writing, I’ll just write and not post until he comes back so I can dump it on him! Evil I know but it’s his own fault for getting me used to his awesome skills.

We’ll see, I've not decided yet. If I decide to keep posting I'm now warning you all that there's likely to be a drop in the grammatical quality around here. Also the creative title names like Ambulating with Confidence. I mean if he was the one who edited this it would have a far better tittle than "My Editor is taking a Break" Meanwhile feel free to wish TheOkelo a happy restful break away from the blog in the comments below. Peace!!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What I'd Do if I Won 10 Million

Some time back, Safaricom, Kenya’s major carrier, had a promotion in which the main prize was 10 million bob (about 115,000 USD); doesn’t look like much converted into dollars. Nonetheless, I was convinced I’d win. Why? I had a feeling.

That feeling was wrong, obviously, but while I did have it, I wondered exactly what I’d do with such a large amount of money (felt it was large until I converted it into dollars, now it seems like peanuts). I made some basic plans that I now want to share with you guys.

The Amazing Nokia 920
First of all, I’d buy a new phone, maybe two. The phone would either be the Nokia 920 or 925. I’ve been with Nokia since my very first phone, which, curiously, wasn’t the 3310, which I think was every person on earth's first phone (well done Nokia, what happened to you?). It was a Nokia 5210. It was given to me by a good friend of mine called Salo. Anyway, I’ve not owned another brand of phone; I have faith in the company. The second phone would definitely be another Nokia, the N9, because it runs the open source MeeGo that I’d love to try. I use its big brother the N900 right now and I recognize the potential there and the community around it is great.

Then I’d defer my course for 3 years to travel Africa and the world. I want to do this because I plan to do this when ever I can when I start earning a more steady income. I’ve lived out of my home country for a decent amount of my life. I lived in Zambia and still have old friends there. More than that I have friends and family spread all about God’s green earth and I’d like to go see each of them. I’m a great fan of history and it would be great to experience the cultures of other people. For instance I have relatives in Uganda that I have seen since I was 2.

So which countries? America, Canada, Australia, France, England, Netherlands, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. Those are countries that I know at least one person in and would like to visit. Of course while there I’ll try and experience a bit of their cultures, visit the landmarks and museums. I’ll spend maybe two weeks in each country.

Other countries I’d like to visit but don’t really know anyone in are Rwanda, heard awesome things about the place through Savvy, any country in western Africa, I’m thinking Nigeria because their movies have flooded our country, Egypt, because well its Egypt there are numerous reasons to go there. I’d also like to go to a South American country, just to say I visited every continent. I’d like also to visit a eastern European country, I find their histories rich.

I’m not sure which Asian country I’d like to visit, wait as I was writing that I thought India, I used to have several friends from there when I was a child. It’d be cool to see their homeland, maybe when I have the money to actually travel I would have traced some of them down. Maybe also Japan.

After all this travelling I’ll come back home and complete my last year of school. I’m not sure why I’d not finish school then begin travelling. I don’t think I want the attention I’d get have won that much money. After 3 years I think all the hype would have died down and I can settle to finish.

During the time I’d be travelling I’d divide any money that wouldn’t be set aside to travel between my mum and dad to invest on my behalf. I need my money to be growing somehow while I traipsed about the world. They both have different views on things so I guess that would be what could be called diversification of your portfolio. Either that or I find a house or land to buy.


So really what I’d do if I had won was travel the world. Since I didn’t win these plans are on hold for when I starting making millions. At my age I can do with coach but as I grow older I want to travel in style which means first class for trips longer than 3 hours. What would you do if you won 10 million shillings today? Comment below. Peace!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

HelloFood: Is This the New Way of Getting Food?

The other day I heard of a new app called HelloFood. If you’ve read this blog much, you’d know that food is one of my favourite things in the world (up there with sleep and computers) so I decided to check it out. That I’m writing about an app and an app that is built for Kenya is something I consider yet another milestone in my blogging career.

HelloFood is a service that allows you to order food from a variety of restaurants for delivery. They have apps for android and iPhone and for those who don’t use any of those platforms, like me, they have a webapp that you can use, it requires your phone browser be able to run javascript which most smartphone browsers do.

I’ll be talking of the webapp version for this review because it would have the largest number of users in my opinion because most people will testing out from the web.

The webapp is incredibly simple to use, when they say you can order food in three easy steps they aren't joking. When you first open the page in your browser you get a page that looks like this:
Their UI is pretty intuitive, I know this because I gave my baby sis (she’s 10) and she had no problem using it. My own view of intuitive is a little messed by my background of device and internet use that spans over a decade, the things I find easy to use confound most people - like my phone, so I usually have someone not as savvy check out the usability.

So you  select search by area and select the area you live in (they only support Nairobi county for now)
I selected Langata, which is much further down the list
Then you can pick some other options to refine your search, so you can have your results sorted by relevance or name and filtered by whether you want to only see discounted meals and open restaurants.
You can then set exactly how expensive your meals should start from, I guess so that you can say that you always eat meals that cost a certain amount of cash. I personally will be keeping this slide at zero whenever I use the service ;-p

Finally, you select the check box which shows the the extent of your budget. Wasn’t clear what the dollar signs mean exactly though you can get a sense ($$$ means big bucks).

You then select a restaurant from the list they give you, select something from the menu, select the amount you want (in case you’re ordering for your family or office) and add to cart and then put in your details and wait for your food:)
Some of the restaurants near me
The app is great way to order food, it’s simple to use and the UI is quite intuitive. It currently has about 88 restaurants listed and the great thing is it can only get better in time as they add more and more restaurants. Restaurants benefit from being listed by getting exposed to customers who may not otherwise have heard of you. I think this is one of the main benefits, for me any way, as a discovery tool.
There are a couple of things that need to be worked on though, a couple of the parts of the interface have functions that aren't exactly clear. Secondly, the app seems to be for ballers, people with deep pockets, there are currently no options for people like me that don’t spend more than 100 bob a meal. Maybe with time and more restaurants we can have more price points - they only have about 88 right now. Finally, they can help facilitate discovery by having the restaurants put up pictures of their food.

We love Cake!!!
Overall, it is a great app that allows you to order food and have it delivered to you. The app does need to work out reasonable delivery prices, especially if I’m ordering from a place that is nearer to my house. The delivery times are reasonable with most coming deliveries taking less than one hour which means that you can order with a decent expectation for delivery to be within the time given. See what Kachwanya and Martin (who reviewed their Android app) have to say. Let me know what you think of the service in the comments. Catch you next post. Peace!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

"It's in the Cloud"

I'm blank today, but I saw this and laughed, hope it brings some joy for you too.
Seen on http://dilbert.com

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Farewell Grace


For today, this won't be a lengthy post. I attended my aunt’s funeral yesterday; she died a week ago and was only 3 years older than me. I was one of the pallbearers, the first time I’ve done that or really touched a coffin.
What struck me about it was that she was so young, 25, she had barely lived her life. This got me thinking of all the things that I postpone thinking that I'll have time later, but that’s not necessarily true. I could fall sick and be dead in a couple of weeks like her. I need to make better use of my time spend it with loved ones and not postpone such things until later.
There's a quote I’ll share with you from my Baby. She made it when I told her how special I find her birthdays and she said, “I make them so. I wanna live each year with a memory because there is no forever happy, it’s just good times!”
I didn’t know my aunt that well but I remember her bright smile, and though she’s gone forever she’ll always be in my heart for reminding me of the value of the limited time we have on earth. Rest peacefully Grace. Peace!!!