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(tastes and colors are not to be discussed)

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21.01.07

Moosex26

There are 26 separate items of moose in this condo. From a set of coasters, (one moose count for the set) to light fixtures, on to curtains and pictures. There is a lot of moose up in here. We didnt even notice it ourselves, Jesse's girl pointed out( and counted) the sheer abundance of moose in here.

Itemized Update:
Moose Curtains
Moose Coasters x2(two sets)
Moose Pictures x6
Moose Signs x4
Moose Light fixtures x 4 (1 lamp, 3 wrought iron fixtures)
Moose 2 foot tall Dolls x2
Moose Curtain Rod
Moose Bed Spread x 2
Moose Coat Rack
Moose Throw Rug
Moose Soap Dish

@ 22:20:08

16.01.07

Eco Terrorism

Eco TerrorOur mission to exchange the projector went alright. They accepted it, but they didn't have any good projectors so we were stuck with the biggest crappiest most expensive piece of junk, the Epson Movie Mate. In town we also picked up a Speakman Anystream Showerhead. When we walked into the best buy Tyler asked for it by name and model number. Can you imagine a shower head so impressive you knew its name and model number? With the product in hand tyler explains its greatest feature, its hackable. You can hack the shower head by removing its water restrictor and getting the full force out of your shower turned Niagra Falls. Fabulous.
@ 10:37:46

15.01.07

Alphabet Encounters

We drove off into the recent cold front at 11pm Houston time. It took us some time to get though the tough weather, the whole trip lasted about 20 hours. But we stayed safe, crawling through snow storms and ice fields. In fact one car flashed us, and we immediately looked for a cop and we spotted a couple of cars upside down on the side of the road, as i reached for my camera our own car started drifting towards the turtle-like display. Then violently snapped back the other way as Adam fought to keep us from plowing into them, we then sailed off the other side before the snow slowed us down and we got back on path, disaster averted. I had my own close call, i missed our turn and went into a snow bank, knocking out a newspaper machine, some people standing around cheered us on, declaring they didn't like that paper anyway.

We burnt out the projector last night, should have brought that spare. Going to exchange it in Denver in 15min as soon as Adam gets out of his 3rd shower of the day.
@ 16:21:32

10.01.07

My Gut Reaction.

In my mind Kenya is a land divided by two sentiments. Two forces that I cannot seem to separate. On one side there are endless smiles that are broken only for laughter. Arrayed against this noble force is an entitlement to something for nothing, a desire to profit for no labor. Perhaps some form of ultra-capitalism. In this impoverished country is your next meal is more important than good will?
Focusing first on the good positive. In Kenya the children wave and run up to you, to shake your hand and feel your pale white flesh, rub your hair, and incessantly chant "howareyou, howareyou?". Occasionally they may stare at you from a distance with uncertainty and a little fear, but after the first reassuring smile or proffering of your hand melts their cool visage into a radiant smile. Even on a rainy day this jubilance of Kenya comes through, brilliantly. We were standing out in the rain getting drenched when a man came out of and invited us into his home. How many of us invite strangers into our home simply because its raining? Too few. May Douglas' home be filled with such compassion and happiness for all time. Beyond that the welcoming nature of Kenyans is afforded another great aspect. People randomly welcomed me to Kenya. Welcoming aside one they regularly went on to inquire about me and my thoughts on Kenya, very personable. A wonderful treat. Originally I asked myself, "How did they know?". Kenya with its homogenous (99%) racial composition uniquely enjoys this pleasant advantage to other more diverse societies. Another thing that makes me marvel at their friendliness is the tendency of children by the roadside to wave to passersby. Most kids wave endlessly weather you are traveling 10kmh or 120kmh. I would always try and do my best to return this kindness in an attempt to delay the point in our lives when we stop waving at each other.

On the other side of this issue is the less flattering specter of the greedy solicitor. The terminology is difficult to come by, since this idea is so strange to me. Tell me how it suits you. A friendly fellow and I speak for an hour, I meet his wife and his first born. We talk of many things, in this time, he even asks me to take his picture and send it to him which I politely do. I learn of his marriage his job and his life. We become fast friends. His manner was a little off putting, I normally, as a rule, don't like people who command photographs, but he was being cordial enough. But as we neared the end of the road the man ended our friendship in the following manner:

Ngobe: "we are extreme best friends now"
Me: "You bet"
Ngobe: "OK as my extreme best friend don't you want to buy dinner for my family, only 1000 shillings, (14 bucks)"
Me: "Sorry Ngobe, that's not what friends do."

The nerve! At that moment that man pissed away the good feelings I had about him. Sadly its not a unique experience. Even officials in the airport asked for some sort of monetary gift.
Kids sometimes asked for money, or a pen or other item, but their efforts were almost forgivable. Since the majority of the kids were far more eager to extend a hand in friendship than for money. Prices in Kenya are not fixed, they are floating depending on how much you think you can get. I am not talking about he souvenir hawkers, who are beyond shame. But the bus drivers, whose rates are more fixed. Bus drivers have the unenviable job of collecting 50 cents from everyone then looking you in the eye and saying 75 cents as if I were somehow more a burden on him. I mean if he can get it, why shouldn't he take it from us, really. Integrity is so darn unprofitable.

Hospitality gone wrong
Just like Ngobe's false understanding of friendship there are some people in Kenya who don't really seem to grasp the idea of hospitality. At “Nyoma Choma†we approached a filthy table and we were asked if we wanted to eat there, because if so, she could clean it for us. My only thought was, you are going to need to clean it anyway, so just do it. But of course when we declined to eat at that table it went the entire night without being cleaned. Service was horrible the rest of the night from all of the wait staff, we paid upfront, so they had no desire to speak to us after that. Other incidents were that the safari people said all inclusive, but not drinks. And each place we went we found the drinks way overpriced. Speaking of interesting sidenotes to hospitality, it seems that in our host cooked three meals a day for us, and gave us lodging, but we had to buy our own toilet paper. Odd but not rude. Also we were expected to pay for the nights when we were out of town between the nights we stayed there, Since she claimed she had to hold the rooms for us, so that our rooms would be there when we got back. An interesting interpretation. You don't pay for products/services, but potential loss of products/services to others. Over all it seemed that more people wanted something for nothing than those who would genuinely offer their hand in friendship.

Writing this has been an exercise for me in discovering how I feel about Kenya. My gut reaction has been that I don't like it (haha, its funny cause my bowles are biased.). But after looking back on it as a whole I am not so sure. Ultimately, it's not important what I think; go make your own minds up.


@ 05:41:35

09.01.07

!! uu!!

Back in the states.
Demitry in Chicago lost my luggage.
@ 09:10:09

06.01.07

Over and Out

...
If you speak of differences; Lebanon is miles apart while Kenya is measured in light years.
@ 13:17:34