Tag Archive: Travel


I woke up on my birthday (January 30th) to find a Direct Message in my Twitter account from the Jamaica Pegasus. Who knew? They were inviting me to celebrate my birthday at their weekly Tuesdays on the Grill. How could I turn down an offer like this? So I immediately sent them my info through twitter account for booking. I must say thanks to the Jamaica Pegasus and Ms. Simpson who extended the invitation.

The night was wonderful. Tuesdays on the Grill goes from 7:00 pm till around 10:30 pm at the Pegasus. I had class that evening (Supervisory Management) which I remembered only the day before. However, I went after – my class ended at 8:30 pm. It was not my first time eating at the Pegasus; I normally meet with friends there for a good time. The food is always great and at the right price if you’re eating out.

On Tuesday night from the music to the food to the ambience it was lovely. It is right by the poolside which makes it more picturesque. The evening was well attended I might add – full house enjoying the food prepared by the Jamaica Pegasus.

The evening was magical. Certainly if you are in Kingston – the place to be is the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel – Kingston’s Preferred Hotel.

Dessert

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In 2010 …

The year 2009 was a bad year for many people. Many will also argue that last year was a successful one. We cannot deny the significant events of 2009 that affected the world a great deal. The few people I have exchanged words with are determined to make 2010 better than 2009.

For many business owners it was hard staying afloat. With a crumbling world economy and consumer spending at an all time low, businesses were forced to offer more sales and discounts. If companies are to succeed this year they better be willing and open to think differently. If you were offering kitchen wear in your store, now will be a good time to offer something new – like cooking lessons. Businesses will have to reinvent themselves if they want to remain in operation. Furthermore, it may be the best time to start a business. Consumers will be reducing their consumption, therefore companies who tap into a niche market will be more successful.

The optimism and new prospects people are feeling, I think will make most survive the new year. Most governments would be seeking to increasing taxes and finding new ways to cut government spending. If you’re an American you may see health care reform, new job opportunities while Caribbean countries like Jamaica will be in for harsh economic times. Most companies will rebound when the American economy gets back on track.

It will be a super year for entertainment. Whether it be music, fashion, movies, sports, even blogging. Blogging this year I believe will be even more popular. If you happen to be reading this post, Welcome and do return again. People are coming off a bad year and they will be looking to date even marry. Depressed and lonely people are searching for happier times and if you can provide that excitement, fun and positive energies then it may be a good time to get hitched. Social networking sites are going nowhere to give it a try.

Two thousand and ten or twenty ten however you say it will be a year filled with new opportunities, life, love and success – in your job or at the bank.

Have a great year – to all the bloggers who share on this blog. I won’t call any names – I will get in trouble – check the blog roll. Love all of you. Keep posting! Make this your best year yet.

Welcome to the fifth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Others in the Series:

Water Cooler, Water Cooler Ed. 2, Water Cooler Ed. 3, Water Cooler Ed. 4

Politics

On Friday October 2, 2009 the Obama administration traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to encourage the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to choose Chicago, USA for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Competing with Chicago were Madrid, Tokyo and Rio. With local issues behind and pundits crying out for him to stay and focus on the problems affecting the country, Barack Obama flew to Denmark to make the case for Chicago his home state.

Later in the afternoon, the first round of voting eliminated Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 games. Many people especially Americans were shocked and flabbergasted by their early elimination. The energy surrounding Chicago’s bid and information that the media reported was that the decision would have been between Rio and Chicago. Oh how they were wrong?

When I heard the words “Rio de Janeiro” to host the 2016 Olympic Games I had mixed emotions. I am happy that the South American country will be able to host the games of such magnitude there and it shows great leadership and planning on the part of the Brazilian team. The twitter world was lit up by this announcement with IOC, Chicago and Rio as trending topics. What also struck me was that many people seemed happy that Chicago had lost the bid. Were these sentiments ‘un-American’? Were theses feelings driven by conservatives?

In this post I want to share the information that was presented to the International Olympic Committee. I am doing this to give readers a front row seat in the presentations that were delivered. Below are the video presentations and speeches of Chicago and Rio to host the 2016 games.

I must say hands down the presentation by the Rio team was concrete. It articulated a phenomenal approach to the games. The video presentation outlined to the delegates was unique and displayed quality images to show voters what they would expect from Brazil hosting such a game. The video presentation made you believe that this would be spectacular; it challenged your imagination and made you believe that athletes would live their passions in Brazil. This was followed by a moving speech that was delivered with such emotion and one that would make the delegates move to action to choose Rio as the perfect destination.

The Chicago bid was different from the Rio presentation. In that it presented the information but was low on substance – imagery.  The presentation would be what my lecturers accuse my classmates of having – it was all over the place. It was not compelling and not believable. As we saw in the Rio presentation a focus was on sporting activities and the athletes; I did not see that in Chicago’s bid. I got the impression that they (the athletes) would be spread across the city like nomads. In Rio’s presentation, although they (the athletes and games) are in four areas, it had an aim in mind. I watched the videos carefully and nowhere in Chicago’s video do you see people. They talked about humanity and friendship and one would have liked to see two people laughing or sharing something. The video showed buildings, google earth graphics and animations the entire time.

michelle-obama404_676280cSpeeches by the Obama’s and the others didn’t help. Michelle Obama before her trip to Denmark said the Obama team would be taking the bid as the Iowa primary. What was their focus? Clearly they thought these delegates would have been bought by their fame and shared ignorance of what the Olympic Games are all about or they are still in campaign mode. The Chicago team sent the wrong signal expecting everything to change with Obama’s presence; in their words “to put it in the bag.” With Michelle Obama lies and a groggy President Obama the speeches clearly made the delegates cringe. Michelle Obama stated that she sat on her father’s lap cheering on Carl Lewis etc. Which 20 year old sits on a father’s lap at that stage of their life watching the Olympics? Barack Obama’s speech didn’t help. He focused on his ego and him winning the election, this is not what the speech should have surrounded. He should have emphasized more the decision that they had to make and how Chicago is the best option. Obama wants to step a few blocks from his home with Michelle and his girls to welcome the world. Wouldn’t it have sounded better if he stated that Chicagoans and Americans want to welcome the world to their shores?

Who would you have voted for? What do you think?

Love & Relationship

Many people would agree that compromises are the hallmark of all relationships. Sharing an environment like a home isn’t always easy for couples; living together or dating. Couples who face this challenge face a real divide especially dsc_0076when pets are at the heart of the issue. A dating partner may compromise on one pet, but what should be done when the other keeps adopting more animals? Surely, pets should be cared for and deserve a home. Should your partner keep adopting pets ignoring your preference of having none at all? Or shouldn’t it be an issue once you are not allergic to one?

Having pets is surely a rewarding experience for those who love them but it should never be at the expense of your partner’s happiness or experience.

Inspiration

2072865350015798315S500x500Q85This week’s inspiration has to deal with taking care of our bodies. We have one life to live and one body to experience it with. Eating the right foods and exercising regularly should be everyone’s focus as we get older. We are busier than ever these days with family obligations, our own education pursuits, workplace issues etc. We should however take some quality time in taking care of ourselves. If it means taking a well needed check-up at the doctor, a massage at a spa, that visit to the dentist, for women – that pap smear test and for men prostate exam. You have one body; take care of your health this week and on.

Video Music Awards

16951176On a night where artistes were celebrated and the best in category awarded there were some regrettable actions. The start of the event saw the organizers paying a well deserved tribute to the greatest icon in music, Michael Jackson. The bar was set very high as the beginning where the tribute was performed with great artistry and was excellent keeping the audience entertained. Who knew what would come next? The first category to be mentioned saw lots of drama. Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video beating Beyonce who was expected to take the category. In the middle of her speech Kanye West who was seen drinking earlier interrupted exclaiming on the microphone that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.

Although he was booed at the music awards, he also suffered bad publicity for his harsh statements. It was reported that he left the award show early after refusing to apologize at the event. I do not think Kanye was apologetic in his initial statements. However, in his Jay Leno interview it placed everything in perspective and you got to see how humble one could get. I was not a fan of Kanye before this incident and still am not one. He is known for his over the top ego but now I know he has a different lease on life. I do not see him repeating this selfish act. Let’s be positive and hope he won’t.

Chris Brown

After beating Barbados’ rising Caribbean queen Rihanna to a pulp, justice have now been served to the forgetful Chris Brown. Recently Chris Brown was on a Public Relations drive to improve his image in the media. On Larry King Live Chris Brown suffered from selective memory stating he did not remember laying hands on Rihanna. The public saw the abused images of pop star Rihanna. However Chris Brown who did the beating clearly has forgotten the diatribe. He has been sentenced and was recently photographed cleaning grounds. Chris Brown who I would say have been welcomed in the music industry is still recording music, doing collaborations and being published in the media.

chris_brown_garbage

I am upset with the media for celebrating the acts Brown did. Certainly, the media is biased but the way they treated Brown declared that they sanctioned his actions of beating a female. I am upset that they haven’t kicked him to the curb. Today, Chris Brown will be showered with more female fans screaming his name all waiting for him to lay hands on them. Chris Brown is second and he has a new lease on life.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston who sang her way into the hearts of many internationally is now promoting her new album after many years away from the industry. Houston who married Bobby Brown was a music wreck in her marriage as they both became known for their addiction to cocaine. With the messy life Whitney lived she is now promoting her new hot album which is getting rave reviews. In a recent interview with the queen of talk show Oprah Winfrey Whitney Houston spoke about her challenges and struggles with her marriage and family. Although she is being chastised for not accepting her addiction in the interview; personally I believe she should be praised for taking the step out of a life of despair where she can now be a testimony for those who are living a life of addiction.

Should we talk about Britney Spears and NFL Michael Vick? Both had major challenges and now have found ways to channel their lives to have a new lease on life. Good luck to them.

Today, you might be thinking your mistakes will forever have you down and out. One cancer survivor recently said in an interview that surviving cancer places everything in perspective because you never know what tomorrow holds. That is the thought if not the primary message that this piece wants to emphasize. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone and living life to the fullest must be our ultimate aim daily. Mistakes today are to be corrected for tomorrow. Although the examples used are from celebrities we have heroes in our families and close circles who have overcome challenges. Any addiction or mistakes you have had over any period can be corrected and give you the new lease on life.

Hell or Paradise

Today is a sad day in Jamaica. We are known internationally for being a violent country and so deserved, yet the 3rd happiest place on earth. How ironic?

Historically, our politicians have embraced criminal activities. In the earlier elections many years ago, politicians seeking power gave citizens located in the ‘government created’ ghettoes guns and ammunitions. These illegal weapons were used to intimidate voters and also to maim and kill the others who tried to oppose the thugs. These thugs headed by dons – leader of the community would secure wins for the political parties. This violence in election periods is still evident today. Because of the wide access to illegal and dangerous weapons vicious acts of violence toward other citizens are committed based on simple disagreements. Disagreements are solved using the guns today. The infiltration of the weapons is affecting society to the point where politicians have begun distancing themselves from these gangs. The process of distancing themselves from the thugs proved hard to accomplish because they are heavily cemented in the system. The thugs are split across political lines, dividing communities by lines and turfs. The criminal gangs that are affiliated to the ruling government would see themselves getting government contracts among other benefits.

One would think that those who assume high moral standing in any society would be constantly speaking out against such heinous acts. The church, non-governmental organizations, political groups etc are so silent it is deafening.

Recently, the USA government has requested that Christopher ‘Dodus’ Coke be extradited to the USA naming Coke one of the world’s most dangerous drug kingpins. How could this man be free in Jamaica?

Today, September 4, 2009 the Jamaica Observer had the headline ‘Dudos holds the key’. I was so shocked to see the headline because you would think conventional wisdom would think that the country would support a criminal doing time behind bars. Instead you have groups led by the government who are silent on this issue, silently condoning his illegal acts. The community Christopher ‘Dudos’ Coke leads is affiliated and only supports the ruling government and they may think it isn’t an issue to comment.

The fact is that these gangs have more powers than the police themselves. The thugs kill whoever opposes their culture/belief and live in freedom because of their ties. Now Dudos is free to roam the streets of Kingston but is wanted in the United States of America. Jamaica has developed a society that condones unlawful behaviour and embraces those committing violent acts in the name of politics.

These are the same reasons the country cannot grow because we have failed to learn from teachable moments. We have developed a culture that suppresses the poor, embrace criminality and ignore people’s fundamental rights based on Christian beliefs. Today is a sad day because this country has not given its youth or anyone anything to be proud of. The two things we have aimed to manage well are tourism and sports – and we have deficiencies there.

I cannot wait to leave this god forsaken country and live in a country that respect people’s rights does not condone criminal activities and support the advancement and development of its own people. Someone, something help this country.

I must end this on a good note. We have a wonderful set of people here who work hard and try to live life above the law, who with all the struggles attempt in getting an education and seek to assist their families to be better off. I travelled to Ocho Rios today and wow the scene is fantastic. Below is one of the photos I took.

Ocho Rios Jamaica

Ocho Rios Jamaica

Since the development of the internet it would appear that reality television came after. Reality television features unprofessional actors, most times celebrities or created ones to show unscripted reactions in various scenarios. In recent times we have been seeing many newly wed couples deciding to film a reality series to be picked up by the major networks. However, it would appear that the usage of reality television for any couple in Hollywood is a divorce sentence for their marriage. Of course we can list all the victims of reality television these days. The question is, did reality television cost them their marriage or was it for different reasons. Most times children are the biggest cash cows for these series as they are also paid for the gig.

Giuliana & Bill

Giuliana & Bill

I am a huge fan of reality television. I would say I like the productions, not a fan of all the drama but I appreciate the wonderful and creative ideas that they are based off. Two reality television series that I have been following and I will be referring to in this piece are The Real Housewives of Atlanta (not really a fan) and Giuliana and Bill (can be seen on the Style Network). The Real Housewives of Atlanta is filled with drama as the show follows five Atlanta housewives on their lives and friendships with each other. The celebs on the show are always in conflicts and they lead unstable lives financially and emotionally. On the other hand, Giuliana and Bill; this reality show features both Bill Rancic – winner of the first Apprentice and Giuliana from the E Network. The show is about this couple as they lead successful careers and attempts to balance their marriage.

There are hundreds of reality shows on television, some are sane and the others are insane. One would think the sane ones would get stellar reviews and constantly being booked for another season. Hell NO! The insane reality shows, filled with wanna be celebrities, people that live unstable lives, people who you would warn your kids to stay far from are playing huge roles in what network executives are constantly booking for another season. They do this because this is the garbage that society wants. I do not know but I would never sit for hours on end and enjoy a show that shows humans behaving despicably, acting in selfish ways to their neighbours. It alarms me to know that we have reached a stage where this is what we demand daily. I would agree that this is entertaining but networks that run these series for endless hours the show becomes insipid.

The show Real Housewives of Atlanta is depressing and we wonder why we still have certain issues in our society today. When a show can glamorise black people to be irrational thinkers, uneducated, gold diggers and unproductive to society we have a huge problem on our hands. We then wonder why people are hateful of black people; they are because they have not seen anything positive of the black race. They have not seen hardworking, educated people rising to the top (apart from Obama and a few others) and the images we should be portraying of our race are absent. So they have associated with being black all the negative ideas we can think of.

The sane reality shows and images we should be desperate for are all being chopped by business executives because they have a business to run. They cannot fund sane reality shows because it is the unpopular decision to do. After all a business is not charity organization. As a people we should start demanding productive programming. I will agree that there will always be a market for insane material but we should have options. I enjoyed watching Giuliana and Bill because it never had any crazy drama scene where they were fighting each other down and the constant bickering was absent. Whatever your tastes are you can find it. If you want to see adventure, a loving couple, hardworking people who are balancing their lives check it out. I am sure you can find other sane reality television shows to watch where it can be worth your entertaining and leisure time.

The world is now an open space. With cable television comes with advantages and sore disadvantages for any society. Cultures will begin to change and people will act differently because of the diverse influences that will now be present. The cultural values that some societies were proud of will soon go away because there are other new sometimes bad values to adapt. The images and values that these insane shows project into our societies must be challenged by positive role models (which we so lack) and shows that depict what living a stable life looks like; that is reality. There is no way we can continue to accept the negative images of our race and remain silent with it. As young people we need to separate positive entertainment from negative entertainment and break the rising trend of insane reality television.

With the recent death of Michael Jackson I am learning more about the individual he was. Born into a talent rich family the Jacksons he was destined for greatness. But with this status came many controversies that made MJ very stressful later on in life, some saying it may even have led to his death.

michael_jackson_died(2)

He was a major star, with many hits from his various albums produced.

I have sat down to watch some interviews he did and found myself amazed at how misunderstood this man was for the vast majority. His controversial court cases rocked his career for the worst making him an enemy and a paedophile. Even after his name was cleared by the court the accusations still follow him like a legacy.

His soft demeanour could be heard in his music. MJ was deeply concerned with his image. Close friends relate that he was a perfectionist taking years to produce an album and investing more than enough in music videos. The quality of his music speaks profoundly about the great artiste he was investing time and money in what he produced.

Although he is no longer with us, I can appreciate the media coverage journalists are providing giving an insight into his dark life. His music will forever live on. Michael Jackson remains the king of pop, a true icon.

Even those who hate MJ will agree with him on this point, he loved helping people. If this world would only love a little bit more the world would be a better place. Michael Jackson is a celebrity whom we have come to know from a distance. In an interview he claimed the song ‘Childhood’ was the autobiographical song of his career. If you really want to know this man listen this song, it may change your mind.

The outpouring of love from around the world shows the impact this man had on the people that enjoyed his music. Even now those who did not like his actions will come to realize this man is a real legend, a real icon, the king of Pop. Michael Jackson took the internet with him in his death. That’s the power he had.

Corve DaCosta

After leaving university graduates are normally on edge waiting for that faithful call to invite them to an interview. I was interviewed for a job recently and it went well. I was further invited for a second interview, which I was thrilled about.

But, there are certain tips that any interviewee can use to help them ace their interviews. Below I will mention some tips that individuals may use to be successful.

job-interview

Research

Companies want to know that you know the relevant information about the company. This shows your interest and also proves the fact that you did prior preparations. In the interview I was not asked about specific details as to what areas the company operated in but with my answers to different questions I highlighted the different areas the company focused on and this will prove you clearly know the company’s operations.

Be Relaxed

Being nervous in an interview is most times inevitable. However, practice mock interviews with friends or in mirror to get you acquainted with responding to the interview questions. We are in 2009 and information is at your fingertips. Check videos on tips on answering interview questions at www.youtube.com and www.google.com. It is important to add your own dynamic to the answers to make them your own but it helps for interviewees to have an idea of how to respond to a question. Ensure you communicate well, this will show you are able to bring across your points clearly.

For example: When the interviewer says ‘tell me about yourself’, it is not the time to mention what are your likes and dislikes.

Be inspiring

Job interviews can be dreadful so ensure the panel is interested in you. You can achieve this by being charismatic, cheerful, emotive and inspiring. Therefore, show interest in the position and show them that ‘wow-factor’. If you studied Marketing, Customer Service, Sales, Insurance this should not be difficult.

Punctuality

There is no given rule on how many minutes you should arrive before an interview. I would advise applicants to arrive at the establishment at least 20 minutes before your interview is slated to begin. Punctuality shows your employer great business skill and your respect for time.

Dress Code

Depending on the job you are applying for will determine in some way how formal you will be dressed. For middle to upper management a suit in my view is a must. For entry level employment your attire (shirt, tie, pants – for men) will be accepted. Dressing professionally for any interview is critical, first impressions typically last and you will want to introduce your best image to the panel.

Non Verbal Communication

When at the business location please note that you are judged the moment you step in. Please show respect to the receptionist, and any other employee you encounter. When I arrived at the business place I greeted the receptionist even other interviewees in the lobby area. You never know who is sitting where and who is watching. More than ever companies are equipped with CCTV cameras so be very careful. In the interview remain focused, keep eye-contact and have an interest in what you are doing.

An interview is the closest you will ever get to the actual job. You will have one moment to show the panel interviewing you that employing you will make their company so much better affecting its bottom line – profits. I hope the tips offered above will make you more prepared. I followed those tips and I was granted a second interview.

Now it is on to the second!

Corve DaCosta

Young vs Old

Corve DaCosta

42-17131830Many successful companies pride themselves on having the best employees. But could having a mixture of young and old make your business more successful? While the jury is out, I do believe that having the right mixture can make your business even more successful. In this article the age range thought of as young will be from 18-30 while the more mature audience will range from 31 upwards.

Many mature employees have a problem with young individuals joining their departments because they see this as a threat. This is because a young employee brings so much to the table while some may bring little. But in essence, in the professional world, many persons who join successful organizations are typically career driven and are most times motivated.

The young employee will bring smart, needed energies; innovative ideas as well as they are more connected with developing trends in society that businesses can use to grow their profit line. In this age, we have seen where companies are using social networks to be more marketable. They have coined the term Social Market Strategies. However, this is just the means where businesses use techniques such as blogging, twittering and connecting with customers on sites like Facebook. Who are they depending on to lead these new initiatives? The young, after all they are more aware of the technology and know how of the internet.

Communicating effectively with employees is imperative for a healthy work environment. Both the young and the old must share the same environment and clearly there are clashes in this regard. Where clashes occur I believe that there should be strong management in place to ensure that rules are maintained and that no employee is disrespected. When things go wrong in organizations it may take many years to solve because the same persons are in the environment. Communication is key and where age is not the only factor that separates the two, language barriers, and social etiquette are all other factors that play a role. It is left up to management now to create the right culture in organizations where both the young and the old can agree on terms in the work environment.

In business schools today, students are taught how to extend the life of a brand. The concept is the same, if management is not prepared to research, become innovative then other brands will emerge and take the market share. I believe it’s just the same with the young and the mature employees in any business. If a company is not prepared to employ young individuals who have innovative and smart ideas then be assured that that company will be losing out. Companies today must be prepared to think young and outside the box to touch markets that have been untouched and be reachable to markets that they thought they could not reach.

Young people today are filled with energies we didn’t have when we were younger. It is up to us to use those energies to make our businesses so much more than we thought it could be.