by baldilocks

Nairobi, Kenya 2/24/2016 12:00 AM:

This post is mostly a stream of consciousness and mostly an excuse to post a few photos. The bulk of the really good photos will be posted on Saturday, for reasons specified below.

I arrived here on Monday at 8:00 PM, Kenya time, and slept great that night in a queen-sized Hilton Nairobi bed, but jet lag still hit me hard on Tuesday afternoon. My Kenyan parents have extremely comfortable couches.

Nairobi traffic is a vision of Hell. My young nephew-in-law, Samson, got out of the taxi and put his body on the line for the second photo.NairobiTraffic (1) NairobiTraffic (4)

My father lives in Rongai. He is small-statured, slim, and upright in bearing. I’m slightly taller than he is, but that’s probably due to his age. (I’ve noticed that my American parents are shrinking too.)  I’m much taller than my three Kenya sisters because my mother is tall.

JulietteandPhilipOchieng (2)

Father cares for his wife, Miss Jennifer, with the help of my sisters Lucy Adhiambo and Judith Aluoch. (Another Kenyan sister, Janet Akinyi, lives in Texas.) As a result of several diabetic strokes, Miss Jennifer is an invalid. Having taken care of my great-aunt in her last years, I empathize greatly.

Nairobi has an old crumbling feeling. The people, however, are the opposite. Young, hard-working, friendly and incredibly handsome. And I don’t just say that because I look like them. I’m just as grateful for my American heritage as of the African, but because of the former, I missed out on the smooth, blemish-free skin. And it has only been since reaching my 50s that the battle of the zits has been won. Mostly.

As far as I’ve seen, if there are morbidly obese people here, they don’t come out in public. Most everyone seems slim and graceful. I flew in on the Dutch carrier, KLM Airlines, and noticed that middle-aged Dutch people are mostly in good shape, too, not to mention really tall. O-beasts must be an American thing.

Ochieng House (1)
Ochieng House in Rongai

I was introduced to one of my two grand-nephews, Kyle, four months old.

Juliette and Kyle (5)

Tomorrow, I get to meet Nigel, two-years-old and one of the two stars of my Facebook page–the other being my American nephew, Jacob, also two. I guess there are three stars now!

My father and I were interviewed yesterday by a KTN reporter named Wilkester Nyabwa—a lovely young lady–for a human interest piece on our reunification. It will run on Saturday, Friday in the USA. I feel a tad bit like…not an imposter…but unworthy of all the hullaballoo made here in Kenya about my visit. I’ve long known that my father was famous on this continent, but felt removed from it. Not anymore. Fame makes a man think things over, to misquote a recently deceased philosopher.

Oh and my father and I exchanged copies of our books. That was really cool!

Ochieng Books (3)

For the next two days, my family and I will be away from Nairobi and out in our ancestral province. So I will be away from all things Internet, but it will be the opportunity for the best photos! Yes, I’m taking my anti-malarial meds and have my insect repellent handy.

My family members are all sweet, kind and funny. They all speak English, with Kenya having been a British colony, but I don’t yet have an ear for their accents and I did notice that, sometimes, my B-Girl/Valley Girl twang goes by them as well. It’s fun.

Everyone here tells me welcome home. Well, America is my home and always will be. But it’s nice to have two homes…and two wonderful families. Of course, it’s really just one big family.

To be continued on Saturday.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: Her Kenya Trip Expenses, Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>

baldilocks

I spoke to a young lady from the Israel Tourism Ministry Catholic Marketing Trade show

If you’re looking to find a large crowd of people who have an interest in going to the Holy Land the Catholic Marketing Trade Show is the place to find them.

You can find the web site of Israel’s ministry of Tourism here. Their facebook site is here Their twitter feed is here.

I’ve never been to Israel, Someday when DaTipJar is carrying the load perhaps I’ll go.

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All of what is done here is only made possible by you.

My goal for 2015 is Twenty Two grand which will give me a nominal living doing this.

Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid. (including my writers like Fausta)  If I can get to Forty Thousand I can afford to travel outside of New England and/or hire me a blogger to help me get it done.

Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.

Our July Premium for tip jar hitters of $50 or more is Elizabeth The Anchoress Scalia Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

Subscribe at $50 or more in and receive each monthly premium shipped the date of your payment.

All Tip Jar hits of $10 or more will get a copy of Jeff Trapani’s excellent E-Book Victor the Monster Frankenstein.

By John Ruberry

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and besides the game, another story is the plethora of Super Bowl commercials.

Yes, kickoff is hours from now, and the advertisement I’m excoriating will air on only on Fox 32 Chicago, but I’m confident that by 9pm Central Time, Mini Abe’s Spontaneous Somewhat Super Premiere, produced by the tourism office of the Illinois Department of Commerce, will be the worst commercial I’ll see.

It ends with Mini Abe, a plastic version of Illinois icon Abraham Lincoln, getting crushed by a football.

Taxpayers shelled out $127,500 for this ad.

Look out below:

What the heck was that?

Well, I’ll try to explain.

Today’s ad is a reworking of Mini Abe’s Spontaneous Fall. It was creepy then and it is creepy now.

illinois route 66
Where is Abe?

And it’s an ineffective messenger for Illinois tourism sites–the only locations I could identify in the commercial were the Willis (Sears) Tower, Pontiac and Route 66, the Chicagoland Speedway, and (I think) the Mississippi River.

But if I wanted to ride on a Zip Line with Mini Abe, where in Illinois would I do that? Mini Abe doesn’t say.

Things are not well in the Land of Lincoln.

Illinois taxpayers are burdened by $7 billion in unpaid bills and over $100 billion in pension debt. I wonder if Fox 32 demanded that $127,500 up front?

And to those people who’ll say, ‘well, the commercial only costs a bit more than $100,000,’ I offer this retort, a paraphrase of a famous comment possibly made by Everett Dirksen, Illinois’ greatest senator:

A hundred thousand dollars here, and a hundred thousand dollars there, and pretty soon we’re talking real money.

Besides corruption, Illinois government is good at only one other thing–wasting money.

As for Lincoln, first he gets shot, now he has to suffer from this Super Bowl indignity.

Update DTG:  Stacy McCain links.  I find myself wondering how connected this ad agency is.  FYI if you are a social conservative find out how to solve the AIDS crisis in a few easy steps and discover why the Dana Loesch & the Woody Allen Story are the same story.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s a brand new week and month. The days of wine and roses and having the mortgage paid a full week before it’s due is over.

Instead we are once again starting a new short month and unfortunately while it has 2-3 less days than any other the Mortgage bill is the same as any other.

So once again we have a $345 weekly goal to secure the cost of the mortgage and the payday for DaMagnificent Seven.

That means I need 17 of you to kick in $20 this week to get our monthly goals started on the right track.

Be part of another year of success, Hit DaTipJar below.

Only 55 3/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure the cost of DaMagnificent Seven & my monthly mortgage on a permanent basis. If you think blogs like this willing to highlight the double standard of the Democrats & media online & on radio are worth it, please consider subscribing and suggesting a friend do so as well.



Yes, you’re adventurous, and yes, your bucket list includes driving the PanAmerican Highway, crossing Russia, and checking out the Angel Falls.

But you will do well to read the State Department’s travel alerts and warnings before you go travel abroad. Each country’s warning/alerts pages also link to additional information.

For instance, the Colombia travel warning starts by saying,

Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogota and Cartagena, but violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities.

Mexico’s travel warning has state-by-state details, and was updated on January 9. While the situation in some states is very dangerous, other areas are relatively safe.

The Venezuela travel warning is way more alarming, for good reason (since the country has the highest per-capita murder rate), and divides Caracas in yellow, orange, and red zones for all U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to U.S. Embassy in Caracas, who “are required to take an armored vehicle when traveling to/from Maiquetía Airport.” As a tourist (emphasis added),

U.S. citizens should be vigilant of their surroundings at all times and in all locations, especially when entering or exiting their homes, hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, U.S. citizens should travel in groups of two or more persons; avoid wearing jewelry and carrying large sums of money or displaying cash, ATM/credit cards, mobile phones, or other valuables; and avoid walking at night in most areas of Venezuela or walking alone on beaches, historic ruins, and trails. Incidents of crime along inter-city roads, including carjacking and kidnapping, are common in Venezuela. Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their doors locked to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested city streets.

Sadly, Monica Spear and her husband Henry Thomas Berry (who owned an adventure travel business) ignored these warnings.

Heed the warnings. It may save your life.

Fausta writes at Fausta’s blog on Latin America/US politics and culture.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Wednesday and January 2014 continues to be the worst month the Tip Jar has seen since I started using it toward the mortgage.

Yesterday the combined take from the since January 1st finally passed the goal for a single pay week.

As for this week, we are not even 22% of the way to a full paycheck on a Wednesday. and we are on the pace for our third consecutive shortfall.

Hopefully a late surge will change that, but it can only change with your help because if we fail to meet the weekly goal

Olimometer 2.52

Then the monthly goal and the Mortgage becomes in doubt. (don’t worry Fausta DaMagnificent Seven is always paid first.)

Now if we can get 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.

It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

Can you be one of them?




While the Dollar continues to be weak we should strike while the Iron is hot:

Energy: Since a weak dollar increases the price of energy imports we should take the opportunity to drill domestically. The cost of domestic materials do not change based on an exchange rate.

Manufacturing: A weaker US dollar means that US Steel is cheaper as the raw materials for it’s manufacture are available domestically. In addition with states in dire economic straits there have incentive to make deals with holders of foreign capital looking to produce here.

Labor: High unemployment means a larger than normal skilled work force is available and can be had for a lower price than normal. Also those wages are being paid in a depressed currency.

Rents: Housing and rental prices have plummeted, foreign capital can acquire locations for a song, and may even be able to lock in favorable rates for a long term commitment.

Exports All the basic exports from America are now cheaper. American Agribusiness is still very productive and American food products are some of the safest in the world. A smart operator would make long terms deals now while the prices are low and the producers need the business.

Tourism: The US is a big country and provided you steer clear of the gangs of Chicago and the boarder area where the Mexican drug wars are overflowing it is still the safest place to see. The Natural beauty isn’t affected by the dollar’s weakness, Hollywood and Disneyland are still there and if one is into history from Lexington to Little Big Horn and all the Civil war battlefields in between you can find plenty. Almost every foreign community in the world has it’s mirror in the US. (Fitchburg for example has a Finish consulate) so people can find both the familiar and the unfamiliar.

And lets not forget that America is still the most stable country in the world, where hundreds of thousands can protest the government without dirtying the grass.

If we can’t change the circumstances of the dollar a smart administration can that the lemons we have and make lemonade.