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Archive for June, 2009

I read in the Daily Nation that the Central Bank of Kenya intends to bring into effect an automated check clearing system with the maximum value of checks being capped at Kshs 1 Million as from October 1st 2009.


This will effectively reduce the number of days it takes for a check to clear from four to one – I like! When I worked in Banking in Kenya a while back, and on those days when I had to cover for someone in the Clearing Department, one of the most common occurrences was people constantly stopping by to check if their checks had cleared ( e-banking, mobile banking etc had not quite hit yet and to think that was just a few years ago!) This will definitely lead to efficiencies and also curtail check kiting to a large extent.

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Many people were Skeptical when the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Commonly referred to as Check 21) was signed into law in the US 2003 and ultimately became effective end of 2004.

Around this time I was working in banking in the US and yes, we underwent all kinds of training, trouble shooting, etc to address the upcoming switch.

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Check 21 basically enhances the efficiency of the check clearing process in the US banking system. The law facilitates check truncation by the creation of substitute checks and process check information electronically. Substitute checks can still be sent to parties that want to receive paper copies and they are deemed legally the same as the original checks. This is only applicable to US based checks – foreign checks still have to go through the foreign collections process through intermediary banks.

What this basically means is the time that it takes for checks to clear is significantly reduced. In the US, under Regulation CC – Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks , banks have the right to place checks presented under “holds” up to 11 days until the funds clear, as long as the 1st $100 is made available next day ( I am paraphrasing this Reg coz I don’t want to go Fed Reserve Legal Jargon!

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What this has translated to is this: Using Checks these days is becoming more like using your Debit Card for a vast majority of merchants. For example – at Wal-Mart, Kroger etc, people will present checks, cashiers will run the check through scanners that will record the check info via the MICR ( Magnetic Ink Character Recognition), hand the paper check back to the customer, have them sign an authorization slip and you get home, check your balance on-line and the check has been processed!

Effective and efficient – give or take! But, in my opinion the good outweighs the “bad”. Plus I know that most senior citizens with grandfathered accounts still need their paper checks sent to them – cant blame them – its what they were used to for as long as they had banking going on.
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In my opinion, Check 21 is a success and I hope the Central Bank of Kenya’s automated check clearing system will be a resounding success!

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So today, we are on an Excessive Heat Advisory till kesho jioni and for the next few days *sigh* It is HOT!….I know it is pretty hot out there because today when I was leaving my house at 715am the temperatures were 82 degrees. Driving back from lunch, temperatures were 102 degrees! BUT, as usual, I am wearing hose –it is summer so it is the sheer kind.

A little information about me and hose, or is it hose and me?

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If there was an award or a club for Panty Hose wearers – I would be a triple Platinum awardee. I just am so into panty hose – I am not talking about shapers or those other “suck it all in” kind of hose – just your regular wear to work kind of hose.

I have all kinds of hose – but my “usual” hose is a Hanes, Control Top, Sandal Foot, Gentle Brown – won’t give the size here lest creative minds begin to visualize my assets. I am petite so jijazie. It took me forever to experiment with shades and the Gentle Brown is PERFECT – you can usually not tell I am wearing hose…..I have been wearing some kind of hose for as long as I have NOT been wearing a Kamisi (which I believe is something like Form 1 second term or on those occasions when my Grandma gives me eyes to suggest there is attire I am missing) – does anyone still wear a Kamisi?

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Aside:

When we were reporting to Form 1 at our beloved high school – we were sent a list of appropriate things to buy – one of the items was Kamisi – so most of our mothers fully complied and armed us with those. Most of my friends ditched those after a quick term in favor of “bikers”. Plus my school was “liberal” in that we were allowed to carry “home clothes”. I think the rules stated “3 simple dresses”, but coming back in second term, most of us had suitcases full of all kinds of attire.

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Other kinds of Hose you will find in my drawers are – Jet Black (which I will wear with my dark colored pant-suits), Hanes – the very sheer (which is what I mostly wear in the summer with skirts), and Toeless (for the peep toe heels) etc…

A typical hose shopping replenishment trip will take me about 5 minutes – I know where to get it and what I want…Easy!

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People have asked me if I am not uncomfortable in hose even in the summer – to which end I hold: NEVER, plus I wear good quality sheer hose that only accentuates my body instead of it being a “drag”. There are those drab, heavy kinds – but I have never developed a fancy for those.
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When I began my first “official” job after college, I worked in a bank and I did the whole “ I don’t wear skirts” kinda thing seeing as my college years were spent in an assorted collection of jeans – then I discovered, there is nothing that can rival a well tailored, well outfitted skirt suit. Complete with a good pair of heels and accessories ( my usual diamond right hand ring and earrings ( I am not that into necklaces unless they are simple or bold depending on the look I want – most days I am usually without neck jewelry) – priceless look!. And I actually look really nice in skirt suits.

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I have all kinds of colors of skirt suits – from the conservative black, navy blue, brown and grey to the bold purple, royal blue, red etc. I toyed around with the idea of buying a pink suit (because I saw some awesome pink heels on sale – yes I have my priorities right) – but I have never really been a pink kind of girl – so I bought the shoes and wear them with other things….
And with my wearing of short skirt suits – comes the wearing of hose – I just like that look…..

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Now, jana I had hose issues….I was wearing peep toe heels so I had sheer toeless hose. As I was parking at work after lunch – I realized I had a run – on the front – and I was in a black on-the-knee length skirt – so the hose had to go. So I took off the hose in my car all the time praying my window tint is dark enough to “shelter” me lest passing by colleagues think they work with a “weirdo” hehehe! Oh – and I have never had such an uncomfortable afternoon being hose-less *sigh* 😦

Then I also started thinking – maybe I should have not put off shaving my legs jana evening – I am usually ok going by for 2 weeks – but that quickly changes when you are in a short skirt and bila hose….So anyway – I made it through the afternoon but it made me wonder just how accustomed one can be to things so small.

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I worked at a Bank here and when I worked at the Branch – hose wearing was mandatory – no biggie for me, but apparently a big bother to 95% of the women. One teller was once sent to the nearest store – Walgreens – to purchase and wear hose before returning to work.

In Nairobi – at the Bank where I worked, wearing hose was not mandated but 95% of the women regularly shopped for and wore hose. We even had one of those mamas that goes to Turkey or Dubai and owned several exhibitions make deliveries of hose (good quality hose) at the bank – how convenient!

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The hosiery debate is a huge one and each has their side – my side is stated with enough finality – how do you not wear hose! But at the end of the day – to each woman her own. It’s what works for you – and you should be able to feel comfortable with what you are wearing.

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But here is a link to an interesting article on hose wearing – I don’t condone some of the pros associated with hose wearing like not taking care of the feet coz they are “hidden” by hose. Hose in my opinion, needs to be enhancing your look, not hiding un- kept toe nails, non- moisturized skin and generally un-attended to feet! I have regular pedicures – self or done at a nail salon and you will NOT catch me with unsightly feet, unpolished toes etc just coz no-one can see them.

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Being confident as a person is about tending to those “hidden” things that no-one can see – be it clothes, issues, thoughts, habits etc
Try have a cool summer everyone – hydrate and take care of those things no-one can see. 🙂

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The Hosiery Dilemma

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My Kenya

Today – I said a prayer for Kenya, I thought about the country that gave me my Me-Ness! God Bless Kenya 🙂 !

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