In 2006 I would like...

Sigh. Another year, another "not much positive to report".

On the business end things look promising; I'm in a new position in a new team with my employer and got my first ever overseas training recently. It promises to be action-packed. I'm scared stiff of the challenges that come but I need to take them on full-out. I promise to realy plug away here. Although I expect it will damage my sanity even further, heh.

Now the personal side. I've gained at least 20 pounds over the last six months. I'm well over 200 pounds now. It's disgusting. I chalk it up to remaining in the office job, eating not particularly healthy (I have reduced the KFC/Ice Queen runs but still), and not taking on any physical activity whatsoever. Which is unacceptable. I hope to at least do some walking early on in the new year, graduate to jogging or skipping, and try to do some stretches or crunches or dumbbell raises.

I still don't have the means to afford a place of my own, although I have looked at at least buying property in Barbados. I want to step up that search and need to contact some of my buddies as well as browse online for options.

There are personal issues on the family front that have bothered me greatly but I will not discuss them here, just consider it another key issue that has been on my mind.

And of course, relationship issues. This has been a year where potential options have arisen. Really. Yeah, I know. Honestly. Anyway, I'm in a situation where I cannot commit in a given direction because of some factor or another, or something bothers me about how the person behaves or reacts to things or something. I don't believe in the "One", and I think that I can deal with conflicts most times, but I don't want to settle. I really want to find someone good for me, and who I can be good for. I will be THIRTY next year. And I want to be able to chase after any children that I may eventually have.

Come on, 2006. Bring peace and happiness to us all.


Too much shopping

To me, it seems that Christmas in Bermuda is way too much about the buying of presents and less about what the time of year should represent. I haven't heard as much of the "spend time with loved ones" nearly as much as the "what are you getting for Christmas" bits.

Sure, the retailers are probably more than happy to point out the importance of gift-buying to this time of year, but the emphasis on material things appears to me to be far too great. This Slate article kind of sparked me to comment briefly on it. I mean, whining about not getting everything you wanted or the like? Woy.

And this quote from the article:
"Overwhelmingly today, we assume that the way to make people happy at Christmas is to give them what they have told us they want."
- I agree. This doesn't sit well with me.

Oh yeah. While I do like buying gifts for people, I'm not fond of the experience. It's mentally draining, to look for things that may or may not be appreciated by the recipient. This is why the gift certificate business has taken off, I think. Not as tacky as cash (despite my sister telling me cash is great), but heck. This is applicable especially to clothing, where you run the risks of seeing an item as nice in your eyes but possibly not so much to the recipient's. Especially if it's a colour he/she doesn't like, too small, too large.

Yes, I have bought clothes for people this Christmas. And I'm damn scared they won't be appreciated fully. So they're disappointed in your efforts, and you're disappointed that you couldn't please them. Sigh. Next year it'll definitely be the gift certificates.


Truly despicable taxi driver

Shame on the driver of T1342, a silver-coloured taxi. It so happened that I was outside of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, when I heard some profane language uttered by him in the direction of another driver. Some pretty bad cussin', there. There was a four-year-old boy in the vicinity and when the mother of the child admonished him on this, the driver's response was a mere "So?". Absolutely disgusting.

His licence should be suspended. There is a law against using foul language on the island as well, I believe, and for someone in his position to be doing it on hotel grounds is just disgraceful.


The Annual Birthday Speech

Twenty-nine today. Wow. No wife, no house, still plugging away. Biological clock ticking. It's hard to stay positive sometimes, especially on days like these.

The good news: I have been able to restore the DAG Theory and Poetry Corner stuff on the website.

The bad news: I tried to Christmas-ize the site a bit and now it just looks wonky. I don't feel like doing much to fix it so it may stay like this for a short while. Apologies in advance, heh.

Been up to a lot since the last post. Travelled to Vancouver for training. Yes, I wish they could have sent us to Rio or Hawaii or the like, but I'll take what I can get while the getting's (relatively) good.

My bike has died. One day it just started failing when going up hills, the next it couldn't even start period. Will need to have someone look at it. In the meantime, welcome back, Pink & Blue.

I'll go into more detail later, I think, but heck it is my birthday. I'd rather not spend the whole day blogging, which is kind of a shame because I want to go into depth on what the hell has happened to Star Jones. Because, it looks like she took off way too much weight and her head looks like it belongs on someone else's body.



When it comes to the finding of the love of your life, occasionally you're surprisingly faced with more than one option. Somehow I have reached that point. And while to me this feels a bit selfish and crude reducing people to commodities, I tend to analyse each 'option' and what it would do for me. Each has their own pros and cons, are at different stages in their lives and would provide differing levels of mutual satisfaction. Of course there's no guarantee that either would work out (or even accept me). Just some mindless thoughts, something I've avoided doing on this blog but probably may do more of over time, especially what with the Blogger service not working for me recently.


Wilmington's liveable

So I took the past week to visit the United States, precisely, northern Delaware. It's the "First State", of course. And I barely won a side-bet that it did indeed have an Atlantic coast. My status as a geography nut was at stake there. Serious stuff, heh.

Being suburbia/small town for the most part, it appealed to me the way that I couldn't imagine a big city like Philly, New York or London being. It's close enough to a large city and close enough to rural areas and is quiet enough I think for where I could see myself residing if I was to leave for someplace totally new.

Spent way too much money over the week, including a new suit, tons of Playstation video games and a new flat-screen TV, but I'm not going to let myself worry about it too much, although the money could have been used for my perennial house-watch funds. Sigh.

Two things recently disturbed me. First, I was in a theatre watching the cute and funny Wallace and Gromit movie in theatres and lo! and behold, grammatical errors arose when the Wallace character picked up the local newspaper and the dreaded misuse of the word "it's" was in full glory. We are doomed if even the animators of children's flicks are screwing things up for the youth.

And Terrell Owens. Ugh. I won't give his situation any more credit than it deserves. But for Jesse Jackson to comment on it, good lord. Please, Reverend, find a more worthy cause to support. After all, the guy's got more money than 99.9% of your country's population.

Today, I've read about the call from Alabama's governor to boycott Aruba in support of Natalee Holloway's mother. Oh please. They're giving southerners a bad name with this silliness. While I do not condone causing any harm to anybody, what about all the situations in your own state and country where crimes go unsolved and killers get free on technicalities? This blog covers many of my feelings on this matter. Hm, and no mention of warning teenagers of travelling to unknown regions, drinking underage, conversing with strangers without any sort of guardian figure around at all? Twits.


Do government cars get special perks?

Simple question. Are cars such as GP 8 now allowed to carry flashing blue lights on the front? I was very confused as to whether to pull over for it when I saw it streaking behind me tonight. Surely those vehicles do not double as police cars, do they?


Autumn is here

November rolled in, and the temperatures took a quick dive. Time to break out the sweaters and put away the fans.

Daylight Savings Time is over for another year, and now we're back in sync with the rest of the world that remains on one time for the entire year. I still think Barbados could find it useful, but I do admit it's for selfish reasons. Because there's no way I can get up and run around at like 5 a.m. To me, daylight at 7 p.m. is far more useful.

I'm Booking the female rider of BD 247 because she not only saw a red light and sped up to get through it, but surely the one-handed riding and dangling her cigarette with her free hand surely must constitute some offense along the due care laws, right? Anybody?

Another day, another Halloween. It's interesting to compare how this time of year is dealt with in Bermuda and Barbados. Here, we're fully Americanised. Trick-or-treating, of course, with the counter of egging and other public disturbances, although I haven't yet heard of anything major just yet. Barbados, as far as I know, goes the other way. The day after, All Saints' Day, which is of course supposed to be the anti-Halloween, gets more publicity of sorts. Halloween is a virtual non-event there, I believe. I need to analyse it deeper, I think, but the contrast is interesting.


Stupid People Part LXXVII

Here's a neat little trifecta: waiting until making the turn before signalling, followed by driving your SUV down the middle of a two-lane street so that nobody can do anything, then ignoring the pedestrian crossing while someone was preparing to cross. Driver of 65388, you're Booked. Silly fella.

Here's another irritant at work: the use of all-caps. It just pisses me off sometimes. I received a message intended for someone with the same name as myself. The twits on the other end never bothered to check if they were sending this high-profile, confidential message to the right person. Anyway, I am busy trying to come up with an auto-reply script to all those people in Lotus Notes when I receive this follow up to tell me that they meant to send it to the other guy. Firstly, Duh. And Secondly, they're all "PLEASE disregard and delete" with all-caps. Okay. I can read. English is my first language. Shouting a word is not going to make it more visible or more urgent to me. It comes across as being bitchy about it. Ugh.

New rule: any e-mail message that consists of all-caps, the misuse of the word "its/it's" or abuse of quotes, i.e. "Thank You", gets sent to the Trash Bin. Stupid users.


My workaround for the blogging problems

It's not Blogger that's at fault for the posting problems, it's my hosting service which seems to time out constantly when attempting to update. I've been able to ftp and log into the control panel without any difficulty, but for some reason the blogging process always hiccups.

So my workaround, until either my host resolves the problem OR I find a new hosting solution, will be to publish my blog updates to my old Northrock account, then manually transfer files to my Beachlime host. Messy, yes, but it'll have to do for now. Unless I move to MovableType or something, which I have considered but need to devote some time towards.


I've gone anal on stupid people

To the rider of BD 147, while your riding skills are worthy of participating in some form of motorcross slalom, actually performing those overtaking-on-the-left then weaving outside other vehicles, is actually dangerous when doing it on a public road! You need to be taken off the road.

If I was the developer of any piece of software, I would want to ensure that my product is described clearly, without any mistakes that could discourage or put off the reader. So, when I saw that the program MultiReplace by Alphyn Software (no, I'm not linking to them) had all manner of grammatical errors in them, I didn't even bother to finish evaluating the program. It's just silly. I'm still pissed off at Madden NFL for using the word "playoff birth" when they needed to use "playoff berth".


Does anybody care about their own driving habits?

As even the Police calls for care when riding cycles in the wake of recent serious road collisions in Bermuda, it would seem that the call for motorists to avoid the "third lane" option has fallen on deaf ears. I saw quite a few people doing this as traffic approached them and they continued on their merry way. Oh well.

How about having some officers actually patrol roads where traffic could be slowed up (for rush hour, construction points, etc.) and bust offenders or at least serve as a deterrent to those who would break the law and more importantly risk the safety of all? Because for all the talk of "warn offenders they may be brought before the courts", I haven't seen it happen.

Thank you, Stuart Hayward, for also noticing this.

And shame on the rider of 800 AD for creating their own extra lane by riding their bike on the sidewalk outside Lobster Pot to get ahead of waiting traffic. Personally if I was a pedestrian I would hold my ground instead of making way for that idiot and others who think that they have the God-given right to drive as they please whenever it suits them.


Racing and Parking

On the Emmy-winning show The Amazing Race(Family Edition), the team that won the episode's leg of the race received the prize of a trip to Bermuda to stay at the Fairmont Southampton Princess hotel. Host Phil Keoghan messed up by saying there was a 9-hole golf course when it's really 18-holes (but all par 3s), but that's okay. A nice little plug to get the island mentioned on network television, I'm sure both the Fairmont Group and the Tourism Board will be pleased. But if Ewart Brown takes credit then I will sock somebody.

In the wake of a few recent serious road collisions, shame on the driver of 24794 for cantering through a red light at an intersection. Why don't people realize that when the light turns yellow, you should at least slow down and at red stop? Yellow should not mean that "you can still go a bit further but hurry up a bit"?

Parking in the city is a real chore. On a bike, you'd think that options would be available but nope. I really hate to think of what will happen when the new large office building opens up across the street and when the Par-la-ville car park is demolished to make way for a hotel or something. The only way to travel may be by helicopter.


I now have a record

Actually, it's just a parking ticket. So it's not really that sexy.

Anyway. Not too long ago, some geniuses at Corporation of Hamilton, or government, I'm really not sure who determines what should happen to a city car park, chose to lay some tarmac over a space containing about 10 bike parking areas. No sign to indicate what was happening, and I don't think it was announced anywhere. I think most of us assumed that they were laying it down to make it smoother for us who had to park there or something (of course that didn't work, if you parked there, the tarmac would melt around your kickstand by midday).

However, people continued to park bikes there without any issue for months. The only reason in retrospect that I could think of as to why they would want to remove the bike bays is if car drivers had problems navigating around that area - in which case maybe they should have removed a car bay or two instead and widen the roadway, but again I don't make those decisions.

I heard a rumour that someone got ticketed for parking there about a week and a half ago but paid it no mind. Surely there was no reason for it, there was no sign indicating that bikes cannot be parked in the area previously marked as such.

Lo! and behold, today I emerge from another hard day at the office and see the line of bikes, at least 9 of them, decorated with those ugly (and sometimes hard to remove) parking tickets complete with bright, bold, yellow, mailing envelope.

It's just baffling, that with new office buildings going up constantly, the powers that be have been reducing the parking space of especially cycle riders. I'd like to see it addressed somehow, but I'm not holding my breath. I honestly do think that there are plans to eventually cordon off any sort of parking whatsoever for cyclists and eventually force them to pay a fee in order to park in the city. This does nothing of course, to encourage people to NOT drive cars into the city and choose public transportation instead. Nothing!


Another driving twit, this one a teen

I must be in a pissed-off mood concerning idiot drivers. This female,
clearly an MSA student judging by the uniform, riding <b>909 AF</b>,
gets Booked for the multiple annoyances of bad overtaking of both myself
and a taxi who was preparing to overtake a bicyclist, plus honking their
horn as if they were tapping to some over-hyped song. Girl, go back to
Project Ride, pronto.


Not comfortable behind this particular driver

This is a short entry here, but it had to be done. I'm booking the
driver of 15828, whose blue car already looked like it had been
in its fair share of collisions, for firstly meandering too much on that
middle line and coming within an inch of knocking an oncoming car's side
mirror right off, then doing the very bizarre gesture of putting on his
left turn signal just because we were on a left bend. There was zero
reason for it. No wonder the car looked worse for wear.


I'm Avoiding Politics

An old friend suggested that if I wanted to draw in more traffic to this website, I could consider adding a political aspect. Something where I'd invite people to comment on the issues facing the island.

Limey does a great job on his own and there are sites such as Christian Dunleavy's out there for viewing as well. So it's not like I'd be a pioneer for discussing local politics.

While I do fall under the seemingly large quantity of people who are dissatisfied by the system and dissatisfied with all political parties and their tactics of blame-game, etc., I'm also dissuaded from venturing into that arena. For one, it's a subject that gets heated all too quickly and falls apart into unwinnable 'debates' between inflexible minds. I don't have the strength of will to moderate such a forum. If someone were to raise such a topic on the Beachlime Forums, I wouldn't hesitate to acknowledge and discuss freely but as part of the general web experience here? Ah, no.

I attended the wedding of a close buddy yesterday. Actually, I got put on music duty so didn't catch the ceremony itself except what I overheard or peeked in to see. And it sucked when I discovered that the player did not like the CDs provided and we wound up with no music anyway, but I digress. I like weddings, especially the type that we had yesterday. Nothing flamboyant or gaudy, but classy and dignified. The reception afterwards was a nice affair, and the couple clearly were tremendously into each other. It was touching. And no, I didn't catch the garter. Actually I don't know what happened to it. I think the groom kept it to himself for later in the night, heh.

I'd like to think that I'd be in that situation one of these days.


Goodies of the week

The silliest exerise in driving: putting on your turn signal two seconds after actually beginning your turn. So to the driver of 32176 who of course was yakking away on his cellphone and couldn't maintain a steady speed at all, you're Booked. Dishonourable mention to the truck driver who (twice) figured the zebra crossings actually granted him the right of way, not the people trying to cross the street.

Here's an interesting Letters to the Editor section, namely the portion that asks about using 'abandoned' properties to help with the problem of housing so many of us. However, as always, there is no tangible incentive for property owners to create rental units for regular joes when you can set up condos and get more buck for your bang. Sigh.

There have been reports that Bermuda may be considered as a location to shoot the next James Bond film. That would be awesome for many reasons, including a great promotion for the island that would beat most of the tourism campaigns pushed forward recently. However, Bermuda is an expensive place to shoot and I imagine there would be work permit hell for the producers to deal with. But it would be nice to have something filmed here to wipe away the stench of the mediocrity that was Bermuda Grace.

Finally, and this was totally at random, I bumped up on the site for the Holy Trinity Church in Bermuda. Putting aside the lamentable fact that the page is still in an "Under Construction" state, it's pretty sad that of the four nearby tourist attractions, only two remain available. The Castle Harbour Golf course I think has just reopened after renovations, the Glass Blowing place is no more and the Perfumery closed down this year, to be replaced by a house (or a set of condos), and for some reason neither had been protected as a Historical Site. And I won't even get into the issue with who the site still lists as the Rector.


All's well for now

Hurricane Nate passed to oue south-east sometime Thursday morning, bringing wind and rain but nothing severe. There's Tropical Storm Ophelia hovering off the coast of Florida and right now nobody's certain what it'll do over the next few days. Two years ago at this time, we were at the "F" name level fot storms, now we're already at letter "O". At this rate we may go right through the whole alphabet of names!

The Department of Statistics produced a survey dealing with incomes that I think is quite misleading. For one, they surely never interviewed me because the weekly income numbers that they're quoting are way above what I'm making so I'm already bitter before everything else. Anyway, they've split the results by race. It would have been far more useful to split the results by nationality. Compare numbers for expats and locals and if need be, further split it by race. There are several black expats and several white locals on the island. The only thing I realized from this: I need a raise. Or another job. Oh, and also that if I lived on my own, I would be well behind the median line! Crap.


Tropical activity

I've yet to really comment on the devestation of Hurricane Katrina. News of it is everywhere - the massive flooding, the possibly thousands of lives lost, the anger at people that the federal government has been so slow in providing aid, the questions of race being a factor in the rush to assist,...

It's absolutely crazy. For such a catastrophe to take place in the world's richest and powerful nation and for there to be such a delay in providing assistance, makes you wonder about things. I know that I would be driven insane by the situation if I was caught up in the chaos of no power, water, food, dodging looters, in sweltering heat and humidity. My thoughts are with the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The post-Katrina situation has weighed a bit more heavy on my mind today as I see that Tropical Storm Nate is hovering in the Atlantic and projected to come within a couple of miles (single digits!) of Bermuda sometime Friday morning. How would Bermuda cope with a Cat 4 storm if Nate got to a Katrina level? Our building codes are of course very stringent and our houses (if you can afford them, heh) designed to withstand hurricanes. We wouldn't likely suffer flooding and our reefs would help against any storm surge. Tornados could be an unavoidable problem, however.

Hurricane Fabian (a strong Cat 3) whacked us pretty well not too long ago - direct hit - also resulting in four local deaths. But I'm still concerned, the next one could do even more damage.

Who was the smart guy who decided that the term "www" needed a shorthand version? I heard a TV commercial where the woman promoted a site as "triple w dot whatever". I think it's pretty bad when people have to invent net lingo for something as simple as "www". But I don't hate it as much as the announcers who forget how many letters they use... "double you double you dot whatever" - Somebody proofread his typecopy already! It's Three Double-Yous! Okay, let me get off this rant.

And one more rant before I'm done. I saw the reappearance of the "Gourmet Pizza's" sign and figured that I need to get that on camera or something. Even if I have to buy a disposable and scan the image. Just to give my gallery something new to gawk at. Or provide you with impetus to say "that guy needs a life instead of snapping pix of tacky signs".


Why don't they implement cameras at intersections

Dear Bermuda Government,

After watching other jerks such as the rider of AW081 blatantly run a red-light at the Cedar Avenue/Victoria Street intersection (the light was red when he approached it, he overtook me as I waited then went through after looking both ways, - he watched his Sesame Street, I suppose), I urge you to consider implementing a system of cameras at traffic lights and other intersections to catch violators of the law and dangers to our pedestrians and other motorists.

After you complete your most-worthy $25,000 private car park for Ministers that will surely be of great benefit to the community, perhaps you can spare a little time to address this issue before there is a serious collision. It may very well save the life of one of you.


Don't get me watches, sunglasses or other accessories

Even though Washington Street (North) is a two-way street, the rider of AT815 figured a good way to get to the head of the line was to overtake using the other lane and go from there. She had to make a quick adjustment when she discovered that a car (shocking!) was turning into that particular lane. The sad thing is that I think this happens more times than not, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a car driver make the mistake of believing the street was two-way.

Just about a month after I spent $75 on a pair of sunglasses (recall, my eye infection - and was recommended to purchase a pair asap), they're gone. In a bout of laziness/carelessness, I was attempting to carry a bunch of items home and decided it was smart to put my cap in the front compartment of my bike and slide my shades on top of them while putting one of my bags in the seat compartment and hanging the other bag on the hook in front. Stupid. Somwehere along the line they probably slipped out and I didn't notice, I suppose because I was thinking more about getting home in the rain.

So I get home and realize they're missing. Made a phone call but no luck. One of the things that I was loaded with was a batch of egg rolls and somehow I forgot to put them in the fridge as my mind was elsewhere (I had KFC, go figure) with getting dinner and worrying about the shades. So yesterday afternoon I discover that and have to throw the egg rolls away. So 2-for-2, although the shades were way more important.

Historically I've never had any success with accessories. Watches get lost (or stolen), shades get lost (or broken), and the two times that I've had jewelry (once a bead necklace thing, once a gold bracelet thing - don't ask, because you know I don't even like men's jewelry) they've been stolen. So please, never ever get me accessories.

Meanwhile I'm going to have to get a new pair of shades. I'll be at the pharmacy getting some el cheapos if I can. No more brand-name stuff. Ever.


Back up to speed

The Forums have been tidied up for the time being thanks to the upgrade and adding some mods to allow users to register via visual confirmation and this should discourage the pesky bots from getting in and whatnot.

I'll be resuming my mini-projects sometime soon, such as the Hearts guide, new icon pack and eventual conversion of the Whappenings to something more controllable by myself.

I haven't ranted about traffic craziness here in some time, but I have a couple of observations.

The first is again how some people still don't get the protocol regarding roundabouts. It is [b]not[/b] about who gets there first, it's about giving way to traffic coming from the right and proceeding otherwise. I saw a woman stop at her Give Way sign and try to wave someone through when she had the right of way. Luckily there was only a single motorcyclist behind at the time. But that kind of behaviour could easily lead to a collision.

The second one is a bit more hazy. When I first went to Barbados to study, I was perplexed at how regular pedal cycles had licence plates. It didn't seem to fit. However, now that I'm back here and see some people on the streets doing their wheelies and swerving about in the road and the sidewalk, perhaps implementing legislation should be considered. And no, I'm not talking about putting this on kids' new little bicycle with training wheels and the like. Just bicycles that are to be ridden on the roads. Provide some accountability. And those who race in sanctioned events would be allowed a bit of leeway when they are in competition. Plus it will help when reporting the jokers for their violations (especially the ones with no headlights after dark) and they can be identified by more than "on a black mountain bike", for example. I could really use some feedback on this.


Congratulations to the Hacker

A malicious hacker has succeeded in his mission to frustrate me with the website. I'd give him mad props for wasting 20 minutes of his time which led to me wasting as of now 3 days (this number will grow, believe me) trying to restore things. I hope he was able to gather up more than the measly 10 e-mail addresses that he can sell to mass-spammers.

In a bout of frustration combined with tiredness, I attempted to upgrade the Forums with the latest version of phpBB, but I think I erred and overwrote the config.php file and now I'm stuck with what could be a irrecoverable situation. That plus the fact that I can't blog anything (I will be manually putting this entry onto the site) turns my site into the old 1990s style lask-of-updates kind of craphole.

In other news, I was a passenger in a car that was side-swiped by some driver in a hit-and-run situation. My belief, as well as that of the police officers who came to file the report, is that the driver was likely drunk and didn't want to stop because they'd get booked for impaired driving. If there's a silver lining, it's that he or she took a good chunk of damage himself or herself. After all, we managed to get their BLUE headlight cover as our souvenir (well, until the Police took it for their records, heh). I'll be watching the streets for the jackass, though.


Trying to post again

I've downloaded a copy of Movable Type and Nucleus CMS, and will be evaluating them sometime soon as an eventual replacement for Blogger which at this time is still not publishing my blog with any success.

Some malicious joker invaded the Forums and hacked the index page. Grr. But it did alert me that I needed to keep the Forums updated with the latest versions for all the security leaks that may be exposed from time to time. So sometime soon I'll be attempting to upgrade the forum pages.

A good friend of mine apparently will become a new parent - so the streak continues. I'm getting called "Uncle" quite a bit recently. I love kids. But it's a little bit weird.

My girl, Andrea, that's right, I'm claiming her because after all we were the tightest of physics buddies back at Harrison College (and let me tell you, A-level physics was really tough), continued to rock with a 6th-place performance at the Worlds. Just short of a medal, but imagine being classed as one of the top racers in the world. Incredible.


Email: Worried about my eyes

Once again I'm now wondering about my own mortality.

Went to the opthamologist's office today. Oddly enough a third different doctor was on hand to examine my eye. Apparently the prescription has worked well and I can now begin to gradually wean myself off of the Pred Forte. However the doctor thinks that there may be something else with my eyes, and asked me to check up on my family history relating to glaucoma.

Dang. Glaucoma is one of the common words you hear about concerning eye problems (along with cataracts). So now I'm pretty concerned. I'm doing some research today at http://www.glaucoma.org/ to learn about this ailment. I'm still under 30 so it would be rare for me to develop it just yet but I probably am at higher risk due to my ethnic background and possibly family history (I'm not sure of the whys but both of my parents do use prescription eyewear at times).

I cherish my vision and would not wish to lose my sight so I'm taking this stuff very seriously. My field test isn't until November but I'm going to be wary of everything up to that date.


Email Blog: Booking and more Bad Spelling

I'm Booking driver of taxi T1396 for failing to signal left before
turning off, in addition to the failre to realize where the line to stop
at a traffic light was.

So, in the spirit of Lynne Truss, I spot my first egrerious punctuation
catastrophe on a banner outside the Four Star Pizza restaurant (soon to
be renamed) in Flatts Village. Yep, the sign was for "Gourmet Pizza's".

Let the revolution begin. Why is it that only English is getting mangled
by people? You don't hear of bad grammar in French or Spanish or Russian
being contagious all over the place.


Politics of Education and other news

UBP candidate Christian Dunleavy in a newspaper column called for a public inquiry as to why the graduation rate from Bermuda's public schools was only 53%. The Minister of Education responded with something that attacked Dunleavy on the grounds of his own educational upbringing, deemed him unqualified to comment, did a bunch of things, but really gave absolutely no answer as to why the rates were so abysmally low, or what the Department plans to do to try to get the numbers to something close to okay.

Yes, Dunleavy could possibly be using it as a political football. Yes, he could be questioning openly the parents or whatever societal constraints are leading to such results instead of Government. But the fact remains that nearly half of the students leaving high school aren't qualified to do so. And something should be done about it.

And I just realize that I've probably broken a couple of grammar rules in the previous two paragraphs. I may need to re-read that Lynne Truss book again.

Peter Jennings passed away Sunday night. Of all the U.S. news personalities, I enjoyed him the most. He had great knowledge of the events that he covered and appeared to take such a personal interest in them, including the international news that went ignored by others. Many people will miss him.

To the rider of BF956, not only are you Booked for some dangerous overtaking in the Flatts area, you also have a missing (broken?) tail-light. That is all.

And this? What the heck? It's a couple of years old, the story, but dang.

The World Track and Field Championships are going on right now, not that you'd notice unless you stumbled onto it randomly on the Web. Obadele Thompson, the pride of Barbados, struggled in the 100m. Hopefully he'll bounce back to championship form in time for one more Olympics.


Web publishing whatzits

So now, I'm having problems publishing the ol' Whapennings Column. I'm not sure if the fault is with the Blogger service or with my web host. I need to investigate this a bit and perhaps tinker around with some settings on both ends.

I came across a couple of variations of the Nigerian 419 scam, this one pertaining to seeking roommates. Be watchful, dear readers. It's serious stuff.

After further browsing along this intriguing topic I wandered onto the www.419eaters.com site which deals with baiting the scammers, and beating them at their own game sometimes! Fun, but I wouldn't want to try this myself. Me, I just delete the emails as they come in (I used to get a fair bit of these e-mails a while ago but it's died down recently).

Of course my favourite Urban Legends debunker, urbanlegends.about.com, has a small listing of 419 scams to go along with all the other good stuff about spam, urban legends, hoax alerts and the like. Visit that site.


I'm back in business

For now, anyway. Got home internet access working for the time being so I'm milking this baby until I fall over. Have a lot to catch up on.

I want to post about my completion of Lynne Truss's (or is that Truss', eh?) "Eats, Shoots & Leaves", but I'll do that later.

My eyes feel much better, but I still have to take these two sets of prescription eye drops for the next 12 or so days. Hope these fix the problem for good. My right eye has never looked better. However, from the other side, it's blurry looking out of it right now. Hopefully that will clear up shortly.

Cup Match, our annual TWO-DAY HOLIDAY set up primarily for a cricket match, was good, with a thrilling conclusion and some very controversial aftermaths involving possible xenophobic statements, on-field altercations, questionable umpiring, and a tussle over broadcasting rights. Crazy. But St. George's won... yay!


Apologies, but there's so much drama

I have been out of action this past two weeks because of an eye infection that's more of an irritant than actual injury. It gets to the point where I cannot look at a screen for too long, I've had to miss a couple of days from work, and the worst part about that is that because it's an eye issue, I can't even pass the time by reading, watching TV, or going outside to hang up clothes or do yard work.

I'm schduled to be taking some new super-strength combo of eye-drops for the next three weeks now. Sigh. But at least I'm not going 'under the knife', right? What this also means is that I'm going to be doubtful to watch Cup Match this year, and I have no idea if I'll be any good to participate in any more flag football games (my team made the playoffs, yay!)

As insult to injury, since the Blackout of 2005, I've been unable to sign on to the Net from home so can't check e-mail or sports scores or anything like that. Maybe that's for the best as I'd be off the home PC. But still. Finally get some unlimited access (still dial-up, mind you), and I couldn't even enjoy that for the past couple weeks.

Maybe I can get someone else to post until I'm 100% again. Volunteers?


About the London terrorist attack

Bermuda's qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup was tempered
mightily by the news of the tragedy in London. The Royal Gazette front page
illustrates the contrast with a split page view of the top news stories in
the island.

I have friends and work collegaues that live and work in the London area
so that event hit a little closer to home. I've travelled on bus and on
the Underground. Whoever was responsible for orchestrating this, they're
completely deranged. I hope they're caught. There is no justification
whatsoever for committing such a crime against so many innocents.


Approaching the Big Three-oh

Side-note: Boy, it is so frustrating to write a post in the Blogger window, try to select the text to copy it somewhere in case it gets lost, then the text vanishes and it's lost already before you can get your click-copy performed. Grrrrr! I'll try to reproduce my previous thoughts below anyway. I'm using Notepad first because I don't trust the IE/Blogger combo-whatzit anymore. Note to self: Never use the shift-left click function with this.

One of my good buddies is now a new father. Congratulations to the SMD.

A work colleague (and now also a teammate in the Flag Football League) is turning 30 this weekend. He and his wife have been married for a couple of years now I think, and have a baby boy (was born on my birthday, and how cool is that). They're a great couple and I admire them.

All of this has gotten me thinking again (I know, yet again) on my own aspirations. I'll hit that 'landmark' age in about a year and a half. I would like to start a family. And while I know that there may be a couple of avenues that I can take in pursuing this idea, it's primarily scary because it's an unknown frontier with no guarantees, it won't be inexpensive and difficult decisions would need to be made.

While I've been trying to plan for the future by saving as much as I can and hoping to invest in property, I should plan for the present as well, I think.

Check in with me a month from now, and I may not be as passionate on this as I am now. It varies from week to week. I do need to find some time where I can think solely about this, and perhaps plan for both the future
and the now accordingly. I'm not getting any younger.

In other news: summer is here. Getting quite warm, although not yet at the levels of Barbados in heat or humidity. I signed on with a team in the Flag Football league, which is good news. I play the CB/LB position which I'm best suited for I think. May see a couple of snaps on offense but I know for a fact I don't have the conditioning at this time to double-up anyway. Heh.


Dreaming of card games

For the first time that I can recall, I dreamt about Hearts.
Big A* Hearts.

Yep, the sensation of the nation, my favourite card game. In the last deal before I woke up, I was struggling to avoid the Hog as the other players at the table attempted to pile the counts in my hand, me barely avoiding the dreaded 119 but taking plenty of punishment.

Yep, I'm into that game. It also confirms what I want to add next to the site, a Big A* Hearts guidebook of sorts. More later.


New idea for making a little money on the side

Suffering from a heavier workload the past few days. It was inevitable, what with my direct manager and semi-manager both away, so memories of my May vacation are rapidly fading away. Heh.

Would you believe that I saw a repeat of last week's traffic-light dodging today? The rider of BB 477 peered around to see if traffic was coming, then took off. What can I say.

After passing an 'accident' site - a cop was talking with the teenage rider of a moped that apparently hit or was hit by a car - I reached Flatts where the rider of AW 421 darted his way into traffic just in front of me. I saw him all the way, but boy that was blatant.

I wonder if the Police would take me seriously if I applied for a part-time job of traffic warden at one of those spots. I could just stand there in uniform and see how those drivers and riders react, if they continue to knowingly break the law or actually pay attention to the rules of the road.

Finally, I love The Onion. It's a usually-funny satire and I visit there fairly often. And this article, is DAG Theory pumped up, in a way. Ah, the ol' "Friend Zone". Run away if it approaches!


I just had to Book this idjit

I was thinking that maybe I'd be Booking the idiot drivers a bit less since it's become more of a talking point among the community at large, but when I witnessed the rider of 080AH swerve past cars and then blatantly go through a red light, I couldn't hold back.

Shortly afterwards, his separated-at-birth twin brother sped past traffic going down Palmetto Road hill despite traffic coming up in the other direction, on 199AH. Must have been time for the Daily Double.

Will we hear of bozos like this in court? Unlikely. All that there seem to be are the few speeders and the parking ticket people. Maybe change is coming.


Learning from Barbados

It's been an uneventful past week here. I've since returned to Bermuda and work (blech) but am grateful that the temperatures are still cooler than that of Barbados (scorching) and Miami (where I spent four hours wandering around at a mall while in transit).

Stace, I apologize again. I'm going to owe this woman big-time. Only got to see her and her new addition Antonio once on the trip. Meanwhile, due to bad timing, Dr. Donna was on holiday during my vacation so I missed a chance to see Arianna. Meanwhile today I got to see my friend Gills and her newest one, Sarah. Ah boy, me and babies... but that's a whole other chapter of DAG Theory.

What I've been able to take back to Bermuda is that traffic really is bad in Barbados, Bermuda still has ways to catch up, although the problem with Bermuda is that unlike Barbados, there are no real open areas where traffic actually is mild for a stretch. Plus, Hamilton is slightly better-equipped for vehicular traffic than Bridgetown, which really is a pain to get through. They may need to consider moving the capital to another area (or at least, half the businesses).

I was a live spectator at the craziest end to a One-Day International ever. South Africa won the game by one run after the Windies batsmen decicded to swing for the fences, instead of pushing for the single to tie and then let the established batsman try for the winning single. It's a bad epidemic that seems prevalent not only in the Windies but in Bermuda cricket as well. It's a thinking man's game and in this age, you can't get by on raw power alone, you have to be a chess-player. As I write this, the Windies have completed a good Test win over Pakistan so maybe things are turning for the better.

Oh, and yep I hope they plan the new Kensington Oval properly, because traffic to that will again be bedlam.

It was good to visit Barbados, if only because I got to dust off my cards for some lively games of Hearts. Some day I will have to put up again the old Big A* Hearts chronology on the website. Ah, the classics. Oh, and I claimed like 6 hogs during the trip. Another successful stint. Yay.

And as for Booking people, I think that the population is finally seeing the light as seen in a few letters (and Limey's column) to the Royal Gazette.


Bajan Bits: Movies

One of the things I like most about Barbadiana is the under-appreciated "double feature". That's right. Pretty simple, but it's so cool that I can spend the equivalent of six American dollars and get to watch two new movies instead of one.

I'll get to the main feature in a bit, but the first movie was "" and although Tommy Lee Jones is now a cariacature of himself, he pulls it well enough and there's good enough eye candy (led by the increasingly more gorgeous Christina Millian) to make this comedy worthy. And no, I'm not a critic so don't bother to argue with me :-)

The main event of course was Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. I won't comment on the increasing and more annoying trend to name TV shows and movies with preposterously long titles that are practically sentences (whoops, I just did, heh). I don't think this movie will surprass Titanic for earnings dollars, but definitely has a good leg up for artistic effects, fight choreography and digital animations. With a moon stage with enough lava to make Mordor seem like a picnicky place, it's brilliant. The story has enough predictability, and enough violence to challenge even its PG-13 rating. Fun flick. No spoilers, but R2-D2 is the bad-ass here :-)

Of course, the bad thing about movie-going in Barbados is that the patrons are way too loud for my liking. It's like etiquette goes out of the window here. Nowhere else I've been that's had this. A bit of a black eye I think.

That's my half-way update after my vacation in Barbados. It's just nice to be away from the workplace for a bit. Everybody should try it. Anyway. More later.


Good ol' Vacation

I'll be in Barbados for several days starting on the 7th. I'm not sure if I'll continue to Book bad drivers in Barbados, I'm sure I'll find myself frustrated at a few things but I'll be primarily a pedestrian or passenger when I'm down there so will be crossing my fingers that some joker doesn't side-swipe me.

I was disturbed the other day when a woman who I held a door open for, appeared to make every effort not to look at me. It's not like I expect a "thank you", but an acknowledgement would be the nice and proper thing to do. Or if you feel offended by the gesture (which I won't discount considering that some women could get anal about this kind of thing), let me know. Otherwise I just wonder if it's because she has an elitist complex, think I'm the hired doorman, or even has racial issues to deal with. I don't know. I doubt that it's the latter, but who knows.

I'll be blogging occassionally when I'm down there. Hopefully I'll be able to meet up with my fellow Beachlimers, influence the third member of the Network to stop slacking off and publish something (you know who you are, heh), and get to relax and seek out a few things. And by 'things', I mean property. Oh stop that,... I mean land of course.


Crazy people, crazy situations

If I owned a cinema, one of the things that I would want to do is have separate screenings - one for those who knew not to talk during the movie, and one for all those who can't keep their traps shut.

Another example of what we have to deal with regarding crime is here. The Police spends a large amount of time trying to find this guy to try him on certain charges, but eventually it comes to naught because apparently a witness backed out of testifying.

This island suffers a lot when it comes to these kinds of trials because it's a small community, everyone knows everyone, and what with the reports that people in prison have access to mobile phones, it's not hard for someone facing trial to perhaps nudge a potential witness to reconsider their intentions. There's too little trust in the Police by the public, and perhaps a better witness protection programme needs to be implemented. A friend remarked to me that if you're more likely to walk free if you kill someone as opposed to stealing or using illegal drugs. Talk about incentives.

Limey has gotten into the discussion as well with a worthy debate here.


Sweet Dreams Are Made of This - maybe

I've never been one to subscribe to the theory that dreams are the precursors to reality, or whatever the phrase is. While I've had many crazy dreams, they've all been simply that, dreams. I tend to nearly never have dreams involving people that I know (or involving people such as Gabrielle Union). Even the more erotic ones have involved people I've never met or could not recognize as a celebrity.

It was quite weird when I had a dream the other day in which I believe I had sex with a female friend. Now we already know that I have tended to be attracted to at least some of my female friends. However, I really try to avoid thinking of them in a sexual manner. Why? I think I don't want to come across as disrespectful in any way, and perhaps by allowing for things approaching lust to cross my mind, I cross that boundary. Agree or disagree with this thought process in the Forums, if you like. Heh.

What makes this situation a little more intense is that I have had a crush on this woman for a fairly long time now. We're good friends. A mutual friend has already at least once hinted to me that we should hook up. I think even the woman herself may have had the idea pass through her mind. When I woke up, I had a very strong urge to call her - I hadn't seen her in a few weeks as well. I didn't make the call though. What would I say?

Was this dream an actual sign and a pleading by my subconscious to actually do something about the current relationship? Or was it just another typical 'who knows, alternate universe' scenario that shouldn't affect my normal decision-making process? I don't know.


Road Rants & Other Issues

Again, people in Bermuda generally don't know how to use the indicator signals on their vehicles. In addition to those who indicate a left turn without turning left (the indicator is apparently to show that they're in the left lane when they're already IN the left lane) at a roundabout, there are those who choose to show their indicator signal while they're already making the turn instead of before making the turn. It's atrocious.

The Royal Gazette Letters to the Editor section was interesting today. The first letter concerns the housing situation in Bermuda. This writer wonders if a better plan was affordable rentals as opposed to ownership, which makes sense considering that the land supply is finite. Second and third letters concern Independence, the big buzz word around here lately, well at least as far as the government is concerned. The second one was written by a former classmate of mine. It's good to hear my peers speak out in the media about issues.


I hate Bermuda's drivers

Saturday night, it poured heavily. Unfortunately I'm riding at the time and I got drenched THREE times by oncoming cars whose drivers decided the best way to go through a deep water puddle was to do it quickly. Thanks a lot, guys. Now I may have the beginnings of a cold or something. Just peachy.

Still on the driving front - the recent court case regarding a young girl getting struck and killed by an oncoming car at a pedestrian crossing failed to bring any satisfactory result. It was ruled to be a straight-forward accident. It seems that a number of smaller mishaps combined to contribute to the tragedy - with everybody and yet nobody at fault.

I was later informed that pedestrian crossing laws differ when in Hamilton (our capital city) and outside the city. Apparently the drivers are not required to stop to let pedestrians cross when outside of the city limits. Pretty ridiculous. Why build them if they're not there to give pedestrians the right of way? Unfortunately I cannot verify this because the Road Laws are not available from the Bermuda Government website. Sheesh.

A good number of Bermuda's drivers need to read and understand the laws in the first place, but if the laws themselves are unavailable or outdated (or both) then what else do we expect but a whole bunch of crashes and other traffic incidents that can lead to tragedy?


Yay for Daylight Savings Time

Aside from the lost hour of sleep, there's something rejuvenating about the first day after switching our clocks forward an hour. To look outside and see the sun still out and looking at the clock and seeing that it's only like 7:30pm, it's refreshing. That's one of the positives of springtime in Bermuda.

I think that Barbados should push its clocks forward an hour permanently - from a selfish point-of-view, I'm not enthused about the sun up at 5am and it being bright and hot by 7, and the sun down by 6pm or whatnot. I think it'd be worthwhile to have a longer actual day - I think businesses could get behind that idea, although if I'm not mistaken the average workday there is 8-4 instead of the North American 9-5. Interesting.

Pope John Paul II passed away recently. Congrats to all those who persevered and picked him in their Dead Pool this year. Seriously, it's a bit stunning. He was well-respected by the majority of the global community, despite his hard stances regarding contraception, abortion rights and homosexual marriage. Already the media is creating buzz about the battle for his successor. Figures.


Michael Jackson Overhype

So Michael Jackson, accused of sexually abusing young boys, decides to go on Jesse Jackson's radio show to claim his innocence. That's fine in itself, I suppose, he's not breaking any laws or violating his gag-order or what-not.

He then goes on to compare his situation with that of Nelson Mandela. That's right, the man who was jailed for years because of his stance against apartheid, one of the worst disservices against fellow human beings ever. Yes, Michael Jackson, who's only famous for signing and being a benefactor to plastic surgeons everywhere, is almost equivalent to Mandela. Oh yeah, also Jesse Owens and Mohammed Ali.

He should compare himself more to O.J. Simpson if he wants to talk about conspiracies, although it wouldn't be in his best interest, would it? But it's definitely a far closer parallel.


Lest we forget

These are the Ides of MarchTM but so far, so good. No chaos over here, although it seems to be happening to some of my friends. To them, I hope their luck improves.

Meanwhile, I haven't Booked anybody in some time. But today's lucky guest is the rider of bike BD109, who committed the double deed of overtaking on the left, and then turning without using an indicator signal. Congratulations!

I so need a vacation.


Web standards

The key to getting something to work in HTML and CSS is to ensure it meets the W3C standards. Because I'm stuck with IE at work, whenever I modify code, I can only test it in that application, and it's notorious for its non-compliance with the standards. So when I get home and see how it looks in a compliant browser such as Firefox, things are all out of wack.

By ensuring that your HTML and CSS code validates - in this case, I had to test my CSS pages in the W3C Validator, which immediately threw in my face tons of error notes that were easily fixable - you're almost guaranteed good working code that will be acceptable in most modern web browsers. And it also spared me a big headache.

[/end web geek talk]

What does this mean? For starters, I've now gotten my home page to appear more like how I envisioned it, although the code isn't as clean as it could be. Having my latest Whappenings bit on the home page is very nice, and seems to avoid the occasional "not available" messages I got from my old third-party app. I've also added a weather piece to the home page for all those wondering how things are in Bermuda and in Barbados.

What's next? A new contact form to replace my old mailto link so as to defy the spambots, is high on my list. I have a new Tsehay poem to add to the Poetry Corner. There's also other things that are in store, so stick around.

And finally, this story, absolutely funny. Sars from TwoP discusses that intelligent vacuum Roomba in this crazy piece right here.


Top o' the day to you

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I wish I actually knew personally any Irish people. The only Irish thing that I have any affiliation with is the odd Guiness every now and then. Heh.

Working on a new layout for the home page, something to give the viewer (hey that would be you! Hello! How's life treating you?) something more interesting to see when they first visit/stumble drunkenly upon/are misdirected to this website. I feel confident that it'll be worthwhile. Or at least a way to further use my php programming powers for the greater good.

Had a dream last night that I quit my job. Problem was that I had nothing else lined up so I went to a PC the next day (in my dream) and logged on and couldn't open Outlok or Notes or whatever so I was all in dismay. Go figure, I wake up and go to work and get greeted with news of a staff forum with the big bosses. There's something to it all, perhaps. But I got a coaster and a tin of tiny mints (or cyanide tablets) out of the deal. So it's some consolation after a confusing morning.


Lime, meet Limey

I've added the long-overdue link to the Limey In Bermuda website in my Links section. This is where I lurk almost every day to read the new issues up for discussion. Since the Bermuda Onion website went into hiatus it had been hard to find anything resembling a Bermuda-issues forum and Limey's site is as good as it gets right now. And I mean that in a good way.

Regardless of which political affiliation you have, or none at all, it's a worthy place to visit if you're interested in Bermuda issues. People may be sceptical of something authored by a British guy, but he does have interesting insights. And no, it's not a one-sided site at all. Everybody's free to comment or debate the topics at hand.

One of these days I may actually post things there myself.

In other news, my friend Gillian had her second child this month and in Barbados, Stacy had her second child a few weeks ago. Baby-mania! I'm looking around now to see who else is due to pop one. I think there's more to come.


The Pedestrian Crossing is NOT a start-finish line

To driver of 20526 and everybody else who thinks that you get bonus points for dashing across a pedestrian crossing while someone (in this case, my sister and I) is halfway across the street, a big fat slap should be delivered right upside your head. And then your licence should be removed.


Why our Road Laws won't get changed (II)

I wouldn't have believed this if I hadn't just seen it. I'm riding up Palmetto Road and all of a sudden this cop-bike comes up from behind and zooms past me. I think its light was flashing but there was definitely no siren. Anyway, I continue on, thinking that the guy is obviously either responding to some incident or something of that matter.

Lo and behold (I like that phrase - when used in the right context), as I near Bernard's Park, I'm forced to wait as the rider of the bike is involved in a roadside chat with some other driver. You know the deal - the car is pulled over next to the curb and the bike is right next to it. Eventually both parties take off. I suppose the emergency wasn't as critical as I thought. Either that or the rider is abusing his power.

Rider of IO974 and driver of 31874, you're both Booked. Now I know why the police aren't clamping down on traffic violations and abuse, they're too caught up in doing it themselves. Maybe the Commissioner has relaxed the rules or something. Wouldn't be surprised. Another reason why nobody respects the Police.


Try finding an affordable place to stay

Why people only turn on their indicator signals when they're actually turning instead of before they turn, is a mystery. And stupid. So to the cell-phone-using guy driving IN1736, you're Booked.

If you're a single guy in Bermuda, forget about home ownership. It's a pipe dream. Unless you're a doctor or something. That's the object of my bitterness as the Ides of MarchTM approach.

Take a look at the Bermuda E-Moo website. There are two sections dedicated for apartments etc. - one for prospective renters and one for those who want to rent out. The difference in expectations between the two groups would be hilarious if it wasn't sad. But it's getting a bit better, although again either way the prices are too much for me. So I'm stuck living 'at home' for at least a couple more years I think. Unless I get an unexpected jump in salary of at least $500 a month... heh. Maybe if I take my freelance web business and actually do something with it. Hm.


Poetry Corner Update

Finally got a contribution from my gorgeous friend C.C. in the Poetry Corner. Under her handle "Kundalini", she's provided me with a telling piece having to deal with a woman's frustration with a man who doesn't know himself and therefore cannot hope to truly know and appreciate her. Well, that's what I get from it. Pretty nice, subject matter a bit on the mature side.


Should I feel offended?

Firstly, my first Booking since my return. Blue hatchback, licence 04500, didn't even bother to use a turn signal before turning onto Frog Lane, even though I was right behind them. Arrgh.

I work in the I.T. field at the Bank, so it's definitely not glamorous, and wearing the shirt-and-tie combo doesn't take anything away from it. I was in a brief meeting with one of the guys from Risk Management and on finishing up I was walking to the exit doors when I heard someone shout "oy oy oy oy". I turned and saw some man who was on the phone, he was motioning towards me, and then asked me if I was looking at some computer somewhere on the floor (I don't have an id tag that says "I work on PCs", mind you so the assumption that I was an I.T. grunt instead of some executive was odd in retrospect). I shook my head no then moved on. I then heard a woman (actually my friend Tasha who works on that floor) call out to him "oy oy oy that's not the way you should speak to someone,"and it got me thinking. She was absolutely right. It was rude and offensive and I didn't recognize it.

So I now wonder if I'm conditioned to expect to be called in that kind of fashion without question. I also wonder if there was something racially-motivated behind that, as if because I was a black guy I could only be a technical guy and not some executive officer, etc. Mind you, the guy on the phone was black as well, but still. One thing's for sure, I should not be expected to respond to a call of "oy oy oy" from a stranger. It was disrespectful. Maybe if I had my wits about me and was more of a confrotational person by nature I'd have challenged that remark.


iPod Society

Follow this link for some interesting commentary regarding those little loveable gadgets. I tend to agree, although I've yet to join the crowd and experience it first-hand.


Whappenings from England

I kind of consider myself fortunate not to have had any Internet access during my brief vacation in England, I was able to rest my eyes somewhat. Overall it wasn't a bad time away, it was good to get away from the grind for a while although I may still kick myself for travelling on the actual date of the Superbowl. Brief notes below:

Sunday/Monday (flight)
  • Departure lounge. They're showing the Superbowl on the TV monitors. Cool. Just when an exciting play happens (did McNabb fumble?) early in the quarter, I have to board. Crap. I just know I won't be able to watch the game as I'll know the result within hours of landing.
  • I love the GPS system on board these 777s. Oddly enough, we're approaching London and the weather forecast is "sunny". Now first of all, it's dark, so, like, um, nope... and then the captain mentions fog. Yippee.
  • It's cold but the fog does lift by the time I reach my aunt's house. But I'm soon asleep though and probably miss a decent day. Heh.
  • In North America, there's this somewhat weird commercial featuring Digger the Dermatophite who digs underneath your nails and infects them and then some big tablet comes in, knocks him away and saves the day. England features the same guy, but with a Brit accent and calls himself Freddy the Fungus. I crack up. No tablet comes along in this version though, which is a bit disappointing.
  • Travel by tube and then National Rail into the central city. Pretty neat system, the London Underground, and not much has changed from my brief forays here 20 months ago. I like maps so enjoy the experience.
  • Pass by Wembley on the tube. They're building the new stadium and boy it looks like it's going to be big. Really big. Biggest venue I've been in is Kensington Oval and that had a capacity of like 14 thousand. This thing I think will eventually seat 80 thousand. Wow.
  • Uh oh. All the sports talk is about Ellen MacArthur. On the plus side, I'm not getting spoiled with Superbowl news. But the fascination with this lady here is incredible. I do appreciate the skill and endurance needed to sail a boat 10 miles, much less all the way around the globe, but the achievement itself, well, I dunno. It's like that Branson fella spending all that dough and making all that noise about flying across the world in a balloon. Credit to her, definitely, but the annointment of her as sporting achievement of the year is to me a bit too much. The bad news of this is that someone in the US, is eventually going to butt up on this story and then decide for themselves to break her record. And we'll never hear the end of it.
  • It's amazing the differences in what you can say or show on TV between the US and UK. In the UK, you can say s*** (after like 10pm), but you can never use the term "wanker". Odd.
  • I take back all that I have ever said about nationalism on TV news. ABC/NBC/CBS are forgiven for being Americentric. BBC News is all about the UK. So all sides are forgiven.
  • Superbowl news: nada. Wow, but I'm not flinching yet.
  • The other big thing about TV in the UK is that the biggest shows are the soap operas. And they appear during prime time. I may die if I have to live here for more than a month, heh.
  • England has their own Oprah. This woman, named Trisha, is seemingly a younger, slimmer version of the US giant but a bit more sassy and ready to butt in. I could like her. And yes, from the above list, you can clearly tell that this was a sit at home and watch the TV kind of day.
  • We rent. They "Let". Makes sense once you get past the kindergartney aspect of that phrase. It's very "matter of fact". I can appreciate that.
  • Bus ride. English schoolkids are just as rowdy as their Bermudian or Bajan equivalents. Darn. Was hoping they'd be more like the chaps from the Famous Five or something.
  • I hate shopping. And nothing brings tears of misery to my eyes more than shopping for women's shoes.
  • The Masters is taking place at Wembley, I gather from a billboard next to the arena there. It's Snooker, people. Why the devil are snooker and darts so popular in this country? It's odd to see these pasttimes considered mainstream major sports. But they're going to televise some games later on in the week so maybe I'll figure it all out before I head out.
  • Any Bermudian wishing to drive if visiting the UK, please take a new driving test. Brits are so much better at the rules of the road - and this includes dealing with a larger host of signs and laws that I wager would frustrate the average Bermie lunatic, um, I mean, driver.
  • Virginia's put up a law banning exposed underwear on people wearing those pants halfway down their hips? Wow. And way to go, I think.
  • Uh oh. Charles and Camilla. They announced their wedding plans the other day and it's still the big talking point in this country. Whatever. North Korea admitted that they have nukes and apparently aren't shy about launching if need be. Priorities, news media? Anyway people are more concerned if Charles should still be in line for the crown, and the silly bit is that the crown has no real power attached to it. I mean, the Queen can't order troops to mobilize somewhere, for instance, so like whatever to this whole saga. Crap. I've become a Republican.
  • Brits love their breakfasts. Eat bacon and eggs at 2:30 pm and all. Now I understand why Frodo and those hobbits could eat elevenses and whatnot.
  • I love my aunt, but boy. I've been bought an avocado and spinach sandwich for lunch. Hello? I'm a carnivore! I have canines! Heheh.
  • Kelly Osbourne is on this late night variety show. The host wants her to help break the record for most swear words uttered on a TV programme. Really. And they cuss like drunken sailors. Heh, and wow. And boy Kelly's cleavage... what the heck am I thinking?
  • Travelling day today. One thing I noticed, is that there's a fair-sized Indian population here. And the women, they're all so pretty. And slim. Perhaps too slim. Odd. But still pretty. Okay that's my bit of obsessive gazing for the week.
  • Proof that No good deed goes unpunished. Was waiting outside this fast food place, an old man with a terrible cough goes inside, wants a cup of tea. It's 50p. I say, why not, I buy it for the guy. He drinks and leaves soon afterwards. I stay inside as it's warmer there. The guy working there kicks me out saying that I haven't bought anything so I have to go. Mind you, he's not exactly pulling in customers or anything, but I remind him that I did buy something for the old guy. He doesn't see my point at all. I feel like peeing on the front door of the place.
  • Oooooo. First but of McDonald's. Mmmmm. Greeeeease...
  • What the hell is a Pukka Pie? The name alone scares me from even considering eating it. And the TV commercial showing it expanding as it's baking.... ugh. I don't wanna know.
  • Freddy the Fungus again! Bwah!
  • Bingo Hall. It's massive. They even have a version of the game that's placed across the city. A bit disturbing, maybe. Perhaps that's the compromise that Bermuda will accept for gambling, although there's not a demand from tourists to play bingo instead of roulette. Heh.
  • I think I can be a Tube Maestro in no time if I stick around. Now buses... that's another matter entirely.
  • Got a haircut. I think the guy was nervous. He was lightning quick getting the hair off but wasn't too sure of himself when trimming and shaping. Turns out I had a few small nicks in the end, I realized it after the fact.
  • Weakest Link. The Brits are much more polite with each other than their American counterparts. When voting someone off, they actually admit things like how they thought that they themselves messed up a lot. Nice to see Anne Robinson again.
  • Simpsons? Yay!
  • TV snooker. I think I can get the gist of it. Scoring system I think I understand as well. However, there's no way that this can replace athletic sports just yet for TV viewing.
  • The West End. Bond Street. Oxford Circus. Shopping Mecca, I think. Hey there's an electronics store! Rats. Apple Store, and if I cared at all about iPods or owned a Mac, I'd be interested.
  • Went into Cheers. Yep, they made a pub in London based on the TV show. Go into the restroom. Hm, they've pasted up front pages of the USA Today sports section... Noooooo! Photo of Tom Brady! Noooooo!
  • Cancel my request for a tape of the game. It's never fun when you already know the result. Sigh.
  • Mother's Day on March 6th? Huh? I hope that's a typo on the billboard, I'll have to follow up on that. There's something inherently wrong about celebrating your mother during the winter. It deserves to be in the springtime.
  • Flight home. Person behind me keeps kicking my chair. I think she's overweight and can't adjust herself in the seats properly so feel a bit sympathetic. Doze off during the movie Sideways and wake up just in time to see the naked man (seriously! Things be bouncing!) bouncing along chasing down the other guy. I do not need to wake up with that image coming after me, thanks.
  • Home. Strained my back picking up my bag up. Not a good way to end it all. And that is it.



I'll be away for about two weeks starting tomorrow and intend to spend plenty of time away from a PC so that I can recharge my batteries and whatnot. Should be promising.


I wish I ran TCD for a day... then again

I'm going to Book the driver of AQ501 on a seemingly trivial thing, not having a working rear indicator light on the bike. Now the powers that be probably don't care but it did bring to attention something that I had forgotten about, that was pedal cycles without either a headlight or a rear reflector. Again though, the powers that be don't seem too bothered.


Another guy who needs to be a permanent pedestrian

The rider of AD 984 was next to me at a traffic light at a four-way intersection. The second that he noticed that the lights for the crossing traffic went red, he zoomed on through, not even caring if the pedestrian lights were going to go green next.

I wonder if it's worth caring about anymore.

Reverse racism is one of those bizarre subjects that I think about every so often. There are some black people here who think that there's no such thing - that they are free to discriminate against white people because after all "they did it to us in the past".

Let it go, people. And trying to be cute about it by implying things rather than saying it outright doesn't help at all. Ugh. Try to rise above that level.


Friendship between men and women

The CBS Early Show had an interesting piece on the issue regarding whether or not men and women can be friends. I tend to agree with the interviewee in how she believes how men and women operate when it comes to the opposite sex and friendship. Heck, I've been there, heh. I can't yet comment on the latter part of her interview when she discusses a situation with married folks in the workplace. Worth a read, the article.

I try to stay out of the political landscape, especially locally - for the main reason that I don't trust any of these guys as far as I can throw them. But I have no qualms agreeing with certain people when they call out others who would villify them. One such person is Christian Dunleavy and his web blog politics.bm has grown into an interesting read. His latest article takes aim at a woman who responded to a commentary he made with such patronizing disdain that I had to shudder. One of my pet peeves is deliberate sarcasm when used to attack someone and it can really spoil what can otherwise be an intelligent debate. Don't be surprised to see more of that site's content linked to from Beachlime.


Bikes and Mobile Phones not a great combo

Been meaning to discuss this for some time now actually but the re-occurances keep on happening. This morning, I was overtaken by a young female on a bike, her left hand propping up her cellphone to her head. I would Book her for this, but I can't really since I recognize that there is no apparent law in place regarding this activity.

Surely, this is not a safe activity by any means. If a dog (or young child) suddenly darted across the street, would the rider be able to brake and maintain balance and not cause an incident with the dog (or child) or with other traffic on the road, considering that while they have one hand on the cell phone their attention is at least partially diverted by the conversation and the physical act of holding up their cell phone?

Additionally there's the issue of signalling a turn, something that is almost impossible to achieve on one of our bikes what with the indicator being on the opposite handle to the throttle. Car drivers similarly can be dangerous when they're using their cell phones while driving. I've witnessed quite a fair number of occassions where a driver has made a sudden turn without signalling, and the common factor to most of them was that the driver has been using one hand to hold up their mobile phone while they chat away. This could be possible disasters waiting to happen. To me, it would seem to take a very responsible and safe driver to be able to pull it off and there are too many of the 'other kind' on the roads today.

I would like to see the local government do something about this potentially dangerous activity, even a simple discussion about it, and the effects that it could have on fellow drivers and on pedestrians.


More helpless fools

Someone is suing American TV network NBC because of the show Fear Factor. And in rightful fashion, he's getting slagged by among others, Reality News Online. Really. Why don't people take responsibility for their or their children's television viewing habits?


Quiet on the Whappenings Front

Aivar from the Earthrealm Mortal Kombat Forums produced this music video featuring the legendary Shang Tsung (if you know your video games, you should have heard of him), it's available in the Products section of the website.

Other than that, I have a nice cake from the fine folks at Tortuga and these are some of the best rum cakes in the world, if I do say so myself. Mmm...

Anyway, nothing major to report. Still preparing to buy a new PC soon. I want to get a Playstation 2 for my sister, but I refuse to spend the $100 markup on what the product would retail for state-side. Looking for someone travelling soon.


Welcome, 2005

Wisdom tooth extracted... actually not too bad and the dentist was good, but then again I'm not sure all the anasthetic has worn off just yet so if you hear any loud screaming over the next few hours you'll know.

My sister's birthday is today, oddly enough, so I'll give her a call. Can't talk too much I think so heck. Not like I'm big on the phone talk thing in the first place, mind you.

I was re-reading my blog entries and wondered if it was a coincedence that I thought of Sofia from Sweden and next thing there's the big news about the tsunami. Thousands of Scandanavian tourists are believed lost, so now I'm in a slight bit of worry here. Oy.