Should've knocked this twit down

This morning I'm headed to work along Marsh Folly Road, not much traffic to deal with. A guy on a pedal cycle is riding along the road, hands behind his back, showboating or whatever. Stupid dolt, I think. Anyway I move to overtake him and all of a sudden this fella veers over to the right to turn into Blackwatch Pass, still with his daggone arms behind his back, completely oblivious to my approach.

So of course I have to pull brakes hard to avoid sending this idiot skidding along the road, and it would have been something to see him flying with his arms behind him unable to even try to save his dumb behind. Totally ticked off, I give him a honk of the horn and go along my way. Wonder if he put his hands where they should have been after that. I mean, he's on a public road, not his freaking backyard, right?

I'm going to get in trouble for saying this, I'm sure, but each time this crap happens I'm one step closer to not giving a toss and just whacking an idiot rider.


Bermuda's drivers and The Man

One of the well-known but little-discussed things dealing with drivers in Bermuda is that we're always warning each other when the police are out and about doing their spot-checks.

Example: today riding home, a car approaches me and he flickers his headlights quickly. I don't know the driver or the car so the obvious conclusion is that there's a police checkpoint further along the road. Yep. Exactly.

Mind you, it's a bit odd that there's a police checkpoint happening on a Sunday morning at about 12 noon. Ah well. I don't make the decisions.

Daylight Savings blunder

The good ol' Gazette (already dropped the "Royal", the capital 'G' is next) printed off on their newspaper yesterday a nice banner telling everybody to turn back their clocks this morning.

Whoops! Guess they didn't get the memo that the date was pushed back until November 4th this year. Hopefully they didn't screw up most people with their blunder. I doubt their online retraction will reach most people until Monday when they are in the office. Stupid newspaper.


Campaign promises

Taxi drivers are getting a fare increase, and Politics.bm has already weighed in on whether this is an election ploy, so I won't discuss that here.

Anyway, the Premier has announced some upcoming goals of Government which sounds nice on paper but I'm skeptical. After all, these announcements were not made at a session of Parliament. In fact these never even came up in any previous forum, rather it was at the party's conference. So I can only treat it as an election promise made to (a) galvanise support of the party faithful and (b) set up a election manifesto of sorts to the public.

Something that doesn't sit right with me is the announcement that the prison population here is at its lowest level in a decade and Government's taking credit for it. When I read in the newspapers of people getting convicted for all these crimes and only receiving the obscure "suspended sentence" punishments from the courts, something doesn't seem right. We ought to be locking more people up, or at least putting them into these "alternatives to incarceration" programmes, right? It's somewhat confusing, to say the least.


Demerit system for licences

Looks like after much discussion in the media and online, the Government is going to introduce a points demerit system for revoking licences.

I'm looking at the initial statement by the Premier:

"First, it monitors the development of poor driving records in newly licensed drivers and takes steps to improve their driving habits. Second, it protects the public from habitual offenders by disqualifying or revoking the licenses of unsafe drivers."

What's a little weird, and I hope this is cleared up in tomorrow's report, is that it only talks about newly licensed drivers, and not all currently licensed drivers. Hopefully that's a typo or something and we don't have to wait for people's current licences (which have a 10-year expiry period) to expire before they are monitored or whatnot. Anyway I await further news.

Here's the thing however. It's all good to announce this piece of legislation, it's another thing to see it enforced. There's not enough enforcement on the roads at this time to catch the vast majority of red-light runners, inside overtakers, and other road maniacs, so the question is will there be an increased police presence to book and demerit these offenders anyway?

Then again, Christmas is approaching and we're due for another announced police blitz, so who knows.


Put the Grand Slam on Pay-per-View

Now, I'm very confused here. The Cricket World Cup, featuring Bermuda's own national team, was televised by hott fm instead of terrestrial TV, yet the PGA Grand Slam, hosted locally and where anybody theoretically could have attended in person, is miraculously available on free TV?

I'm enjoying watching the tournament on TV mind you, but I'm wondering why the change in attitude? I'd think that this event would be more suited to the hott fm folks to put on pay-per-view (never mind the TNT cable feed, they could block it) to further swindle present to the Bermuda viewing public.

Just an observation. For the record, Bermuda looks fabulous on TV.

Sure, I'll pay more for the three-pack

The MarketPlace, Bermuda's largest and yet most ghetto grocery store chain, often has strange pricing strategies on its products but when I saw that a single box of Irish Spring soap costs $1.11 (I know, it's freaking expensive anyway) yet is still a better deal than the three-pack which costs $3.67!, I was shocked.

Mind you, the strategy of "if the customer doesn't notice then let's continue to screw 'em" seems to work as immediately after I took this photo, a man walked up, grabbed the three-pack and went along his way.

This phenomenon isn't restricted to soap mind you. I've seen this with napkins as well so it seems to be an overall store strategy to up the price on "economy packs" and mislead the public accordingly. Just goes to show the importance of paying attention to price labels.


Booked! Stupid rider

At the stop lights outside Bank of Bermuda's Head Office branch. Some fella is at the stop line waiting for his green light. He notices the light for a different lane begin to change to red. The fool immediately floors it although his light is still freaking red! Of course the next light change is actually to allow pedestrians to cross the road. What would have happened if someone began to cross the street at the same time that this hotshot decided to burn rubber?

Idiot. Please, somebody. Take this fool on BI302 off the road.

Massive boat: Boys and toys

Saw Paul Allen's (former Microsoft bigwig and current owner of the NFL's Seahawks and NBA Trailblazers) enormous yacht this past week on island.

Guys, this is one massive boat. This boat, called the Octopus, is probably over half the size of a standard cruise ship, and has on board at least one helicopter (someone said two - what the hell? heh), smaller boats, a submarine and who knows what other gadgets and accessories. I can only imagine the defensive accessories it would need to fend off potential pirates.

It's practically something straight out of Thunderbirds and most fellas would absolutely love to get an interior look at this vessel and what it's capable of. Alas, we can only dream...

Bermuda and the PGA Grand Slam

So the PGA Grand Slam of Golf is taking place here this week. With the big Music Festival also just concluding it was a great coup for the guy who managed to bring in and licence a pair of luxury Lexus sedans, conveniently taking advantage of a recent law wiping off tons of duty on vehicles to be used as limos.

Anyway the powers that be decided to give the very inappropriate theme of "Turn Bermuda On" as regards drawing attention to the event locally. For an island that is so 'Christian', we throw in a whole bunch of sexual undercurrent in a lot of our promotions, don't we?

I had a vacation day today but didn't think about attending the event. For one, watching golf live isn't really my thing. Two, the prices are probably out of my reach anyway. Three, the golf club is in a part of Bermuda I've never even come close to seeing. Just one of those things. I don't personally have anything against the Mid Ocean Golf Club, but it just seems weird thinking of going to a part of Bermuda that historically represents all of "not" me.


ZBM is pretty sad

The biggest NFL game of the year just got cut off for some unknown reason and ZBM TV are airing BBC World News, with no scrolling ticker to inform us of what's gone wrong. This is sad.

I realize that the station is struggling with inferior equipment and are low staffed, but every now and then they suffer from some issue or another that doesn't get resolved for hours. This station is a poor example of why free TV should continue to exist in Bermuda, sad to say.

Housing numbers and stats

Just want to mention that 21 Square puts the numbers out regarding the housing crisis in Bermuda which needs to be addressed with greater urgency than is currently being employed.


Women's football

I read today on IslandStats that FIFA is going to up the minimum amount of money spent on women's football to a whopping 20% of the overall grants to each member association.

Whooo. Actually this may be FIFA trying to make amends for scheduling the Women's World Cup at a time of year where it's competing against professional football in Europe and South America, not to mention both baseball and American football in the USA, and even rugby union's World Cup. For some reason the powers that be decided against holding it in the relatively less busy late summer months. Silly.

Anyway, while the women's game isn't going to be a major event, FIFA ought to do better. They should be pioneering increased contributions to promoting the sport. After all, half the population is female. Mind you, in Bermuda there are all kinds of issues with the BFA where nobody seems to trust anybody from the board to the clubs to the referees. National sport or not, local football doesn't appear to deserve its $10 million investment from the Government. There are a few swimmers, for example, who could use a decent 50m pool...


Continuing the Renaming process

Spice Valley Middle School, formerly Warwick Secondary, was renamed after T.N. Tatem. Even more recently, Southampton Glebe Primary School was renamed after Dalton Tucker. Both of these persons were educators held in high regard by their former students and it appears that the choices to make the name changes were done in good faith.

However these changes among others haven't been received with approval from the wider community. I think that many people are tired of all these changes being made without notice or approval from the wider community. When the airport was renamed, a large section of the community voiced disapproval. And the sudden announcement of the renaming of Bermuda Day sparked outrage.

Some folks are perfectly happy with letting Government handle these types of decisions without consulting the public at large, others think this smacks of a government not caring what its people think or desire.

A good middle ground can probably achieved here. Instead of suddenly pronouncing a name change, discuss a proposal, open it for discussion on the floor, delegate a committee of qualified persons to consider and nominate worthy candidates, allow solicitation of ideas from the general public and then go from there.

And while they're at it, try to rename Sandy's Secondary Middle School so that the island's most bizarre school name gets modified to something that makes sense, please.


New Pet Peeve - Big Rents

Here's something else that pisses me off: people who post those flyers on the board in the office kitchen area advertising some house or apartment for rent at like $4000 and up.


I need to put up a sticker or something that declares that any rentals posted should be affordable to employees who aren't benefiting from housing allowances or are senior management or something. Grr.

Never underestimate the stupidity of a user

Bank of Bermuda, known to half of Bermuda as HSBC (to be kind), was the subject of a phishing attack sometime on Thursday. This scam manifested itself as a poorly-written email complete with Bank logo, advising the reader that their account was compromised and that they need to have it fixed by *clicking on the link* and entering their account details!

Now, while the scammer's website looked authentic and mimicked the Bank's website in nearly perfect fashion, the fact that people, including business banking users, actually clicked on the link and entered their details just proves how naive Internet users are even in this age.

This is not new. The 419 frauds are old news. People are asked to do this from Paypal, E-Bay and every other major Bank in the world. You'd think that people would watch and pay attention to the news programs that highlight these things and never, never, never, click on a link in an unsolicited e-mail (again, poor grammar? Warning lights, people!) claiming to be from a financial institution.

Nope. People are still freakin' gullible. I personally think those people ought to be stripped of any Internet rights and be given training on protecting their own dang money before taking on such responsibility, however businesses are forced to panic and scramble to protect the stupidity of its customers. Woy.

I suppose eventually someone will fill me in on Gov TV

The first ever Government-produced station in the world to be available only by CABLE was launched last Sunday night. Every other blog in Bermuda has already commented on how useful the station would be but I'm trying to stay somewhat pragmatic about it.

All that I know is that there's a somewhat disappointing-looking website (splash screen? who does that anymore? unless you're an artist's website maybe) with very little actual useful material, and a programming guide of sorts. Apparently programming will be 'fresh' on a weekly basis. Oh yeah, and only between 7:30 and 11 am, then it's all repeats. Sigh.

I think it's going to take a very long time for me to see any kind of tangible benefits to this expensive project. I mean, Government could easily produce programming, buy airtime on Bermuda Broadcasting or VSB during their off-time (Sunday mornings and Saturday afternoons tend to be very available) and still air their 'untouched' presentations if they want. Oh well.

Maybe students will get opportunities to apprentice at the station and learn some skills in mass media or something. That's the best I can see at this moment.

New Bermuda blogs!

Got a few new people blogging about things.

Here's Vexed Bermoothes, a nice clean blog site which is focusing early on Government activity and local politics.

And probably the best sketch artist of the lot of us, The Devil's Island's creator has been a voice on several blogs and online forums over the years and decided to bring his own unfiltered voice to the blogosphere. Whoo-hoo!


Road rage when you're in the wrong

So I'm participating in the Breast Cancer Walk the other day and we reach the traffic lights near the Tennis Stadium. Traffic is controlled here because of all the walkers, but during an interval where traffic is to stop, a woman on a bike tried to *overtake* on the inside a SUV which had stopped. The woman, oblivious to the fact that she is in the wrong and that there are lots of kids walking, proceeds to lay into the driver of the car with all kinds of profanity.

Very confusing.

What's funny is that after the car had moved on, the woman pulls out her cell phone and calls someone - maybe an ace girl to rant to, in the middle of the road. Strange, very strange.

Never underestimate the insanity on Bermuda's roads.