Death to apostrophes... V13.1

I don't really pay that much attention to the official PLP Blog if only to see if there are discrepencies with what the Gazette and or Bermuda Sun report on political issues, and often times it's either glossed over or spun around, as political parties tend to do anyway.

But sheesh I am freakin' tired of the author continuously using the word "it's" instead of "its". Grr.

People of Bermuda, do *not* rely on your computer's spellcheck feature. It will not correct those kind mistakes. Learn some elementary grammar rules, pleeeeeeeeeeeze.

Oh yeah, the article in question is about Government announcing another new hotel development for the City of Hamilton, without the presence of any member of the Corporation of Hamilton. I think it's pretty easy to connect the dots with Government's plans to take over the CoH,... shrewd moves by the purveyors of 'platinum'...


Michael Jackson, entertainer extraordinaire

I grew up in the Michael Jackson era, as did many of my peers. His performances were legendary and despite his many publicised personal and financial issues over the years he remained in the eyes of many, an icon in the world of pop music.

His passing today will be remembered by all.

We aren't likely to see a legend of his stature for a very long time.


Getting active with the Wii

We recently got the EA Sports Active game for the Wii (see CNet review here) and have had a chance to give it a whirl. It's a good workout, which means I'm often cursing out the virtual trainer especially when she's calling me to do those nasty and evil lunges and squats.

All jokes aside, I'd like to keep at this for an extended period of time and see if it helps with the cardio, endurance, flexibility and balance that it ought to. Only thing is that I'd have to do my own ab and strength training work elsewhere (shouldn't be a problem as I have some dumbells and a floor mat), and motivation as always can be a challenge.

Give this game a try, fellas.


This too, shall pass

So the Premier said, and so shall it be.

According to the eagle-eyed, well I guess that's really owl-eared, people from BIAW forums who gave a running commentary on the 'debate' last night, the motion failed with people following the party line.


Again not surprised at all.

Party first, people last. Bermuda politics.

UBP, give it up. Dismantle at once, you're completely unviable. PLP, do what you will.

Me, I'm spoiling my ballot next election. Even though I'm in a new constituency (left Hamilton West recently, thank the Lord since I don't know what Wayne Furbert represents anymore anyway), my vote is just as likely to go to a carrot as it is to a current politician in Bermuda.

I hate these Customs forms

Why do they keep revising the wording? Trying to fill this thing out and the wording gets worse and worse; I don't know what boxes to check anymore. "Transfer of residence allowance"? WTF is that?

Oh, and Public Notice 30 is NOT on customs.gov.bm, at least not found on my BBerry browser. Shut up, Customs Dept.



What a week

I'm a little upset to not have been in the country this week as Bermuda was host to two protest demonstrations in the manner of a few days, and the reactions of the politicians involved sparked much discussion.
Have a lot of catching up to do, but I've already been notified that Al Sharpton is coming to the island to reprimand us for not swallowing the Premier's unilateral, who-needs-to-consult-anyone, decisions that impact Bermuda, with a smile on our faces and offering standing ovations.

That guy has enough on his plate in the States so why the hell is he needed here? Someone's pulling favours out there and I don't like it.

Anyway, read the Vexed blog and others, including:


I expect that this no-confidence motion apparently now being discussed won't go anywhere, and by that I mean not necessarily passed or fail, but that it will get drowned in a sea of rhetoric and business-speak that accomplishes nothing nor reveals what our MPs really think or wish.

Sorry, not optimistic of anything right now...


Bike parking at the airport

Happy Heroes Day, Bermuda. Pretty slick, having the same holiday in 8 months...

In the airport right now about to head overseas but I have to remark on the lack of bike parking here. There is one small section and it's packed full. A few riders parked in the adjacent car bays and have been ticketed.

I decided to wedge mine in between two other bikes and try to avoid getting an unfair ticket. More than likely I'd probably get screwed when I come back.

Just looked out the window and saw another rider go fruitlessly through the bike parking area. Realistically what do they expect us to do in this situation? Ride to St. Geo and hire a taxi for the rest of the way back to the airport? Damn!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device available from M3 Wireless


One man's decision

Over the past couple of days I've read through dozens of postings on BIAW, Catch-A-Fire and virtually every active Bermuda blog out there. Oddly enough it wasn't until I came across some Facebook pages that I found independent, non-partisan voices in support of the decision to take in the former Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

I would guess the radio talk show circuit may present a different skew, but the opinions online are well worth taking into account, and representative of a large proportion of the local population.

Where I think the supporters of the decision may be misguided is in believing that those opposed are doing so because of xenophobia, fear of terrorists, fear of losing their jobs and the like. The vast majority, of which I think I would be classified as, are simply opposed to the manner in which this decision was made. While there are probably national and international security concerns that may have prevented an all out discussion in Parliament on this motion, the fact that it appears that one man, the Premier, made a decision on behalf of Bermuda without any consultation or discussion with other parties, most notably the Governor and members of Parliament.

Now, the UBP has called for a no-confidence motion in the Premier, and things could easily disintegrate into the same old political crud that's plagued this country with every controversial move the Government's made over the past several years.

There is talk of a protest demonstration against the Premier (not the ruling party, however) this week and with the world's attention somewhat on our country the past few days, a lot of interesting scenarios could come up. However I don't think one of them is having the former prisoners sent either back to the United States or to China.


Electricity is out

The electricity is out all over the place.

Let the theories begin with regards to China being behind this development...
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Bermuda accepts Gitmo detainees

The talking point in Bermuda has quickly become all about the sudden announcement that Bermuda is taking in four fomer detainees from Guantanamo Bay with the expectation that they will settle and obtain Bermuda status.

The blogosphere has erupted:

Vexed Bermoothes was first on the scene, I think, and was highly critical of this move. This was quickly followed by a lengthy series of postings on the BIAW forum, Catch-A-Fire, Newstocks and the Progressive Minds blog. Each of them are slamming the decision on various grounds, including:
  • why this decision was made without consulting the UK government, or even Parliament itself
  • why the United States isn't absorbing the people into their own society
  • what kind of payoff is involved, as it's been reported that Palau has taken on 17 former prisoners in exchange for a sum in the hundreds of millions of dollars
  • is this seen as a slap to the face for guest workers who have no chance of residentary rights despite giving back to the community and or becoming parents to Bermudian children
  • is the island potentially jumping into a figurative landmine by becoming involved with suspected terrorists

Message threads also exist on the Bermuda Sun website. Expect the local TV news to deliver lengthy reports on this story this evening and tomorrow.

There aren't many opinions in support of this move at this present time. I spoke with one of my buddies this afternoon and he essentially chided Bermudians for being self-centered and focusing on the wrong issue. He said that we ought to be thinking of the people, who have been declared innocent, yet are in a position of being without any form of residency now as China may not be willing to take them in and let them live freely, and the U.S. may not want them either because of still remaining as perceived threats to their country.

He mentioned that in the mid-1970s Bermuda took on Vietnamese refugees, as did many other countries. These were people who were without a country, so to speak and Bermuda played its part in taking them in. Not sure if any still reside here now, but I think my friend was trying to illustrate that when others need help we should be willing to lend a helping hand.

Relayed that opinion to another friend and his opinion remained that the issue remained that of being unfair to another section of the local population (namely guest workers) and a possible underlying factor of greed and deceit.

Let the debate continue.


ZFB's funny self promotion

ZFB's airing a couple of promos for itself now. They tout themselves as the #1 watched network on Cablevision. Big achievement, huh?

I suppose in a way, yes, if you're dealing with trying to get local businesses to continue to advertise on that station. It's a good sales argument.

However, come on. The ad makes it appear that ZFB is its own source of original programming or something when the only local material is the local news, and that only airs on its sister channel ZBM now anyway? ZFB's chosen (perhaps wisely) to air ABC's "The View" in that slot instead, a fairly popular daytime show. ZFB's biggest draws indeed take place in the 6:30pm-9pm slot and feature The View and Oprah, whom Bermudians have loved since the 1980s. I would't be surprised if over half of all people watching TV at 8pm are tuned into ZFB.

In fairness I give Bermuda Broadcasting some credit to continue to try to serve Bermuda viewer interests; airing the 20/20 World Cup is testament to their efforts. Can't be easy when the workers are unhappy and senior management is perceived to not be interested in renovating their product.


Drivers are untrustworthy

I'm really trying to avoid another rant about Bermuda's driving culture but this Gazette article prompted me to mount the soapbox yet again.

"However, we are appealing for individuals to take responsibility on our roads as that is the key to a successful road safety campaign.

Legislation has its place; enforcement has its place. But at the end of the day, it's down to an individual making smart choices."
What everybody's not realizing is that we cannot trust the individual. We need Government and the Police to take further action. Individuals are choosing to not obey the laws of the road. The powers that be cannot just throw their hands up and say they can't do anything. If they truly cannot, then we need a new set of powers-that-be.

The current strategy is not working, so change the strategy. Dump the radar guns at Kindley Field Road and the like. Legislate the use of cameras at traffic lights and nail those who run the lights. Stop talking about third lane riders and book them if you indeed consider it dangerous driving. Take people off the road who are reading the newspaper with one hand, applying makeup with the other and have a cell phone wedged by their ear. And if someone's drunk and crashes, bring the hammer down hard on them.

Because right now, the only solution for an individual is to get off the bike, heck don't even be a pedestrian. It's to get a big thick car and at least feel safe when some fool crashes into you.


What is a soldier

I feel bad for posting this today, for reasons I'll outline later.

When people are referring to their peers or other local people who have died as a result of a traffic collision or a violent attack, they tend to use terminology such as 'fallen soldier'.

While I understand the sentiment of those mourning the person who has passed away, and can appreciate the strong feelings involved, I find it a bit distasteful to make the analogy to a person who is serving his country's government in battle. It's really two different things and I surely wouldn't want that label applied to me if that situation was to befall me.

That said, there are more crucial matters at hand than a matter of semantics. Perhaps a military widow would disagree. Again though, just an observation on my part and I'm not interested in posing debate on this particularly since there are recent deaths which have raised this issue in my mind and I'd rather just show respect to the parties mourning their loss.


Listmania: Foods

'Normal' foods that I despise:

  • peanut butter
  • yoghurt
  • egg sandwiches
  • peas
  • cheesecake*
  • sweet potato
  • pumpkin
  • ginger snaps

* A while ago my friend Darnley made cheesecake and I tried it and I enjoyed it. However I'm still turned off by the smell and taste of it, generally speaking.

Anyway this is part of a little challenge I'm having with the sig-other, because generally speaking I'll eat most foods out there (psst, unlike her). So feel free to invite me over for dinner anytime, I will eat and enjoy.



One of the things that we've tried to instill in the kids we're coaching youth cricket is sportsmanship. It's accepting a loss or bad decision with your head held high, and not using victories as a chance to taunt or mock your opponent.

Not easy when you see grown adults, some of whom are millionaires, being poor sports, and then not realizing when you're being a poor sport.

LeBron James, one of Nike's superstar pitchmen and maybe the best-known professional basketball player in the world right now, was part of the losing side in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

After each series, it's become custom for the two teams to shake hands and offer congratulations or condolences, and appreciation for everybody's contibutions on the floor. When the Cavaliers won their earlier two series, LeBron James was around to shake hands with his defeated opponents. However this time around he was nowhere to be found. After the final buzzer he made a beeline for the locker room.

His response later on:

"It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them," he said. "I'm a winner. It's not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you're not going to congratulate them. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm a competitor. That's what I do. It doesn't make sense for me to go over and shake somebody's hand."
It's one thing to be frustrated and disappointed. It's another to not realize that you're coming off as an immature brat by believing that shaking the opponent's hand after they defeat you doesn't make sense.

I don't think this guy knows what being a poor sport means. Or what a winner is.

I may have to bring up this example in the next training session. Fortunately there are still some sportsmen out there to emulate.