Getting out of the web design business

I had a regrettable experience late last year with a proposed website design for a local group, the type that made me aware of the pitfalls that I could end up with.

Things like agreeing to contracts before doing any work, even at a "1 week to mock a couple of layouts" level. Getting no direction from the prospective client. Getting caught up in mixing business with personal favours.

Yeah, I think my career path going forward (independent of full time work in whatever capacity I'm called in) must be to go far away from design elements and stick with either pure content/data retrieval, or nothing at all.

Subjective stuff is fickle. Hard data, and manipulating it, you can't argue with the end product. And besides, then you can get someone else with the design desire/aptitude to do that stuff in the end.


Remedial Driving, Make Mandatory

We have a lot of drivers driving badly here. It's common practice for the driving public to speed, disobey traffic signs and signals, park where they shouldn't, engage in reckless behaviour and willingly break the traffic laws.

In recent years, Bermuda adopted a points demerit system which when added to the system of fines, was supposed to encourage Bermuda's roads to be safer for all. I'm not sensing much change at all in our road habits and there doesn't seem to be any further motive to arrest this trend.

Perhaps Government feels that it has done all that it can, and Police, cash-strapped and resource-thin, aren't in the best position to encourage safer driving on the roads. We have littering laws that aren't enforced, a joke of a tinted window ban that most drivers bypass, a cell phone usage law which Police can't implement and a public that know that most days they can do whatever they want without fear of getting penalised.

And no, the fear of 'getting into an accident' is a non-starter, because bike riders feel that car drivers will do anything to avoid getting dinged, so they meander in and out of traffic without fear, while car drivers are too quick to blame everybody else for their bad driving habits while they're forgetting to indicate or repair their brake lights.

The next stage must be this: mandatory rehab. Anybody who has accumulated enough demerit points to become disqualified from driving, should have to go through a series of remedial driving classes, both theory and practical, before their licence is restored. It's not drummed into their heads enough, particularly the aspects of speeding and "due care", on how we should expect our drivers to act.

Our vehicles are larger and more powerful, while our roadways have not widened or been strenghtened. It ought to be imperative for drivers to recognize this, but too few do. Hence the myriad of busted fenders, broken side-mirrors and insurance claims.

I'll admit such a proposal in this economy may be far-fetched (although it should merit discussion at least once before the next budget cycle). But it seems too much of a good common-sense approach to just wave away as a pie-in-sky dream.


State of the Blogosphere

I guess the state is good, in a sense. The chief political blogs, politics.bm, Vexed, and Catch a Fire remain active and continue to post interesting commentary on things in Bermuda (mostly political, one or two not). 21 Square is also active and always makes for good, informed reading.

On the other side, it's unfortunate that New Onion, Wishful Thinking, Bermuda Fables, Jewel and Devil Island have been relatively quiet of late, then again you could say the same for my own piece of the Bermuda blogosphere. Can't speak for others, but where I'm concerned it's probably a good combination of apathy to Bermuda's goings-on and my own personal frustrations (some of which I attribute to Bermuda's leadership, unfairly or not).

BIAW I suppose, remains steady in its own role, a smallish online mini-community, that continues to share comments. I don't know if the readership has grown or diminished over the last few months, but the number of contributors appears to be the same as previous.

With the advent of Facebook groups and the presence of Bernews as a quick go-to for virtually anybody with a computerized device to browse and comment, you wouldn't dare say that the online community has faded by any stretch. I think it's grown in quantity although there's still little cohesion or organisation of thoughts and ideas into anything of substance, yet.

One could conceivably ask now, is the blogosphere relevant in terms of Bermuda discussion points? I would say yes, but clearly I'm coming from a position of bias. So too, may any comment from a known blogger. The politicians likely would tend to hope for these mediums to fade away - commentary from people you can't control is a threat, presumably. But hey, we're all voters too... and there are more of us than they think there are.


More pedestrian crossing follies

Not too long ago, the powers that be constructed a pedestrian crossing in Paget near the Treetops nursery school. Awesome, huh?

Wait, two problems.

First, there appears to have been zero signage erected notifying drivers of the approaching caution. Oversight, perhaps? Or no budget for new signs?

Secondly, they placed the crossing in a place where one of the bus stop poles is directly perpendicular to. Didn't they learn their lessons from the craziness of pedestrians trying to cross the street behind (or in front of) a stopped bus? Couldn't they have built the crossing 20 yards further?

Where's the common sense with the powers that be?


Quick thoughts on the OBA, UBP, PLP

  1. The BDA got impatient. Forgot that they were supposed to be a movement, gain steam. Decided they wanted to be #2, and wanted to be #2 right now.

  2. For things to have gotten to the point of legal injunctions and the like, it doesn't reflect well on any of the current or former UBP MPs.

  3. The OBA appears, right now, to lack any of the thrill or anticipation that the BDA did, on its launch. That may have been expected, but I don't think it bodes well in any event.

  4. Since technically, the UBP remains in some capacity, you'd think it puts paid any notion of "NewBP" - but nothing's further from the truth. Still no sign of former PLP supporters being involved.

  5. The PLP have plenty of time to get their machine up and running to sweep to another big election victory down the road. Say what you will about the group, there's been zero soap opera moments with them of late. Solid as a rock, indeed.

  6. I have no idea what the average swing voter may be thinking or leaning towards doing next election cycle. Hopefully it won't turn out to be a "vote for the least sucky candidate" thing.