Mexico and swine flu

So, the wife and I are to visit Mexico in two weeks' time for a honeymoon. Now the reports are everywhere about this outbreak of a swine flu virus in that country.

Dangerous stuff, especially considering that past outbreaks of some of these influenza viruses have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. It's scary enough the fact that we're set to travel through some major airports both to and from our final destination - both JFK and Miami International are very crowded and great places to pick up germs and bacteria.

Now even the EU chiefs are advising against travel to Mexico, so I really appreciate the concern at a global level.

Here, Vexed and Catch a Fire are raising the discussion, including whether the Bermuda Government is prepared to deal with the issue if or when it reaches our shores.


Thanks, people

In the Facebook age, I've come to discover that six degrees of separation is more than a figure of speech. Turns out that wedding pix and the like can be found all over the place. Shoot, I came into work the other day and my co-workers were all "great wedding, loved the photos" before I even had a chance to tell them anything. Cool, but a little bit scary, heh.

Thanks again to my new greatly-extended family... I have a whole bunch of new in-laws, not to mention all the young cousins who were absolute angels at the reception. Gotta give a big thanks to my groomsmen who helped to ease (and sometimes stress) my mind when needed. The young ladies in the bridal party I also extend my thanks, couldn't have done this without you. And of course my parents and sister who have been really helpful in recent months.

At the risk of sounding like a television host, I have to show love to the people and businesses who provided the services to make the ceremony and reception a success. Forgive me if I have not included you in this list. Jane and the staff at El Shaddai, Bermuda's best florists. Top shelf before, top shelf afterwards. The folks at Bermuda Rentals for having the tables and heaters set up to enhance the night. The official photographer, Duvon Powell, for making us all feel natural and at ease. The best chauffeur on show (and prettiest). Our DJs for the evening, Damon and DJ Kaos. Taylor Rankin who played some beautiful music on the violin. Anthony's was very helpful in getting our tuxedos and accessories for the big day.

And a special shout of appreciation to Angelo and all the staff at Splendido at Horizons for providing an exceptional location and service to us. I'm forever grateful.


Life's journey continues

This weekend still feels surreal. My life's journey has taken a new and exciting turn with my getting married to a lovely, caring and sweet young woman. I am looking forward to the next chapters in my life.

To my bride, thank you for your love, and your putting up with me and my own idiosyncrasies. When I'm not ranting about the craziness in the world (lol) I pledge my heart and soul to you.


Crunch time

Despite taking time off work to prep for the wedding, things have remained hectic. I don't get it. Arrrrgh.

I do realize, however, why everybody's trying to get into the wedding business here. It's potentially very lucrative. Flowers, fabrics, decorations, transportation, seating, catering, cakes and favours, musicians, even the planning itself, big business if you're able to get started.

Shoot, maybe I'll consider a part time gig doing something or another once this whole thing is done. Just over 24 hours from now.


More wildcat strikes

Bermuda is the Mecca of wildcat strikes. Regular, pre-announced intentions to take strike action don't happen here. Rather, people pretty much get together and decide to 'up-and-leave' without informing their customers beforehand.

We see it every 4 months with the bus drivers, every 8 months with the teachers and the occasional one from garbage truck workers. The unions, despite their valid grievances, choose to anger the public by not giving sufficient warning and advice to the community. So we get ticked off at both parties.

Today, workers at Bermuda Broadcasting 'up and left' today, as first mentioned on BermudaSucks. Without notice to the public, apparently. Maybe there was something on the radio channels, but not everybody gets an opportunity to listen to the radio stations on a daily basis. Who knows.

Unlike the public transport industry, however, this is a private enterprise responsible for delivering news and entertainment to Bermuda. Start carving the tombstone inscription for Bermuda Broadcasting on this basis. It's hard to support this business after their antics as of late.


Blackberry and Me

Once the trend in mobile phones was to go smaller and smaller. The phone that could fit in your pocket or purse was highly sought after.

Then the Blackberry surged in popularity. And they've seemed to get bigger over the years. Guess the demand for a full keyboard to go with the Internet browser led to the reversal of demanded styles.

Just an interesting observation.

The forgotten art of the RSVP

You know it would be funny if it wasn't stressful, that a large number of the invited guests 'forgot to RSVP' or in some cases simply haven't at all. We've had to provide just an estimated number to the reception host and caterer, which kind of sucks a bit.

Going back to a previous post, perhaps things just aren't on the radar for some :-(


Cricket's penis envy?

It's in vogue to bash Bermuda cricket. Perhaps we set ourselves up for it, but it's telling that many of the lead stories on Cricinfo and other sites when it comes to the Qualifiers, isn't about Afghanistan shocking the (non-Test) world, the resurgence of Canada or even the country-vs-club situation with Holland's star player, but it's a lot about Bermuda faltering and failing to advance to the Super Eights.

Yes, the facts have been explained ad nauseam. Some players aren't performing up to a higher standard. And I would agree with anyone who suggests that the Bermuda players may feel a higher sense of entitlement than those from the other participating countries, and therefore probably not as much grit, desire and resolve as others.

But damn, it's overkill. We get it. Yes, Sluggo is overweight. Some of the players may even have made it on reputation alone rather than committment.

Do the contributors to these sites have some kind of jealousy that a small semi-tropical island has managed to compete at the highest level, to get the opportunities to take on teams with over a thousand times their population? Is there envy of the fact that the players and coaches are paid at a better rate than others?

By constantly harping on about how "nobody will miss them", they're kind of countering their own alleged statements.


Bermuda cricket drops a tier

The dream of a repeat appearance in the Cricket World Cup for Bermuda has been demolished. Another loss in which the team allowed the Dutch to put on over 100 runs in the last ten overs in no small part to not having someone capable of bowling at the death to the tailenders, not to mention the 20 runs coming from wides alone. Deservedly so, Bermuda will lose its ODI status and likely end up in international cricket limbo for the next couple of years.

As James Whittaker mentions in the TalkSport blog, other teams just seemed to be more cohesive in all facets of the game and showed more grit and determination in all phases of the game. He also brings up the shortcomings of the national programme as far as getting home ODIs and better facilities in place despite an encouraging youth programme.

Where next? Well since there won't be much international cricket in the near future, it's probably time for a thorough overhaul of everything. Whether it starts at the Board and works its way to the players or not, it should be considered. There are good young players who could be groomed to be Bermuda's next representatives, it's a question of finding those who have the willingness to learn and be coached (and take a little criticism instead of feeling they're God's gift to Bermuda cricket) and going from there. I think even going across the sports divide to recruit guys like Shaun Goater and David Bascome who are living proof of men who have had to work really hard to make it as professionals, to assist with the psychological and training aspects of the game, is worth a thought.

With a far smaller population than the other Associate countries and the sport having more potential to grow there, it's going to be harder than ever to keep pace with emerging cricket nations. But with the rich cricket-loving heritage still in place (yes give our kids a cricket bat at age 2), Bermuda has a chance to regain a place at the top tier.


Help is hard to come by lately

Just on a personal slant. It may all be a coincedence, but it seems in the last couple of weeks before the fiancee and I get married, we're kind of alone in things.

From getting assistance or support in doing certain tasks, getting some attention from the people responsible for getting our future home in working order, even trying to have a simple coffee break with friends, things are just not co-operating. It's like the two of us are in this isolated bubble while the rest of the world ignores us.

Kind of upsetting despite my trying to rationalize that people do have lives well outside us.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device available from M3 Wireless


Why would you steal a garbage truck?

Very quiet in the blogosphere as of late, except for the perpetually-posting Vexed site with its political observations and Devil Island and its variety of interesting posts.

Bermuda's men's cricket team is getting embarassed in the ICC World Cup qualifiers. Just played a miserable game in losing to Afghanistan and it will take a near miracle for them to squeak into the second phase of the competition. Seems like all the coaching went out of the window as far as batting was concerned.

I told some friends that at least they still have Cup Match and after belting their big sixes over our tiny fields they can still feel like they're world-class players.

Meanwhile Government MPs still talk the talk but don't walk the walk when it comes to dangerous driving. Like publicity stunts are the way to convince people to drive safely. Yawn. As we go through another week with 44 reported road collisions resulting in vehicle damage.

But check this out. Vehicle theft on the island is high and there's no real effort to try to catch thieves here, only recovery. I blame Government, Corporation of Hamilton and the Police, who in turn blame vehicle owners for apparently not placing concrete walls around their vehicles when they park them in the parking bays that are in open areas and well-lit.

Anyway, I just read that someone made off with a garbage truck last week. Why, how and wtf? I can't come up with superlatives to describe that kind of situation. Just walking along and thinking to yourself, yeah I wanna take a joyride in a stinky old garbage truck, or something. Mind-boggling.