Bring on 2010

The only sure thing that's going to happen in 2010 is that it will prove to be a challenging one for Bermudians, and for that matter, many others all over the world.

The year's ended pretty much the same way as 2008 did - concerns about crime and gun activity dominate the mindsets of many, our road deaths and serious injuries haven't diminished, most people are distrustful of politics and politicians and the worries about the future of International Business and tourism on the island - which affect the livelihood of all residents - are still present and are even greater than before.

Over the course of the past week, two of my friends have had parents pass away. The issues going on in the world and even locally can pale in comparison to these most personal of moments, as it should be when it comes to friends and family. I hope Bermuda, and the world at large in their own individual communities, doesn't lose its sense of empathy and understanding.

Times are tough and we need to be able to support each other.


I was surprised to find out that a poll indicated a large majority of residents were in favour of mandatory recycling.

Considering how callous many residents are with their trash, recyclable or not, in how they dispose of it when in town, on the road or at the beach or sporting events, and that you're always going to see discarded bottles at bus stops or just in the bushes, it's surprising news.

The question is now, are the steps in place to encourage and actually get residents to dispose of recyclables (as well as regular litter) correctly? There have been steps taken towards this in 2009, I see more bins designated for recyclables next to trash bins in town and other places, and I suppose KBB have other ideas and initiatives that they'd like to implement.

People can be disgusting

See this photo? I could not get too close because of the smell, but the photo is of a couple of plastic bags that contain what appears to be horse crap. The volume is too large to be from any creature besides livestock.

Someone scooped up or shoveled up a big pile of crap into some old plastic bags, and then tossed them into the bus shelter on and in front of the bench.

I'm not an expert on the best way to dispose of animal waste - there was bush behind the shelter and a trash bin just to the right of the photo - but there's something inhuman and disgusting about dumping this crap right here.

Somebody thought it was the right thing to do. This is what we have to deal with. How sickening is this?


Peeling the bus stop poles

This picture depicts the reflective coating that was glued over a bus stop pole. As you can see, it's peeled off and is only attached by a couple of screws in the pole itself.

According to the W&E Minister lawless people are responsible for stealing the reflective material.

Yet this one hasn't been stolen. And it's in a central location.

Perhaps if Government didn't waste money on such a substandard application we wouldn't have peeled-away plastic hanging off our poles?

Yep, the Minister's statement appears to be a classic case of blaming somebody else (but me) and passing the proverbial buck.


More on Rise Above

As follow-up to the post about the community group formed to address some of the critical issues in Bermuda, they've launched a website. Check it out.

Be safe on the roads

With the gun crime situation being deservedly the most critical endeavor that the Police are going to focus on during the next couple of weeks, my wife remarked that there hasn't been as much talk about the increased potential for road collisions during this time of year, particularly as pertains to drinking and driving.

Hopefully, people will be more responsible - if you're staggering out of the bar, find a taxi or find a friend.


Bowling and volleyball

Update on my "Days Since" chart to the right...

Over 140 days since I played volleyball. Sigh.

And over 495 days since I went bowling. Pathetic, huh.

I only got some time to play Final Fantasy XII because I was home sick all last week. Got my behind out of the Great Crystal and am preparing to hunt the Behemoth King... check back with me come February, I suppose...

Anyway, talk about depressing, folks. Hopefully if I'm inspired enough I'll try to at least get back into volleyball in time for the King of the Beach circuit. Meanwhile, anybody wanna go bowling before the New Year? Anyone? Bueller?

The Road Safety Council's website

In follow up to the commentary of praise in an earlier post on this group, I have to ask the anonymous poster how they would rate the efforts to promote the discussion on their Facebook and blog site.

Personally, I think the TV ad spots aren't too bad - the "drinking is our culture" one and their advisory on the "new youth licence" are informative and useful. However, it appears that the public pretty much zooms past them like a V50 through rush hour traffic.

Nobody so far has "gotten real" nor "joined the discussion", unfortunately. I'd suggest the following, one or some of which may have been already contemplated by the group:

[1] get the radio DJs and TV talk show heads to discuss things, stimulating some two-way conversation.
[2] forget the 30-second clips currently on the air, get the required 3 minute commercial time and air (damn the censors) the well-known clip of the British girls text-messaging in their car and then crashing. Get graphic, get the people talking.
[3] call a press conference or something similar, invite the Minister of Transport and in no uncertain terms call upon changes in the Police applying the rules of the road and in the legislation being adjusted or enhanced to take note of the seriousness of infractions.


Professional courtesies

When you've already been waiting 8 months for your wedding photos to be produced, and have already dealt with various email and phone messages advising us that things are 'going to be complete soon', what can you do short of lambasting with the curse words?

I mean, I'm a patient person, to a fault. Perhaps that gave our photographer the green light to beat around the bush on us, however, how unprofessional is it to not give us the honest answers and or results that we would like to have?

Our wedding day was in April. It is late December and we do not have our wedding photo album. It's ridiculous. If this is more of the 'Buy Bermuda' mantra, then we'll be contracting such a service to an overseas person in the future (screw the work permit argument).

The kids want peace

Apologies for the long gap - it's not been a great December, and I also think that applies to Bermuda as a whole, as most of the news has had to deal with gun crime and murder. I think many overseas readers would be stunned to believe that there is gun violence in this little country, but the truth is here.

I was encouraged by this montage from local primary schools a few Saturdays ago where the children drew pictures depicting their thoughts on violence or peace. They were very creative in their drawings and some of them really showed the reality of the situations at hand, such as broken families. The kids seem to get it, and that should be encouraging.

Question is, once these kids get a bit older, how do we maintain the focus and desire to live a clean and healthy lifestyle, and allow them to reject a lifestyle where they're committing serious crimes against each other?

There's a group called "We Will Rise Above, Bermuda" that formed recently, with a series of action plans to try to tackle the problem at the grassroots/community level. I think it shows real initiative. People are tired of relying on the Government to come up with answers, and may also be frustrated with the Police for not being able to apprehend everybody at fault (then again, there's an issue with people not being willing to report incidents... another story).

I think it has the potential to bring hope to the community and a way to cutting off some of the problems at their roots. That said, we still need to take care of the bad issues that are already malignant in our society.