More important things in life

There are far more important things in life than political nonsense and pointless debates on easily solvable or unimportant issues...

Presenting Exhibit A.

I'm humbled, and blessed.

To my son, all I can say is that the world is yours. I'm going to do whatever I can to set you on a positive path.


Conquer Your Fears

One truth that I've learned over the years, is that if you want something, you have to go and get it. Being passive is no way to achieve anything, except maybe pity. It's a hard and sometimes painful lesson, and far too often I've personally failed to follow through on achieving my goals, but the only way to get things done is to power through the pain, or conquer your fears.

Today I was able to get one goal accomplished, that was long over due. And to channel my inner fake celebrity routine, "if *I* can do it, then so can you".

Conquer your fears, in all facets. That way, at the end of the day, you'll have peace of mind in knowing that you gave it a try.


About trimming the size of Cabinet

Been holding onto this for a while here. No, this has nothing to do with the Throne Speech or the like, but it's a bit telling that it's another recommendation from the SAGE committee that has been neglected by the powers that be. What a waste of time and effort, in the end, huh. The OBA, once again not being particularly bold.

Govt tables SAGE report | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Politics


Why would a church body put money to this

When there's gun violence in Bermuda, the most we hear from major figures from Christian faiths is the suggestion that they have National Days of Prayer.

When there's an issue of equal rights for gay people, the protests are often far greater... now up to the point where a major PR campaign is put together by said church bodies.

All I can think is that for all the money it took to not only have a website built, but also put together TV, radio and print advertisements, they could have made some major impact on initiatives that address things that are actually harmful.

Cue that Kermit and tea-sipping meme.


Carrots and sticks, reloaded (road safety)

So the extent of the police's strategy in 2015 for road safety appears to be a purely carrot-based approach, with this whole 'MAN' thing. The police for their part appears to be quite chuffed that they handed out 2300 of these Motorist advice notices to the motorists violating traffic laws.

If they're seriously going to use this as a barometer of success, then they're really out of touch.

Success is fewer infractions, not fewer *ticketed* infractions. It is the changing of our driving culture, not a bunch of 'MANs'. Goodness.

Carrot time is over. Bring on the stick already. Stop mollifying bad and dangerous drivers.


Tumult all around

Kind of wish I had that seven hundred bucks to throw into that stress-management seminar right about now.

Some people are also posting online that it's Mental Health Awareness month or something, and it's probably most appropriate where I'm concerned.

Mind you, since we still live in the Age of Who Cares, and the lack of empathy among ourselves appears to be at an all-time low (both in Bermuda, and overseas), a lot of it all becomes empty words. Remember, we're supposed to be able to handle stress, but we're encouraged to 'put a smile on it' or 'never let them see you sweat' at the office or during home life. Put on the mask. 'fake it til' you make it', never show or express any personal bad vibes.

Until the inevitable breakdown.


When managing stress is stressful

In Already-Obvious News, a visiting consultant pointed out that stress at the workplace is growing. Shocking.

So, he's running some seminars on stress next month to apparently provide companies and individuals with tools to manage and deal with it.

At $700 a person to attend these seminars ($600 for members of the CPA), surely that's out of reach for those persons likely suffering under the most stress as a result of being overworked or unemployed in the first place. Ho hum. Score a point on the ol' irony-meter.


Cast off - Road to Recovery - Day 40

It's been over 140 days since my injury, and it's been 40 days since the cast came off. Crazy, when I look back at things. Right now, I have the semblance of a calf again, at least the massage therapist agrees so. Have only used a crutch for balance purposes, really. Have even occasionally walked down the stairs with only the railing for assistance.

Found a pretty nice blog of another person's journey through Achilles recovery, it's good to remember that others have gone through similar experiences and that we can learn something about the recovery process. I'm really enjoying looking at his exercise notes and chart, as I'm hoping to find out ways to incorporate cardio workouts, without of course risking damaging my ankles. I've heard that weight training shouldn't be overlooked, so maybe it's a matter of getting to a gym (or maybe, getting some resistance band-based workouts set up) and doing what I can.


I'm flattered (scam)

These are probably the oldest variety of scam, I imagine. The ones where a mysterious stranger shows interest in you and wants to get to know you better. Probably successful at trapping younger, single and lonely folks, but it's still a scam nonetheless. Don't fall for it.
Hello My Dear, Good day My name is Mary, i am Female (never married) i got your email address at Facebook, Also i got interested on you after going through your profile on Facebook when i was searching for a friend, i hope you wouldn't mind? so many people misunderstand this life but to me i see it as a race which can only be won with combined efforts, i will like you to respond to me so that i will explain my purpose of contacting you and also send you my picture for you to know whom i am. i believe we can start from here. I am waiting for your response, Remember that distance or color does not matter but agape love to each other matters a lot in life, have a nice day as i wait your reply, thanks
Love may be blind, but it surely doesn't abuse capital "I"s.


Cast off - Road to Recovery - Day 28

Haaaate these doctor appointments. Had a 10:15am appointment at the fracture clinic - it's 10:52 when I figure that this is sheer madness. I'm in the waiting room alongside several others who are having 10:30 appointments. What the hell? What is it with these places that figure that their patients have all the time in the world, with no other commitments to make, to sit around growing grass around their ankles, all for a doctor to eventually glance at the injured spot, mumble a few lines then send you on your way? So, after rescheduling the appointment for next week, I ended up merely wasting twenty bucks worth of cab fare money for a little bit of sightseeing. Thanks, doc. HAAATE.


Online scam, green card edition

Some of us may have seen online banners talking about getting green cards, even if we have no intention whatsoever of emigrating to the US. But I hadn't gotten an e-mail scam attempt pretending to offer a green card until today:
Dear costumer, Congratulations! Your application for the U.S. citizenship is ready to be approved. You have the opportunity to be authorized to live and work in the USA as a lawful permanent resident. The Green Card is going to be prepared for you in 1 month. The unique number of your application is via-262. Follow this link http://[FAKE LINK].com.br/[FAKE LINK] to finish the registration procedure. Please pay attention to the fact that the period of time for you to finish the registration is limited. Yours faithfully, Visa Center Support Service
The funniest part of this attempt is that this supposed "Green Card" service is operating from somewhere with a *Brazil* domain, based on the URL that they want me to click on. Don't even mind the misspelled words or the fact that I didn't even ask for a green card, that's minor at this stage. Just follow the link and we'll get hooked right up...

And, most likely, they'll want to finish up the processing by obtaining our phone number, mailing address and probably some credit card information to handle a 'processing fee' or the like. What could go wrong? Seamless, right?

Don't do it, folks. The scammers are everywhere, and they're persistent.


Cast off - Road to Recovery - Day 26

When it comes to getting the hoof back in shape, I'm feeling positive, although when I count the days, it's like, holy cow I've been out of action for *how long*?...

I think I'm close to a point where I can ditch the crutches and can probably get away with maybe just a cane for support/balance, we'll see what the doctor recommends later this week. Physio's coming along fine, the stretching seems to work, I think I'm even seeing a development of a calf muscle (well the little bump anyway). Of course the physio seems quite delighted to knead my calf with a rolling pin like he's baking the largest pie in Bermuda.

There's a light at the end of this tunnel, no doubt...


Cast off - Road to Recovery - Day 8

Progress, folks. My first physio appointment was relatively brief. We checked the ol' hoof out, and ran through a set of exercises that should further stretch out the tendon and recover strength in the corresponding muscles.

Then, I went home and tried to repeat the exercises. I nearly fell over when trying the calf stretch against the wall, so nobody's perfect.

The hardest part may be to ensure I stick to the program, as when I get home from work I'm not keen on any physical work, and when I wake up it's a bother as well... so really it comes down to just becoming dedicated and ensuring I make the time for this. After all it's my leg, nobody else is going to do it for me... and lord knows I don't have the money for a full-time, live-in, physio to keep me on my toes, so to speak.

Woohoo, a credit to my account

Remember, the scammers don't care. All they need is one out of the thousands of emails they send out to be opened, link clicked, and bank details submitted, to succeed.
Dear Customer,
You have received a UCount-Credit customer bonus of BMD 820. You were randomly selected to receive the above amount in our August 2015 general customer appreciation bonus
Proceed to credit your account now
REF0153UCOUNT******/2015 (BONUS)
(From an address purporting to be from Clarien Bank, which seems to love me even though I've still not opened an account there, heh)


Ensuring beach access, at all times

Historically, I've been always against the restriction of beach access in Bermuda, which I believe is a minority position in online circles.

So when the topic of access to the existing beach area in relation to hotel development in St. George's came up, I'm not surprised that it doesn't make many waves (pun unintended) in the online community. I'm grateful for Think.Bm/Politica for their live tweeting of the Senate discussion on the development.
'Reasonable', in this circumstance, should mean 'unhindered' and 'unfettered' at all times, except in case of environmental or ecological emergency. I have a sad feeling though, that Government's definition is going to be far more restrictive.

Hopefully Senators Daniels and Ming will be able to follow up and ensure that Bermudians and visitors will retain access to what I think should be a fundamental and national right, that is, access to public beaches.


Road Safety, still in the works

Well, I'm sure it's still in the works. That's what they said back in June. The transport Minister has repeatedly said things would happen in a couple of weeks.

Don't mind that things like running over firefighters are now happening in Bermuda.

Keep producing press releases every two months promising that committees are going to form. That's been proven to placate the public.

Road user habits will adjust on their own. Innocents caught up in the carnage, as well as their families, they're perfectly fine with the rate of progress on things.

"A" for effort. Or something.


Cast off - Road to Recovery - Day 6

No longer do I need to hop up the stairs in my house. Using the railing and a crutch I can two-step my way, so that's something to be happy for.

I discovered on Sunday that they left one of my stitches in. I'm sure there's little danger in it, but now I can't stop checking it out. One day, I'm going to be tempted to try to cut the thread out myself, and I'm sure that's not a recommended policy... even *if* I was a cub scout and have GCSEs in Biology.


Cast off - Road to Recovery - Day 3

I wasn't warned one bit about the swelling.

The ol' leg, after the cast came off. Matchstick-thin.
Dear lord. I move my foot and ankle for the first time in many weeks and it's like my circulatory system has migrated south. It was worse yesterday, but today's no picnic.

With crutches, I can make a semblance of a walk, although there's no chance of putting any sort of weight on it.

Elevation and ice seems to be the order of the day, well, the next several days, perhaps. Luckily I haven't done something completely bonkers and banged my toe on a bed post or something (yes I'm aware I've jinxed myself).


Cast off - Road to Recovery - Day 2

Second day since the cast's come off.
I'm kind of giddy that I can stand up. It's not a full straight-on stand, but it's nice to feel the ground beneath both of my feet at the same time.
My physio doesn't start until Wednesday so it's basic stretching and gaining mobility for myself in the meantime.

The icky part (well at least where my family's concerned) is that there's still three months' worth of dead skin slowly falling off from my calf, shin and foot. May need a personal Dirt Devil to carry around for a week or two, just in case. Sorry, family.

It's going to be a busy latter half of 2015, no doubt, so hopefully this aspect of things will progress at a good rate... after all I'm going to be on permanent trash-taking-out duty from here on out.


Bermuda taxi drivers in spotlight

Since my injury, I've had to make a lot of use of local taxis. Sadly, this has impacted my wallet much more than I had planned at the start of the year, but it is what it is.

Reading two recent articles concerning less-than-useful taxi operators, I have to say it's another classic case of one bad apple (or a few) spoiling the bunch. In a service industry that's reliant on reputation, any bad instance will leave a sour taste in one's mouth for a long time afterwards.

I haven't experienced abusive drivers, although I have had some relatively rude and or selfish ones in the past. My biggest pet peeve at the moment, is only the dispatch/arrival process when I'm ordering one. Most times, I can get a taxi at the required time, however there are a few times when one doesn't show up readily, and there's no notification otherwise. That's frustrating, but it doesn't reach the levels of anger that these folks are claiming from some pretty shoddy experiences.

It's up to the other drivers and the respective governing organizations to demand better from those who are appointed for these roles, as any bad experience reflects badly on everyone, even if not justified. Weed out the inept or uncontrollable ones immediately.


Cup Match spirit conquers all

I was actually pretty nonchalant about this year's Cup Match. With the poor performances by the men's national team in regional competition, and the apparent same-ol same-ol happening in local leagues, I was pretty much meh to this year's event. Combine that with the ICC's attitude to cricket beyond the Test world and possibly my own limited contribution to coaching with the Achilles' injury, I was more than content to let July and August roll by without caring one bit about Cup Match, who wins, who loses, whatever. Cricket was fully set to become an after-thought in my ordinarily All-Sport-Loving mind.

Yet somehow, there's this spirit of Cup Match that manages to win me over, stir up my enjoyment of donning the Blue And Blue and engaging with smack talk to the villainous Somerset faithful.

Perhaps it's that it's a rare occasion that people in Bermuda put aside things like politics or religion or other contentious topics that would otherwise stir up anger or vitriol, and everyone's just happy for the 'break' from the daily grind, even if the actual cricket isn't part of the conversation. People who don't know a lick about cricket, much less who Janiero or O.J. is, will chat about how their 'team' is going to win the Cup.

We now have handy how-to-guides published on how to enjoy the game.

Even our famous (international) adopted TV celebrity was enticed to weigh in (of course she chose the correct team to support):

There's something about Cup Match, indeed. Perhaps somebody needs to bottle it up and spread it throughout the remainder of the year.

Just remember, folks...
What a holiday.


Football (soccer) fan betrayals

I'm regrettably a supporter of Aston Villa, which used to be a proper English footy club back in the day and is now in the heights of mediocrity; too horrible to be a contender, not horrible enough to get relegated so they can rebuild.

Team captain Fabian Delph was one of the few bright spots last season, and going into the offseason, it looked good he'd stay with the club. Even after powerhouse team Manchester City made a bid, Delph showed signs of loyalty, endearing him to the club fanbase:

Great. What a declaration. He was going to spend the next couple of years working for the team. Loyalty to a 'T'.

Then along comes Friday, not even a week since the original statement. Just like that, he's bolted.

Forget that he's going to see less playing time in a crowded Man City midfield. He'll get exposure to Europe football, and that's fine. His prospects for England may become iffy, though, with the reduced opportunity to perform on the pitch. And of course his wages should get a nice bump.

It's not about any of that. He basically got the hopes up of every single Villa supporter, made them feel really good about themselves and their club, then stabbed them right in the gut. Why put them through the ringer like that?

I trust the faithful footy supporters (not just Villa, but possibly also those who see Man City as a good team to slag for various reasons) will have no shortage of good songs to come up with during Delph's matches next season, especially when he returns to Villa Park.


My continued disgust with the ICC

I remain baffled, yet not surprised, by the confirmation that the ICC is reducing the number of places at its centerpiece global championship to 10 teams, 8 of which are guaranteed to be Full Members.

The ICC cited their reasons for the cut as a combination of shortening the competition length and reducing the amount of mismatches, even though both theories have been blown out of the water both off and on the field respectively.

Yet, the ICC somehow believes that reducing the amount of teams at its showpiece event is going to contribute to its supposed goal of making cricket the #1 sport in the world. What?

I've spent more time than I should defending the sport on various message boards. I point out that the India vs Pakistan World Cup match drew a higher viewing audience than pro gridiron's Superbowl. I indicate that despite the sport being relatively concentrated in Commonwealth nations, it's more popular on an individual basis than any team sport outside of soccer and basketball (and I'm pretty sure basketball vs cricket is a tight affair, some people may argue cricket is more popular). I point out that if cricket wasn't a big deal, the likes of Pepsi and LG and other global brands wouldn't be long-term sponsors.

However, no more. I can in no conscience support a "World Cup" that exists only to protect the interests of a select number of cricket nations and treats the vast majority of its members as second-class.

It is a shame that none of the other Full Members showed any dissent. Maybe the fear of losing bilateral series with the Big 3 nations overcame any desire to show objection to the process. Maybe they were content to not risk losing to Ireland or Holland in future tournaments.

It's sad that the likes of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and even Sri Lanka couldn't say, "Wait, we were once trying to get in the Big Dance, why should we shut the door on those trying to follow our footsteps."
It's sad that the West Indies, at the risk of fragmentation, didn't want to keep the door open for other small countries or territories to qualify for global competition without going through flaming hoops.
It's sad that the ECB is content to let Scotland and Ireland remain feeder programmes for England to pilfer their best talents.

It's also sad that the leading Associates haven't been more vocal with objections. Sure, we hear the outrage from individual players like Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson and Kevin O'Brien, but that's not enough. The actual cricket boards haven't been vocal, is this so they don't risk getting their (already limited) fixtures against Full Members reduced? What about those Associates with little to lose? The ones who'll never play against a higher tier nation and get pennies worth of funding?
The Essel group's venture, whatever it is, I wish them well, but I sadly don't see anybody showing the guts to break away from ICC-sanctioned events. Cricketers in Papua New Guinea or Namibia will continue their progress only to butt up on a glass ceiling with a crack big enough for maybe one at a time, every couple of years, to squeeze through (and possibly fall back down even faster).

It's not even like there's room for cricket to grow in current Member countries. Cricket's saturated in India and Pakistan. What sports are growing there? Soccer and basketball. It's already diminishing in the West Indies, and is only hovering around in England. In Australia and South Africa, it's one of three or four major team sports and isn't making any further inroads. It *has* grown rapidly in Afghanistan and a number of South Asian countries, however. It could shoot through the roof in China, but the ICC doesn't want the sport in the Olympics, so that possibility is dead in the water. Cricket's popularity can only shrink from this decision.

I'd encourage any young players from an Associate Member country with athletic talent to take up soccer or rugby instead. The barriers to national success aren't as high, unless you live in India, England or Australia. It makes no sense to dream of global success in a sport that does not want you to sniff it.
When the 2019 ICC Full Members Invitational starts, it will feature *more* matches and take a *longer* period of time to conclude. There will certainly be more dead rubber matches and we'll probably have even more blowout contests (of course in 2015 most of the blowouts were between Full Members anyway). TV audiences may be high, especially for the extra matches featuring India. But it can only go downhill from there, without the interest from outside the 'traditional' cricket nations, that may choose to embrace Rugby's or Basketball's World Cup that actually allows teams to qualify via a fair process.


State of the Blogosphere 2015

The state in Bermuda isn't really that great these days. It's just a continuation of the trend for the demise of traditional blogs and forums while most users flock to the comments sections of the online news media and the various discussion pages within Facebook (I believe there are three or four that focus on Bermuda issues, none of them being 'independent').

BIAW, once the leader in online forums, now gets one post a day.

Vexed Bermoothes has ceased activity, and while Bermuda Blue has picked up the slack, it and Catch-A-Fire remain the only ones with regular and relevant postings relating to Bermuda.

Even the old Bermuda Free speech forum on Yahoo, rumoured to have pre-dated all but the earliest of blogs, hasn't had activity in three years now.

It seems this trend isn't limited to the Bermuda blogosphere. And it's not limited to blogging about a particular topic, either.

Bloggers likely have to either adapt, or find other avenues. Luckily, the owners of the above-mentioned blogs are also well-known online columnists for other online news media, and their voices are as strong and well-listened to as ever.

As for the rest of us, I don't know. I really don't want to devolve into that guy who just posts videos of cats, you know?

Archived SotBs:


Christopher Lee has gone Into The West

I simply loved seeing Sir Christopher Lee in films. From the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Man with the Golden Gun to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he had presence.

He'll be missed by many.

I am now most overdue to catching some of his work as Dracula in the Hammer Horror films. Rest in peace, sir.


Zooming with abandon

Auto Solutions Bermuda just aired this TV spot for this car. Zooming across Bermuda's roads at high speed, navigating corners rapidly.

It's just a bit weird, considering there are issues with people on this island speeding and the high road fatality rate... not that government cares of course... that this type of ad was produced.

Maybe there's one of those disclaimers, the "closed course, qualified driver, do not attempt" messages at the bottom of the screen. Who knows.


Low down and offensive behaviour from political parties

After a peaceful protest in support of a particular set of legislation relating to breast cancer screenings, three relatively well-known PLP supporters took a photo wearing women's bras, in a show of solidarity of the movement.

Great, awesome. The protest wasn't driven by any political motive at all, and having men support the protest was healthy. The photo was published to a news media site and circulated among local social media channels.

Then, in response to a PLP tweet (which itself may have been misguided, but in the nature of politics not surprising), someone responsible for the OBA twitter account thought it was a great idea to 'photoshop' this particular gem:

This frankly, is the sort of immature hatchet job I'd expect to see from fringe elements, someone with unfiltered disgust at the Caitlyn Jenner story currently buzzing around, and wanting to score the cheapest of all pot shots. Not someone in control of an actual political party's social media account.

It's probably more disgusting that OBA senior leadership haven't pulled the post and issued an apology for the insensitive slam against both men who support women's health issues, AND the transgender community world wide.


The cost of transport

Well, based on rough calculations, I've gone from spending approximately ten dollars a week on gas money for the bike... to somewhere approaching $250 a week on taxi fare to and from the office.


Surely this can't be sustainable...


I want a Segway to commute in town

Yes, it's almost certainly out of my price bracket, but now that I'm going to be hopping around for the next 8 weeks in the height of summer, I would absolutely love to have a Segway to commute around the city, possibly use it to commute to the ferry to head home after work too.

Mind you, I have no idea how that vehicle would respond to someone on one leg, it's probably not designed to be a replacement for a wheelchair, but still.

Hamilton is not the easiest small city to get around in if you're disabled, and without a city shuttle system or similar, you're pretty much at the mercy of everyone else.

Maybe I can rent one of those motorised wheelchairs from the Veendam cruise ship passengers when they don't need them or something...


The latest lame spam/scam

This one is funny, in how terrible it's written. Of course, all it takes is a couple of people to fall for it. Don't do it, faithful readers. This one is pathetic in just so many ways.
Hello dear s members NORTH ROCK COMMUNICATIONS as a result of congestion inall accounts created by NORTH ROCK COMMUNICATIONS mail! Would be forced todisable all unused accounts or pirated by the pirates from the net. To avoiddeactivation of your account if enabled, you must confirm your e-mail by filling outyour information below name by clicking reply. The personal information requestedare for the safety of your account [NORTH ROCK]. Make sure therefore filled urgently the information needed.

Full user name:... ……………………………………………………………………..
Poste Occupé : ........................................................................................................
Adresse e-mail :.......................................................................................................
Mot de passe: .........................................................................................................
Confirm your password:... …………………………………......................................
Date & place of birth:...
Téléphone :.......…………………………………………………………………………………..
Ville de résidence:....................................................................................................

After completing the instructions above, your [NORTH ROCK] mail account! will not bedisabled or removed. We thank you for your usual cooperation. We apologize for any inconvenience. the Directorate of Communication
Yes, I'll put my password, date of birth AND telephone number in an email and send to this dodgy-looking address. And if you know any disinherited princes trying to recover a few million dollars, please pass that info along to them too...


When the Achilles gives out on me

Well, there goes the streak of staying
major-surgery-requiring-injury-free. My 2015 volleyball season appears
to have ended the same day it began, and it's extra gut wrenching
because I was really feeling that this spring and summer would see me
really push my fitness levels up a few notches. Instead, my achilles
gives way on a simple step backwards, and I'm looking at months of
immobility and who-knows-how-much recovery and recuperation time.

I feel pretty devastated, to say the least. It also means a planned
summer trip is now on ice, and some of my other plans for the next few
months are kaput.

With 40 coming around the corner, it's probably another reminder of my
own mortality, which I will need to take account of without letting it
depress me. It's not fun, but I now understand a bit more what other
people who've had to deal with similar setbacks in life, have to deal

Well, at least my triceps will get a good workout carrying me around
on these crutches...


Stop, I am on the roundabout, not you!

Was on the roundabout heading to work.
Woman driver bolts forward a bit. I'm all "hey, I'm on this roundabout, stop until I get off..."
Woman looks me right in the eye and then bolts forward a bit more.
What the hell?
Put your foot on the dang brake and *do not* raise your foot, woman!

It's just strange how some people simply do not understand, nor care to follow, (or in this case, have the patience for?) the basic rules for navigating a roundabout in Bermuda.


Being frugal

Every now and then, I think, yes I would like to get some new shirts and pants for work, or another pair of shoes. Lord knows a freaking car would be useful as well.

But, due to the cost of living, I hold off on it. Mortgage, electricity, groceries, little guy's future education, those have to be budgeted for.

Maybe I'm alone in this island or at least one of the few, and maybe this is why some of us get stressed out to the point of depression in such a demanding work/life environment, but sometimes we have to be frugal by necessity. Luckily, I was raised (or nurtured, or whatever) to not spend what I don't have (or can't afford, or don't wish to risk)... sometimes that works out, sometimes it fails because an unexpected expense comes up (or in the past, I had to help someone else out with their own issues... which is another issue altogether).

There have been times where I wish I was more nonchalant, had less of a conscience when it came to spending money. Where I could just roll with the flow, if things got rough I could beg someone else to jump in or do something else. But it's hard to change a learned behaviour such as frugality, perhaps.

The economic situation doesn't look to be abating anytime soon, which is discouraging on another level, and when compiled with feeling your career prospects are merely treading water, things look even more bleak. But what can you do.

Sigh, indeed. [/ramble]


The continued inaction with regard to road safety

Last road collision resulting in major injury: April 26th
Last road traffic related fatality: April 18th
Last time the Transport Minister announced anything to address the epidemic: April 2nd
Last time the powers that be did anything tangible to address the epidemic: Who knows.

Tick, tock.

(See also: "It takes another road fatality to wake up the Transport Minister and TPTB")


Game of chicken, literally

Sorry, nothing to do with politics this time out, folks.
On my bike yesterday, there's this chicken standing in the road. She appeared oblivious to my vehicle heading my direction. Finally, when I was probably four feet away, the bird decides to step calmly away.

Meanwhile, I'm all "Oh, so that's why they name that particular game after chicken".


Breaking the (driving) law right under their nose

Was behind a woman in a car the other day during morning rush hour. Woman kept looking down, as if checking her cell phone or sending text messages. Occasionally while traffic was paused she'd take a longer glance, and then released the gas pedal to drift forwards a bit.

We later go by a stationary police SUV (presumably, there to check for traffic offenses, but in retrospect could have just been on a coffee break). Officers either don't notice or don't care.

Ho hum.


The pedestrians giving the rest of us a bad name

I kid you not.

Admittedly, this could have been a tourist, but it was unbelievable to come across a lady in the middle of the pedestrian crossing taking photos with her phone of a building.

Why would someone think this is a good idea, much less a smart one?

Yes, I'm in full agreement in pedestrians having the right of way at crosswalks, but come on, folks. They're not meant to be used as resting spots. Cross the street, that's it.


It takes another road fatality to wake up the Transport Minister and TPTB

Surprising absolutely nobody who's been following the lackadaisical attitude of the powers that be when it comes to road safety, it took another death on Bermuda's roads to remind the Transport Minister and his 'key stakeholders' that they were supposed to tackle the issues that plague our roads.

Pathetic, on all sides.

What did they expect, after their much-ballyhooed "Summit" 6 weeks ago? That there would be a sharp decline in collisions and serious injuries on the roads? From a round table of suits airing the all-too-obvious?


We still lack that Road Rules Champion, there's nobody in a position to influence and effect change, willing to demand and push for change in how we address things. It's just more of the same from the politicians, the police, and the media outlets.

Two days of spouting buzz words like "education", "change" and of course "coalition", will likely be followed by a whole lot of inertia until another serious incident happens.

More families getting the dreaded phone call.


How not to navigate Bermuda roundabouts

I. Kid. You. Not.

At the junction of Serpentine Road, Par-la-ville and Woodlands Road, a bike rider overtook a car about to go on the roundabout, darted across the front of the car before heading left.

The insanity of Bermuda drivers on our roads knows no bounds.


Once again, the less well off have to make up the slack

So once again, government is hiking the prices of a commodity or service to make inroads into the national debt. Okay.

Today's announcement to confirm the increase in bus/ferry fares has the undesired effect of targeting the people least able to handle further dents to their savings or earnings.

Yes, on the surface it's probably not a substantial cut; a 5 dollar increase in a book of 15 tickets isn't a killer move, but when it comes to who gets to pay more, think about it. Who catches buses on a regular basis in Bermuda?

  • Students, who remain a 'protected class' because no political party wants to be seen as the ones who make children (their parents) pay
  • Seniors, who deservedly should retain their current status as being allowed to travel free on public transportation
  • Unemployed or low-income persons unable to afford private transportation
  • Temporarily disabled persons unable to utilize private transportation

The people who are more likely to be able to afford a small dent in their earnings are the ones less likely to use that service!

Sad situation all around. Meanwhile the politicians continue to find ways to inconvenience Bermudians just a little bit more, every time.


The cost of things in Bermuda

I'm pretty sure the very last thing most Bermudians wanted to hear today was the prospect of $300.00 Internet combined with thousand-dollar dining.

The disconnect between big-ups and the common man remains steadily high.


Predictable reactions to political issues

So, is anybody else surprised by the reaction to the latest tiff within the House of Assembly?

Cheerleaders, paid or otherwise, for each political party, come out swinging in full defense of 'their side' or attacking 'the other side'.

This too shall pass,... until the next dividing moment.


More bad hygiene

Sorry for getting a bit gross here.

Have you ever walked into a public restroom and found the seat coated with urine, and the floor also having spatters around?

What kind of fella causes such a scene and just goes about their merry way?

Probably didn't wash his hands either.

Ugh. Sickening.


How's that Road Safety Summit coming along, Min. Trans?

It's been a couple of weeks since the Ministry of Transport belatedly recognized there was a serious issue with road safety and the Culture of Recklessness on Bermuda's roads.

Since then we have had a silly hashtag 'promotion' that I don't think anybody cares about, a couple of police traffic blitzes in the usual spots to nail the typical 'low-hanging fruit', and zilch else.

Business as usual, for the powers that be.

Meanwhile we have had some controversial Cabinet changes, and the unfortunate (and likely avoidable) issue with Government workers and furlough day agreements, that have had the side-effect of distracting everyone from other issues, including road safety.

Of course, there's no reason why the Minister of Transport couldn't continue (or start) work on whatever campaigns or strategies that have been presented to him and his departments.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is why some people question the paycheck that Government Ministers get.


This kind of scam may trick a few

Just another friendly reminder to be aware when you get emails purporting to help you. I suspect this one will ask you for your username and password like normal then harvest your data for other more nefarious purposes.

Stay aware, stay safe.
Dear Northrock User,
We have placed your five incoming mails on pending status due to the newest update to our server in order to serve you better.
Click here to login and wait for response from our email support team in order to receive the pending new messages. 
We are really sorry for any inconveniences we might have caused with this newest update. 
Northrock Email Service

The lack of empathy and consideration is too damn high

This, the result of another impasse between the Government and the relevant workers' unions in Bermuda.

Because the sides could not resolve the issue of cost savings measures, we've again reached the point where the public is inconvenienced and have to scramble.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but once again it's the public, seniors, students, that are dragged into this mess. Well done, all y'all.

Bermuda Blue's timeline analysis of the recent activity

Catch-A-Fire's analysis, going back to October 14th


Bad drivers don't care about Hashtags

Near Warwick Post Office. A pedestrian activates the flashing lights at the crosswalk. There's also a crossing guard there, who begins walking across with their stop sign in hand to ensure traffic halts. A car slows down and stops.

You guessed it. A motorbike behind the car, zooms past and overtakes the car and flies over the crossing, bisecting the pedestrian and the crossing guard.

Nothing is going to change until bad drivers are penalised for their actions. Trying to trend hashtags like   is not going to have any impact. Neither is "Just Go Slow" PR campaigns. Education is all well and good for people just joining the vehicle-usage community, but people who abuse the laws of the road because they know there are no consequences are never going to be swayed.

Yes, hard hitting messages need to be pushed out there including the Dejon Simons story, but it must go in parcel with some major enforcement of the current legislation. And it absolutely cannot be a two-week thing, there has to be a lengthy commitment to driving home the point that abysmal road use behaviour cannot be tolerated.

The powers that be want to have a Summit at the end of January, more than two weeks away. And perhaps, after 4 or 5 meetings to congratulate themselves on forming their special committees, they will reveal a PowerPoint presentation and that will lead to planning out how to implement their strategy. What would be preferable is to get together *yesterday*, take the various ideas floated and pushed out already, run the options by the Police and other enforcement agencies, and get going. Now. What are they waiting for?


Now resuming the political brou-ha-ha

All right. I think Bermuda had gotten spoiled with the relative lack of political posturing, so we were due for a controversial Cabinet reshuffle and all the commentary that it generates.

Nothing like some nice re-manufactured drama to distract us from the major issues in education, road safety and employment. Cheers, my elected MPs.


Changing road habits is not an easy process

Another serious collision on Bermuda's roads has resulted in another fatality. It's beyond sad. Again, a family must hear the dreadful news.

Meanwhile, road habits among Bermuda residents haven't adjusted one bit, despite these collisions and Bermuda Police's groundbreaking 'hashtag' campaign.

Bike riders are still weaving through traffic, including around corners. Cars are still overtaking at junctions illegally. Vehicles continue to straddle centre lines as if they can't handle staying in one lane.

While the powers that be continue to do whatever they're doing that may eventually result in an action plan, nothing's changed on the roads.

People need to really see for themselves the negative impact of all this horrible road usage behaviour, and not feel as though they're invincible, or that bad things can't happen to them on the roads.

That goes for you too, woman checking her cellphone constantly while driving through city streets.


Bermuda Road safety a priority? Yeah right.

Hello, 2015. I have lost count of the amount of times I've used a variation of "lather, rinse, repeat" when it comes to soundbites from politicians after a road fatality.

Yet, the Premier and the Minister of Transport are pledging more of the same, that they're serious about road safety, and will be taking steps to do blah blah blah yawn...

For some reason, it's only when a fatality (or in this case, a pair of fatalities) happens that the politician-types step forward and preach about their goals with regard to road safety. Oh, and election time too, but that's minor.

Put in some legislation, get the police and other authorities on board, get some hard-hitting campaigns put together. And no, banners on East Broadway are not what I'm talking about. The closest thing to a hard-hitting campaign I've seen in Bermuda was when they recreated wreckage complete with 'dead' bodies at the scene. But that lasted all of a couple of weeks.

There are a number of techniques that could be implemented, but for some reason TPTB are unaware of or afraid to consider them in this country. Meanwhile, the collisions continue to happen. Will *this* be the time that Government actually does something besides give soundbites? I doubt it, but we'll have to see.