Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back in 2005, before I bought my Vespa LX125 I was in my Jeep full-time. It took me over 60 minutes each morning to get in to work and 45 to get home at night. it was, how you say… Le Suck? On top of that, the A/C crapped out!

I took it in to GT Automotive and they topped up the freon (or whatever it’s called now) and put some dye in it so they could see over time if there was a leak in the system. They also replaced a relay that was burned out. That relay was the cause of the warm air. The compressor was still working and spinning, but this relay was preventing the air from blowing cold. They told me that the compressor was drawing more current than it should, and that’s what caused the relay to blow.

Less than 24 hours later, I stopped at Foster’s on my way home from work with that sweet, sweet luscious air conditioning blowing cold on my knees. When I came out of Foster’s and started back up… it was warm and stayed warm. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

At that point, I decided I wasn’t going to keep dropping $65 on parts & labor to replace this relay over and over and that it must be the compressor. I waited, thinking that the compressor would be an expensive repair. Then I switched to the Vespa and the Jeep became secondary transportation at nights and on weekends, when it wasn’t so hot or I wasn’t wearing “business casual”.

Of course, last summer I was hit by that jackass in the roundabout and totaled my Vespa which put me back into the Jeep temporarily as my primary and as it turned out permanently. Still, it was fall and winter and the lack of A/C wasn’t that big a deal.

On May 1st, it was like Mother Nature flipped a switch and it got HOT out. Bleah. I had also already made plans to repatriate back to Canada and sell my Jeep, but the A/C was a selling point so I should really get it fixed finally. I’ve been thinking about getting it fixed for over a month now, and was starting to make calls around to see where I should take it.

This morning, after I popped into Paperman’s at the Strand (a 30 second drive from home) it was hot and muggy in the Jeep. Thinking that warmish air was better than no air, I reached down and turned the knob for the A/C which controls the blower and… WHAT THE DEUCE??? COLD AIR??? Surely it must be a figment of my imagination! Maybe it’s just the cool morning air in the pipes from having been parked in the shade… but no! It got colder! It stayed cold! It stayed cold all the way to work!

I’m going to give it a workout over the next week or so and see if it was an anomaly or if I’ve been sweating and feeling all gross by the time I get to work the last year or so!

Update: Well it's not working again. For a couple days I thought I had it figured out: make sure you turn the A/C off before turning off the engine but during my not-so-scientific-method of testing it, I shut off the engine with the a/c on and it hasn't come back on yet. I can't feel the "pull" on the engine when the compressor kicks in, so I think all things considered it's a wiring issue rather than anything REALLY major like a compressor because when it blew cold it was ICCCCCCCE cold! Time to break out the anti monkey-butt powder!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 7:28:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Sunday, September 2, 2007

Two weekends ago we had a little brush with Hurricane Dean. Nothing major, lost a couple shingles but a huge disruption to the normally care and stress free existence that's kept me down here so long.. ha! Anyway, in the lead-up to the storm's arrival, we went through the checklists and steps to preparation. I still have a checklist, but it's pretty much all in my head now because we've been through it so many times... test and tune the generator, inventory and stock the food that needs replenishing, prepare a go-bag in case you need to GTFO of Dodge, document prep, off-site backup of data files (thanks, Stacy for pointing me to Foldershare) fill up the cars with gasoline (A full bunker is a happy bunker) and all of that sorta sorta.

Our landlady didn't think it was worth the trouble to board up or anything because "it did fine in Ivan". Every storm is different, if it comes from even 1 degree different angle it can mean the difference between a safe house and being perpendicular to coconuts, shingles and anything else that gets picked up and blown around and through windows. Ultimately, it's her place, so whatever.

Since it was the first threat of the season, the food supply was pretty low-to-non-existent so when I went shopping (two days before the mad rush) I spent $89 on food & water. most of it was hurricane supplies, but some of it was just regular groceries that I needed as well. I topped up the tank on the Jeep and made sure that Scott's car (that I brought and parked up here for safekeeping) had a good load of fuel too, in case we needed it later on to run the generator).

Since then, I've been driving around on that fuel in the Jeep and had to fill up late last week. I actually let it get right down to fumes and was lucky enough that I rolled into the gas station on momentum! Power Plus (the cheaper stuff) was $4.31 a gallon late last week. Fumes-to-full on the jeep was 12.25 gallons so I was really sucking the dregs from the reserve of the fuel tank. $53.00 later, the tank was full. $53.00!!! That should get me about 350 miles or so,  I'm going to be running this tank down to fumes again to see how far I can stretch it, mileage wise to work out in my head when I need to fill up again.

Compared to my poor little Vespa (which is sitting behind the shop, starting to rust awaiting it's fate from the insurance company) which only took about $5.50-$6.25 to fill up with the good stuff, it was a tough pill to swallow. I guess I have to compare that to the trauma I went through last month and all the medical bills and laying in bed for a whole week and then it's not so bad, but from a purely financial point of view, cars are getting way too damn expensive to operate. It's times like this that I really feel sorry (well not that sorry, no one twisted their arm to buy it) for people who are running around the island in their Suburbans and Expeditions and other silly V8-powered SUVs that are only ever forced to navigate the treacherous puddles after a rain shower.

Sunday, September 2, 2007 7:51:36 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

DSC00161 This is what my Vespa looked like last Sunday, the morning after the accident. You can see pretty much exactly where the car smacked into me. There's some damage at the front as well, I think what happened is when she got hit, she pivoted and slammed the front end in to the car. I believe (because I don't remember) that was what caused me to be thrown off to the right, plus my forward momentum of about 25mph made me not only skid around but roll too. That would explain why I have scrapes up and down two opposite sides of my helmet, as well as shredded my new microfibre shirt that my mom bought for me while I was at home a couple weeks back. First time I wore it, too! The INSIDE of the collar is shredded, as was the lanyard I had around my neck (the breakaway section worked as advertised too) and my John Hardy necklace got mangled, too. Other casualties of the wreck were my new Prada sunglasses that were about a week old, the pants I had on and the toes of my sneakers where my feet dragged along the ground.

DSC00162 What you can't tell from the pictures, is that while we took these pictures, the scooter was running! We picked it up off the trailer, put it on the center stand and fired it up. She sputtered a bit at first, and then spit out some smoke where the oil had sloshed around inside and burned up for the first 30 seconds or so. Aside from the smoke at the beginning, she ran well. Lee actually climbed aboard and road it around the parking lot a bit. We quickly went over it, part by part and he estimated about $1100-$1200 in parts.. things like brake levers, mirrors... that sort of thing. The running board and seat grab handle were the big multi-hundred expenses, but all the little bits and pieces, lights and things quickly added up. The bad news came a few days later, when we got the estimate from the body shop. On top of the $1400 in parts (labor extra of course) the shop manager at H&R Autobody wrote an official estimate for the insurance company at $2225 for paint, labor & bodywork. 3600 give or take, Cayman dollars, for repairs to make it roadworthy. She was $4200 new in December '05 and Lee figured I could have sold her for $3000 as-is the day of the accident (before, obviously). Looks like she's going to be a write-off. I haven't been back there since the day after the accident, I think she would be sad that I didn't come to visit sooner... Lee's got another LX125 at the shop that someone who left the island is selling for about what I would get from the insurance company.

I'm undecided still about getting back on another one. A lot of people have offered their opinions one way or another. I've heard a few "you're not invincible, you know." To those naysayers, I say this: "I was hit by a car at about 25-30mph while I was doing 20-25mph and more or less walked away from it. I FUCKING AM invincible! Aside from the cuts and scrapes, bumps and bruises, shock and road rash, I didn't have one broken bone, not one fracture. Jesus H Christ, my bones might even be made out of Adamantium for all I know! I'm just waiting for someone to really get under my skin and see if blades pop out of my knuckles! I've already got the sideburns for it!

I had to go back in to work last night around 8:30 and even in my Jeep I was SO paranoid about getting hit by some fucking inattentive jackass that by the time I got home I had a pretty nasty tension headache in my upper back and neck. I was able to get to sleep around 11, mostly because I was so exhausted from only getting a couple hours of sleep the night before. I ended up taking some sleep-eze on Saturday night, so I didn't want to take some again so soon. Sunday night I took my last antibiotic (Doc gave me more after the hospital 'scrip ran out, didn't want me getting a staph infection in my road rash) and then this morning I took the last anti-inflammatory he prescribed me.

2007-08-04 Accident Photos 002 I remembered seeing some Advil nighttime at the supermarket last night, so I stopped in at the little pharmacy at the four-way stop in West Bay. I didn't see it on the shelf, so I asked the pharmacist, but he told me he didn't have any. Damn. "But I do have these..." he said.

Turns out you can by Nurofen over the counter in the Cayman Islands! As you can see by the link, Nurofen is a British drug. It's ibuprofen, like Advil, with the addition of--wait for it--codeine. Jumping Jesus on a Pogo Stick, you can buy this shit without a prescription?? I picked up a packet of it to try it out and will see how things go. Something tells me I'm not going to have any trouble falling asleep tonight.

Shoes are still proving to be a bit of a bother. I wore my Geox sneakers to work yesterday, going 100% down the comfort alley. Didn't work too well. by 10:00 my feet were dying. I went the opposite tack today and laced up my Doc Martens. It worked. My feet were held in place and supported and it felt a lot better... until about 1:00, then they started aching again. Last night I got home early and soaked my feet in a bucket of hot water and epsom salts, but tonight I haven't had a chance to yet. Perhaps I'll do it before I go to bed, and then wrap some ice packs around my left foot for good measure.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 6:08:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Pictures | Scooter#
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The hospital gave me some co-dydramol pills to take home with me, as well as a prescription for some more. I don't really think they did much. Co-dydramol is a UK version of Tylenol-3, I think. I didn't even notice it getting me that drowsy, which was one of the things I was hoping for! Mixing it with a few shots of Jager and a glass of Freya's KerPow on the other hand, did knock me out for a few hours.


Yesterday I tried to contact the police officer who was on the scene, and he was off-duty yesterday. Today I called again, but then I drove into town (in the Jeep) and went to the doctor's office. I must have looked suitably pathetic as they took me in right away even though I didn't have an appointment.


I got checked out, and everything seems to be healing up. He extended the antibiotics as he didn't want me to end up with a staph infection with all that road rash, and also switched me over to cataflam which is an anti-inflammatory and also helps with the pain. I took one (with food) at lunch and then came back home and took a nap. When I woke up, I went downstairs to get a glass of water and was halfway across the living room before I realized that I walked down the stairs normally, and without holding on the the railing! Holy shit!

I stopped in at the insurance company today, too to report the accident. I didn't have anything to give them as I hadn't heard from the police yet, but as it turned out the guy who hit me DID have insurance, and was through the same company as me, so they had his side of the story and I gave them mine. He's not assumed liability, so they're going to "investigate" based on our statements and the police report. He said that he came to a stop, looked right, didn't see any cars coming, so he went, and collided with me in the outside lane of the roundabout. I said that I didn't see any cars stopped waiting to come in to the roundabout as I came around from the other side and that he struck me on the left on the inside lane. I left it at that for now, we'll see what the police report says, but the bottom line is I was in the roundabout already, I had the right of way, he struck me from the left, it's his fault all the way. I'm sure the police report will corroborate that, but at the first hint of static from the insurance company, I'm going straight to a lawyer. I'm trying to avoid that as they charge a retainer up-front. There's no such thing as a free consultation down here in Cayman I've been told.

I'm meeting with the RCIP at 10am tomorrow morning so everything should be falling into place by then. In the meantime, it's time for more drugs and then off to la-la land :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 8:55:45 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Saturday, August 4, 2007
So it happened again. This time it was a Honda instead of a dog. Some guy didn't stop and went right into the roundabout and t-boned my poor little Vespa. I don't know how fast he was going, because when I looked, there was no one waiting to come in to the roundabout, and then as I crossed through, WHAM.

I remember seeing his headlights, basically where my knees usually are. Then I heard the most awful crunching scraping noise. Then I realized it was my helmet making that noise. I remember rolling and scraping along the ground. I stopped before the scooter did. One of the thoughts that raced through my mind was "holy shit, look how far away it is". I crawled out of the middle of the road and laid onthe curb where there was a little grass, took off my helmet and just laid there til the ambulance showed up.

Broke my new sunglasses that were in my pocket. Tore off one of the headphones from my iPod (although the iPod itself survived). Yanked my lanyard from around my neck and pulled the ID badges right out of the snappy clip. Ripped the fob off the keychain (weird) and tore off a flap of the sole of my shoe.

I don't know how my scooter looks yet, but there were pieces of it all over the road. Lee was a superstar and came out with his trailer to take it to the shop where it'll be inspected and written off. Wendy from work happened to be driving by and stopped, and I called John and asked him to meet me at the hospital.

My feet hurt. It's very slow going to walk. My left big toe and my right baby toe are a little torn up and there's a bruise coming up on my left toe. My left leg has a goose-egg on the upper shin and some road rash. My right leg has a couple big patches of road rash up the outside, and I 'scrubbed' a hole in my new cargo shorts on the front of the thigh. My right hand has a big lump on it and it's starting to bruise up, along with some little nicks all over the back of my had and knuckles. There's another patch of road rash on my right forearm and more on my upper arm, just below the sleeve. The INSIDE of collar of my new microfibre shirt (thanks mom!) is shredded and the back of the shirt across the shoulders is all torn up... as is the skin across the back of my shoulders! The left side is worse, ironically. My left shoulder hurts, I don't know if I bounced off the hood of the car and then started skidding or what, and my bottom right rib is pretty tender.

Everything's starting to sting again, and my left arm is starting to get sore and stiffen up. I just took the pills they gave me, so I'm expecting to pass out soon. Tomorrow when I arise from my stupor, I'll see about posting the pictures. Lee was taking pictures at the scene and int he hospital of me on the gurney with my head taped down, and John took pics of all the booboos tonight when we got home, for the insurance company. I'll post em all tomorrow or monday or something.

Good thing I got my Jeep licensed the other day, I'll have to rely on my "backup" vehicle for awhile until the insurance company gets around to doing their thing.

Chicks dig scars!

Saturday, August 4, 2007 8:53:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Saturday, May 19, 2007

My jeep is not running at the moment. I took it in for service a few weeks ago before I left for Italy. I had them do an oil & filter change, lube the front end and the whole chassis, and asked them to degrease/power wash the engine compartment so I could maybe see where the oil leak was coming from. As it turned out, I was correct and it's just a valve cover gasket. No biggie. I can replace that one of these weekends.

When I picked it up, the engine started slower than usual. Mental note. The next day I drove the jeep to the supermarket and it started slower, and then slower on the way home. I drove around for awhile with my eye on the alternator gauge which showed it was putting out 14 volts. Normal.

That night I went to Legendz to watch the hockey game and it started slower and seemed to struggle to spin the flywheel. I stopped at the Esso to pump up the slow leak in the left rear tire and had to shut off the engine because it wouldn't stay still. In hindsight I could have just set the parking brake :) It was REALLY slow to start after that. Finally when the game was over and I left for home, it gave up the ghost and stopped turning over. I couldn't figure out what was going on, because the dome light and headlights were bright, the seat belt buzzer sounded normal and the radio played normally. When I turned the key, nothing. I was able to push-start it and get home where I parked it and where it's stayed since then.

I didn't think the battery was suspect, but after getting back from Italy, we put the load tester on the battery and it checked out OK. Because the alternator was putting out 14 volts, IT was ok, it had to have been the starter itself, and something electrical. We checked all the connections for corrosion, and everything SEEMED to be ok. The next thing to do was drop the starter out and see if it needed rebuilding or replacing, and hopefully not the wiring.

I was all set to do that last Saturday. I hadn't crawled around the engine compartment and gotten dirty in awhile and was looking forward to doing something constructive with my weekend. I thought I would drop the starter out, do some tests on it and then if I needed parts I could go down to Parker's on my scooter and get them, come back install the new parts and then have a beer or six.

Instead, I spent last saturday either in bed or on the couch. It had been less than 48 hours after my scooter accident and I was having trouble just moving around, never mind crawling underneath my jeep. I put it off and put it off, John helped out by doing a few tests on the battery and whatnot for me during the week while I was at work to narrow down what the problem was. Today I decided I was well enough to crawl under the Jeep and get the starter out. I wasn't sure if I could put it back in, what with my ribs as sore as they are still, but I was going to give it a try.

I went out there with some tools and disconnected the ground on the battery and then for good measure, disconnected the positive terminal as well, to check for corrosion. Then I layed down on the ground and tried to wriggle under the jeep... ow... not good... I managed to get the power and ground disconnected from the starter itself, but that was as far as I could push the pain threshold. I couldn't hold both arms up at the same time without causing gasps of pain, so I had to leave it like that.

As I was laying there under the jeep, breathing shallow so it didn't hurt and trying to figure out how I'm going to get this fixed as I'm in no condition to push start a Jeep Wrangler on my own at the moment. I had the morbid thoughts of 'this is how old people must feel when they try to do something they've always done and then realize they just can't do it anymore.. no wonder old people drink so much"

So I cleaned the tools I used, cleaned myself up, poured myself a drink (hey it's five o'clock in Europe already) and downed a couple Advils and laid down on the couch for awhile. I think it was the combination of being in pain and not being able to work on my Jeep ON my 34th birthday that brought on the old-age thoughts, but hey, it ended with a drink in my hand so it can't be that bad, can it?

Saturday, May 19, 2007 10:06:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Jeep#
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I remember hearing the scooter scraping along the pavement then I landed square on my side. Shortly after that I heard and then felt my helmet hit the ground and then I rolled over, sliding on my back a little before ending up on my belly
Thursday, May 10, 2007 9:36:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
So I moved back out to West Bay last week, home of the hour-long commutes (aside from Scooter riders). I have a few posts bubbling in Windows Live Writer that I'll probably post tonight when I get home, but I wanted to get this one out while it's still fresh in my mind and also to ping everyone who's reading this via RSS that I'm not dead and haven't stopped writing.

Monday morning I got up early, at seven, and got ready for work. Just in case, I left the house at 7:55. I came around the bend at the west end of Town Hall Road and saw red brake lights. Not good! Traffic was basically at a standstill from the Northwest Point Road fork to the four-way stop. From the four-way stop to Willie Farrington rd where Foster's Supermarket is was chock-a-block creep-and-go traffic. Once you got past that little bottleneck, traffic opened up. Now that I've done the route three times, I've seen that the traffic bottleneck IS the Willie Farrington Rd intersection and after that is smooth sailing. Coming down West Bay Road I averaged 30mph all the way through into town.

This morning I peeled off to the new bypass which comes out at the Courtyard Marriott at this point and it was practically deserted and I hit a sustained 40mph all the way through to The Strand shopping center where I pulled in for a coffee at Paperman's Coffee House. I probably could have gone faster, but the posted limit is 25mph and the road isn't finished, so if I hit a loose patch of gravel and dumped the Vespa, it would have been like landing on a cheese grater at 40mph+

The new bypass traffic backs up after the strand to the roundabout behind Lone Star, and then again where at the roundabout where it joins the Harquail Bypass, but that's because of all the cars entering the Camana Bay construction site at shift change.

If I were driving my jeep in to town at that time of the day, it would probably take me longer to get from the new apt to Foster's than it would to get from Foster's to town. My only question at this point is this: since there weren't very many cars at all on the bypass nor were there many on West Bay Road from Foster's south, why the hell was traffic backed up solid last year from NW Point Road all the way through to abuot the Hyatt???

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 6:20:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The weather sucks ass today. It sucked on Saturday, it got better Saturday night, it got crappy again Sunday afternoon... and so it goes. I was awoken this morning at 5am by rain POUNDING on the roof. I physically could not open my eyes to check the clock and had to will them open to check it eventually. Definately a Jeep day.

I already planned to drive in to work this morning, as I have some running around to do that requires some cargo space (and SOME cargo space trumps the Vespa by virtue of BEING cargo.) I got an email the other day from Little Bucket over at Ignition, the new IT Outsourcing outfit here on Grand Cayman that was called "Who needs a truck?" and had all these pictures (mostly from Vietnam and the Philippines it looked like) of people using scooters for cargo. Compared to them I'm a rank amateur, but I'm OK with that.

I didn't think it would be too big of a deal considering where I live, and the new bypass being open and the time I left the house. I was wrong. Either I didn't pay attention because any traffic there was I just went around on the Vespa or what, but I made the turn onto West Bay Road and traffic was stopped just on the far side of the Ritz-Carlton. Forget this shit! When I made it to The Strand, I turned in and made for the new bypass. I got there and had to wait for two cars to pass heading northbound before I could make the lane-crossing RIGHT turn southbound (we drive on the left here, dontcha know). I got to the next entry/exit to the bypass at Jennifer/Palm Heights drives and... stopped. WTF, Mate? Traffic poked along in front of the old Hyatt (which still isn't open, and is sitting dark... would have made the world's BEST haunted house in hindsight...) and was waiting to merge at the Lone Star Roundabout (I'm sure it has an official name, but that's how I recognize it).

Traffic then poked along the stretch of bypass behind Galleria to the other roundabout by the Cinema. All things considered, I decided to pull in to Cafe Del Sol and get a coffee to start the morning off. Cafe Del Sol was recently bought out by a new owner (a guy I know, actually) and he's sunk a lot of money into the place already, replacing all the derelict computers with shiny new Dells with 24" monitors. Their old ones went to the island of lost toys (wait, isn't that Cayman already?). There was a bit of a line, but the girl at the register saw me in line and called my order to the barista before I even got up there. When I got to the counter, she said "good morning, Mark!" and handed me my drink. Pretty cool customer service if you ask me.

When I finally got onto the bypass again, traffic was moving along swimmingly, until I got stuck behind a jackass who's little shitbox beater car couldn't manage to sustain 30mph and there was too much oncoming traffic to safely pass him. Finally I made it in to work ten minutes late. Not too shabby considering I was out til 12:30 last night at Sunset House for their Halowe'en bash. More on that later, though.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006 6:33:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants | Scooter#
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
DSC_00042.jpgIt's a bit hard to see in this picture, in hindsight I should have lowered the camera angle to get a better shot, but hey, it's a cameraphone. Expecting good things from a cameraphone (even when it's rated at 1.3 megapixels, the same as my first digital camera) is like, well.. whatever.

If you CAN'T make it out, the "good stuff", the Esso 8000 is KYD$4.38/gallon. That's USD$5.34 per gallon according to today. Fortunately it's Imperial Gallons, so that makes it a little better, but not by much. Today I filled up my Vespa scooter and it cost me $5.87. That $5.87 will last me at least a week, unless I make a trek out to East End again with the Cayman Scooter Brigade (website coming soon ;) ) Compared to my 4 cyl 2.5l Jeep, which cost me on average $25/week just to run back and forth to work (sitting in traffic) and around on my own time (always within 5 miles of home) and it's a huge savings.

Today it rained. Yay for gardens, Yikes for scooter riders. It wasn't so bad. It wasn't raining that hard, not like that day in January that I wrote about being Le Suck. The worst of today was wondering how much dirt that was sitting on the road was flying around in the spray from everyone's tires. Even if it were raining harder, the only thing I would have done different would have been to put on my rain pants, as well. As it was, my pants got wet, but they needed to be washed anyway.

One of the RSS feeds that I check on a fairly regular basis is Autoblog. Every now and then they post articles about scooters, and today they posted two. One was about a 3-wheeled scooter that Piaggio is releasing. The weird thing about the "MP3" trike as they call it, is that the two wheels are IN FRONT as opposed to behind like a traditional tricycle/big wheel. It looks weird, but cool at the same time. The other one was aggregating a post from (note to self, check that site out, too) and wrote "According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, sales went from 12,000 in 1997 to 113,000 in 2005 as people discovered the scooter's fuel-sipping100  mpg and its ability to zip through traffic snarls."

I tend to disagree a little but about the 100mpg thing, realistically I've tracked it to be about 60mpg in real-life driving. It's still better than the 25 that my Jeep is rated for and probably closer to 20 that I get with it. It ends the article with "And just like their motorcycle brethren, scooter riders are joining clubs, Internet forums, and organizing weekend rides." Unfortunately, the island is only 22 miles long, but fortunately it's sunny and warm (except today) and you have a gorgeous ocean view for most of the ride.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:04:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Friday, April 8, 2005

I was low on gas this morning (actually I was low on gas yesterday and let it slide til today and nearly forgot about it) so I pulled into Brown's Esso in the Industrial Park to fill up. The Cheap Stuff “4000” petrol is $3.54/gallon.

Three dollars, fifty-four cents, per US gallon. That's $4.29 US Dollars and $5.25 Canadian Dollars. Per Gallon. Filling up my Jeep cost $42 this morning and will last me about 10 days or so (I'm already pretty miserly about gas/driving... if I'm going in to town to meet someone who will be coming back to West Bay later, I'll leave my car and hitch a ride into town) At this rate, it'll probaby be less than six months before gas stations have chain link fencing and armed guards to protect the precious dinosaur blood.

After the seven years it took me to finally get my hands on a Jeep Wrangler, I'm looking into getting a scooter.

Friday, April 8, 2005 8:13:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants#
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Apparently Jeep/Chrysler does...
Sunday, February 13, 2005 4:34:31 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants#
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Trying something new, here... a photo-entry. Not sure how it's going to work/look but drop me a comment and let me know if it works, or if it sucks ass.
Thursday, January 27, 2005 5:48:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Jeep | Topside#
Saturday, January 8, 2005

So this Jeep I got (related stories) last month has a hard time starting in the morning. Neighbours know when Im leaving because it takes forEVER to get started. As soon as it's started, it runs fairly smooth aside from the odd misfire here and there, but it seems to suck a lot of gas for a 4cylinder.

Today (well yesterday really) I decided to crawl under it and give her a little TLC. I got parts for an oil & filter change, fuel filter change, air filter change, new spark plugs and eventually new spark plug wires. I drained the goopy oil out (I'll probably have to do it again shortly, use this fresh oil to pick up the goo and take it with it when I drain it)

After the air filter, oil filter and oil drain & fill, I moved on to the fuel filter. After I found it (it was tucked up under it's own skid plate behind the left rear tire) it was a cast-iron motherflower to get off. Turns out that those were probably the factory original hose clamps on it. Johnny Rotten came over to give me a hand with it and we eventually got it off without spilling too much fuel and got the new one in. We fired the jeep up (which is still in need of a name.. I'll post a pic and take suggestions later this weekend after I wash it) and it ran pretty smooth, and we checked for leaks anywhere, and there were none.

Ya think this might be part of the problem??? So much for .035 gap!

Finally, while I was putting the skid plate back on over the fuel filter, John went to start taking the plugs out. I heard him swearing that it was on there good and then heard the “SHIT! MOTHER-F---ER!” and just KNEW that he broke the wire. :) so we pulled the rest of them and took the plugs out and then ran back into town to get a new set of wires (they really needed to be replaced anyway...) We gapped the new plugs and installed them and the new wires. We fired it up and it started RIGHT AWAY. I'll see what happens tomorrow morning when I start it after it's been sitting overnight. When I fuel up tomorrow I'll dump in some fuel injector cleaner and then that should be all she wrote.

It's Paulie's birthday today, the big four-five. He's probably started already, but we're having a big piss-up at Rackham's tonight around 7:30 or so. It seems like to long ago, but I remember when he turned 40... I think his final count of shots was in the range of 35, plus beers. He was SO WRECKED, but he showed up for work the next day, looking like he was run through the proverbial wringer and pulled his weight all day. In getting him so soused, we got pretty messed up as well. I'm going to TRY and take it easy tonight, but I might end up leaving my Jeep at Rackham's and hitching a ride home if it gets ugly.


Saturday, January 8, 2005 2:40:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Jeep#
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
If you ever need to import a car to the Cayman Islands, email me first and I'll try and talk you out of it.
Tuesday, December 7, 2004 8:12:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants#
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

...well it's fucking justified!

I JUST got a phone call from Tropical Shipping again a few mins ago. They called to inform me that my 1995 Jeep Wrangler was involved in a motor vehicle accident while being loaded aboard the ship! Did I want them to send it anyway and I'll deal with the claim down here, or did I want to have an estimate made up there in Port Everglades and have it fixed up there?

I emailed back (after looking at the pictures of the damage, it got rear-ended) to send the damn car down here and I'll claim it as damaged when it gets here. It cant be more then a day or so's work at a repair shop, but if I get it done there, then I'll miss at least one more sailing and push the delivery date back at least another two weeks.

I'll be SO happy to celebrate New Years Eve this year, if ONLY so that I can KISS GOODBYE 2004, because it's been nothing but a big pain in my arse!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004 10:59:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants#
My jeep was supposed to be here by now. I called Thompson Shipping yesterday to inquire about it, and they didn't have any record of me ever having delivered a car to the port. Here's a timeline of yesterday's events
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 6:50:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants#
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Estimates on the number of cars damaged/destroyed/written off due to Hurricane Ivan run anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000. Why is it that with that many cars off the road is there still so much traffic in the morning?
Wednesday, November 24, 2004 8:45:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants#
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