Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, August 21, 2008

This was the title of a post I saw on about a week ago or so. They have a series of articles called Galley Gossip, written by a flight attendant and this was what her post was called when it came through my RSS reader. When I went to gadling this afternoon to copy the URL to use here, I saw it's name had been changed to "There's more to Miami than La Carreta" so I guess someone took offense to the title of the original post.

The theme of the post is that for her, going to Miami means getting off the plane, going through immigration and customs (if it's an int'l light) and then going to La Caretta and getting back on a plane and going somewhere else. It really struck a chord with me because my take on Miami is similar: airport, cargo, airport commercial park, a few of the hotels in the vicinity of the airport and the Circuit City on Galloway. My Miami is not South Beach, Key Biscayne, or anywhere sunny, bikini-clad and prone to be featured as a backdrop on Burn Notice.

I thought about this for the last year, once I could see the light at the end of my work-permit tunnel in Cayman. It isn't like Seattle, where I could drive down for the day from Vancouver should I choose. Miami is pretty much the farthest you can get in the continental United States from Seattle. I made a point of scheduling extra time when I was in town in order to explore a little more. I started driving south rather than north and seeing what was around in Kendall and downtown and South Beach. In September when I was up for a whole week, I arranged to drive down to Key West for the weekend on Friday afternoon once I was finished work. I flew up and drove across to Naples for the weekend back in April when my parents were down there with friends having a mini-vacation.

IMG_0338 Yesterday, when I went up to meet my cousin Raffaella and her friends who were in Miami on vacation from Italy, I saw more of Miami in one day than I had in the last four years. They had already walked around Collins and Ocean avenues and seen what they wanted to of South Beach the day and evening before, so we piled into the car and took off for Little Havana. Their Lonely Planet guide to Miami and the Keys said that Calle Ocho was the place to be on the last friday of the month when all the shops stayed open until midnight and I think the street was closed to traffic with people just hanging around partying into the night. Unfortunately it was a Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 so it was just another latin-flavored neighbourhood with fancy wrought-iron bars on the windows.

We decided to stop for lunch at Cafe Versailles. I had heard the name before, but thought it was just a coffee shop in the Miami airport near concourse F. Boy was I ever wrong. It was listed in their guidebook so we took that at face value and punched it's address into the GPS SatNav. When we arrived I was shocked to see that Cafe Versailles and it's counterpart Versailles Bakery took up almost the whole block of 35th SW and Calle Ocho. There were multiple (small parking lots) and a lot of people going in, coming out and hanging around the walk-up coffee & lunch counter that faced Calle Ocho. We found parking around the back and then went in. Is this the front door? No. Is THIS the front door? No. I guess over the last 37 years they've expanded into their neighbours space a few times. We finally found the front door and went inside. A maitre' d escorted us through the labyrinth of dining rooms to a table set for six. He asked me (in Spanish) if we wanted menus in Spanish or English. When I said "Sorry, I didn't catch that? slower please?" he said "Ah. English" and changed our menus.

IMG_0341 It's hard to describe the dining room we were in. Mirrors everywhere, gilt fixtures, chandeliers and funky segmented ceilings were just the beginning. The mirrored walls were etched and had fluorescent tube lighting behind them so the etched parts shone through white surrounded by mirror. It was really bizarre. It reminded me of somewhere "fancy" my grandparents would have taken me when I was a kid in 1978, 1978... except it was 2008. They had a veritable army of runners, bussers, waiters and waitresses, bartenders and I can only assume the second division in the kitchen. I'd really like to know just how big their kitchen really is.

Then there was the menu: huge. Four pages huge. The first page was cold appetizers, soups, salads and a kids menu. The second page was chicken dishes. The third page was pork dishes and a few beef dishes. The fourth page was seafood with the back inside cover dedicated to sandwiches (Cuban, natch but also some very American things like a club sandwich or cheeseburger with fries. Then on the back outside cover was side dishes and beverages. Homemade sangria, beers, wines, and of course, the mojito. I had the Cuban Sandwich, and the girls ordered a variation on chicken & rice. After lunch we ordered two Tres Leches cakes for everyone to try and Cuban coffee. For six of us, with tip it only came out to $75 which is pretty darn cheap. It would have been as expensive had we gone to Chili's or some other lame-ass chain restaurant (Hey Farva, what's the name of that place you like to go with the shit all over the walls?) and not nearly as unique or interesting.

A rain band, or a squall came through just as we were finishing lunch, so I ran out to the car and brought it around so they didn't have to run through the rain. We were trying to figure out where to go next, what with the weather and all. Key West was out of the question, it's a nearly four hour drive each way. I suggested we could either go to Key Largo, or we could go to Ft Lauderdale. I looked at the sky and it was dark and ominous to the south, and relatively bright to the north, so we opted for Fort Lauderdale. We caught up with the rain that passed us by at lunch on the way up, but when we hit Las Olas it cleared up and was even sunny out when we got to the beach.

IMG_0344 The girls were really impressed with the beach at Fort Lauderdale. I think it was more of what they were expecting Miami Beach to be like. A wide sidewalk & seawall and then sand stretching down to the waterline. All the hotels, restaurants, condos and bars were on the other side of the street, giving an unobstructed view of the beach and the ocean. We wandered south along the beach for a half hour or so, taking pictures until we all got hot and thirsty. We crossed the street and went upstairs to Lulu's Bait Shop that was overlooking the beach. I think it was the first time any of them had been in a dive bar and weren't quite sure what to make of it. We wrapped up and got back to the car by about 4:30 when our meter (which had 90 mins on it when we pulled in! score!) ran out.

IMG_0346IMG_0347 As we were walking back to the car, one of my co-workers Jean called me. She was heading south from Boca Raton to get on the same flight as me, so she pulled off and met us at Carlos and Pepe's for a margarita and the best damn house-made salsa and chips. My friend Shannon met up with us too, since I'm leaving next week I won't be calling her randomly when I'm in town saying "wanna have lunch at Carlos & Pepe's?" anymore :)

IMG_0353 We got back on the highway at about 6:45, yikes. The flight was at 8:55, cut-off time to check in is 7:55 and I had to drive from Fort Lauderdale to South Beach, and then from South Beach to the car rental return, and then catch the shuttle bus back to the airport! Yikes! We made good time on I95 south at that time of night and then got into a bit of traffic in South Beach which raised my heart rate a little but in the end, I dropped the girls off with plenty of time for them to clean up and make their 9:30 dinner reservation at the Blue Door and I got back to the airport and checked in with literally minutes to spare!

I went through security and by the time I got to the gate, they were boarding. I was the SECOND last person to get on the plane (cough-Jean!) and was asleep in my seat before the plane took off. I woke up in the air, saw that the seatbelt sign was off, grabbed my headphones, unstrapped my seatbelt and lay down across all three seats and was out like a light until the flight attendant came and gently shook me awake to put my seatbelt and take off my headphones for landing. I sent the girls a text message to let them know I made it to the plane and was back home in Cayman before getting home and crashing HARD until my alarm went off this morning at 7:30 to start my second-to-last day of work.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 2:08:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Travel#
Saturday, December 22, 2007

Barbara emailed me some pictures, my mom forwarded me the same pictures, Jenn sent me a couple through IM and Margaret uploaded some to Photobucket. So far, this is my favorite one... the caption SHOULD read "We finally figured out how to drag their attention away from the Canucks game" because as you can see, even though they're at the hospital in Danielle's room, the TV is on in the background, with the game on :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007 8:24:31 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures#
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#
Sunday, August 5, 2007

I haven't posted them to flickr yet, but in the meantime, the pics from the hospital, pics of my scoot and pics of the road rash and bumps and bruises are here at this link on facebook:



Sunday, August 5, 2007 7:55:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
As we lingered over espresso we realized that we were going to miss our train to Venice, so we decided to order some profiteroles and a slice of fresh fruit tart and catch the next train. As good as the chocolate profiteroles were, we both agreed that the fruit tart, with the light custard and fresh strawberries, kiwi fruit, grapes and plums with a glaze over it was the better of the two.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007 6:23:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Travel#
Sunday, July 1, 2007
I'm SURE that this wasn't going through their heads when they decided to pull a prank on a friend's car in the long-term parking lot at the airport, but it's what happened as told to me by someone who talked to the perps last night:
Sunday, July 1, 2007 3:55:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Cayman | Misc | Pictures#
Sunday, June 3, 2007
We started the day with a plan: take the subway to the Vatican, mosey around there, see what struck our fancy, then make our way southeast through Campo Dei Fiori to the ancient city, pass through the Coliseum, check out the Circus Maximus and then catch the subway back to Roma Termini and catch the train back to Florence in time for (a late for me, early for Florentines) dinner.
Sunday, June 3, 2007 9:53:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Pictures | Travel#
It was about a 2.5 hour train ride, but it went pretty quick. Watching the countryside roll by out the window you could tell as soon as you left Tuscany as the hills gave way to flat plains. We rolled in to Rome around 3:00 in the afternoon and went first to our hotel to check in.
Sunday, June 3, 2007 4:36:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Travel#
Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm not sure what prompted it... maybe it was Freddie Mercury's birthday, or the anniversary of his death, I'm not sure. Everywhere I turned, the whole time I was in Italy there were references to Queen everywhere.

We first noticed it when we were in Rome. I heard Radio Ga-Ga coming out of a storefront and I mentioned to Tina that it was a good song, but there was this "band" called the Kleptones who did a Queen/Beastie Boys mashup that was one of my favorite songs at the moment.

A couple days later we were in Venice and walked past a little glass shop and the proprietor was sitting at his laptop and he had a Queen song blasting out the little speakers. I pointed it out, but Tina at this point didn't remember hearing it in Rome. Five minutes later ANOTHER shop had Radio Ga-Ga playing loud enough to hear in the street. I laughed and said that was the third time we'd heard Queen and the second time we heard Radio Ga-Ga.

As we were walking back to the bus station in Venice, we came across a poster that had Freddie Mercury's face on it! I don't know if it was a cover/tribute band or what. I should have taken a picture of it. We moved along and shared a little giggle about it.

  The next day we were sitting in a piazza cafe in Verona with my cousin Rafaella when all of a sudden... this guy walks by with a Queen t-shirt on! Tina pointed it out and I was quick enough to get a photo of it. Raffaella looked at me like I was crazy, until we explained what was going on what with all the Queen references, she laughed and said "well I dunno about Queen, they're kind of old aren't they?" We finished lunch and were walking around Verona looking at the sites and a Queen song came on the radio and we all laughed.

A few days later, when I was back in Florence I decided against the line to climb to the lantern of the duomo and instead went for the belltower. Just as high, less crowded and actually gives you a view of the dome itself rather than being on top of it. As I was climbing the stairs (and that really kicked my ass, it was a tougher climb that the cupola of St Peters in Rome) I came across this scene and had to snap a picture of it.   What are the chances??? We heard Queen once more before I left Frankfurt, but by then it was giggle and move on and I can't remember if it was Radio Ga-Ga or what.

Update!: I nearly forgot the icing on this particular cake! The night before I flew back to Miami, I was staying in a hotel just outside of Frankfurt and had a terrible headache so I stayed in rather than see any of Frankfurt. I was flipping channels on the tv in the hotel room and it was the FINAL of the German version of Pop/American/Canadian/Whatever Idol, I think it was Deutschland Superstar or something. It was down to the LAST TWO contestants and they were really giving it their all fr the crowd and for the judges. The first guy comes out and... belts out "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by none other than-- QUEEN. I had a hysterical fit of laughter all by myself and then wrote in my moleskine to remember it when I made this post. Of course then I forgot until just now. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2007 2:08:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Pictures | Travel#
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Yeah, well that's more of a sight gag... try to imagine me making swimming motions with my arms. Anyway. Im back in Florence this afternoon after spending two days in Venice, a day in Verona and then heading up to Valdagno to spend a day and a half with my family. I'm in the process of downloading the pics from my memory card and posting them (I threw them up on Flickr as part of the Italy Trip set, but they arent really tagged or described yet) before doing a walking recon of Florence before I hit it tomorrow with the camera.

I was worried that I wasn't going to get any lunch today as the train was delayed and I didn't arrive til 1500, when everything shuts down for a few hours. Fortunately the butcher and bakery around the corner were still open so I picked up some Proscuitto di Parma and some Friulano Salami and a hunk of bread (it's like focaccia, but it's made without any salt so it has another name that I can't remember). Now that that's in me, Im ready to hit the road running.

Last night we all got together for a "family dinner"... reservations for 30, please! Lots of pictures there, too but I haven't posted them yet.

Two more days in Florence, then Pisa on the way to Frankfurt and then Sunday morning back on a plane for 9 hours to Miami and then Cayman just in time to unpack, have a shower and try to grab a few hours sleep before work Monday morning!

I promised to post something in Italian, but I'll leave that for next week when I'm home and have collected my thoughts (and looked up the words I don't know) :)

Thursday, May 3, 2007 7:05:08 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Travel#
Sunday, April 29, 2007
OK, so I was expecting a LOT of scooters, but good lord!

Quick note here to point out the pictures from Rome I posted on Flickr. I only picked and posted about 20 or so of the 250 (love digital, eh?) so I'll post more and put in descriptions later. For now, it's off to the train station to head to Venice.

Sunday, April 29, 2007 2:48:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Pictures | Travel#
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Work has been CRAZY the past few months. I STILL haven't gotten around to posting my travel schedule from January, just for a laugh. I haven't left work before 5:30 since I can't even remember. Monday was another one of those nights, however I had there plans, so I hit the road at 4:59.

My friend Suzie was down visiting, and she wanted to cook one night, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. Saturday after diving we went shopping and then came back here and started cooking.

We started off with two bowls, one to whip cream in and one to start mixing up the other ingredients for the filling. I brewed some espresso and poured the remainder of the bottle of Appleton Estate into it and started soaking the savoiardi biscuits. Yup, you got it, we made Tiramisu.

Sunday morning we went to Vespa Church and then came home and made up some tomato sauce. I had meat sauce already, but I thought it was a bit thick for what we had in mind. We let that cool a bit while we went to Copper Falls with John and Ed and then came back, blanched some noodles, whipped up some bechamel and started building lasagna.

HOLY COW what a lot of work! I've only ever done it once before, and it took about three hours to do last time, too. We finally finished around 11:00 and put it all in the fridge overnight.

Monday night I left work like Fred Flintstone right at 5:00 and fired it into the oven around 5:45. Steph & Zac showed up about 6:45, right before Matty & Joy & the baby. James made it right before dinner. We cracked into a couple bottles of wine, pulled the lasagna out at 7:30 and got to eatin. It was goooood. Just when everyone was getting full of Lasagna, Salad and Garlic bread, I told them to save some room because as rich and calorie-filled as the lasagna was, there was still dessert!

Once we were all finished, we headed up to the Cracked Conch. Ratskyn was playing outside at the bar down by the water. The setup was good, they sounded great and I even got a couple good pictures of the band!

I've been mucking with Flickr to get a mosaic of the photos into this post, but it's frustrating me, so just go to my Flickr page and see the new photos for yourself :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 6:09:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures#
Sunday, February 25, 2007
...Like we're not, but I mean literally. A couple days ago, Zac found this picture online and it struck a chord with him, so he copied it and forwarded it to John, Jake and I with the caption "If John was a dog" in honor of John's infamous picture. We had a good laugh at it and John punched me in the arm when I got home that night because it made everyone think about his picture again. I laughed and said "oh this has a blog post written ALL OVER it" and he said "you better not post that picture of me again, you bastard" so I said I would be fair and post the one of me up as well. It's too bad that we don't have one of Zac in that position as well...
Sunday, February 25, 2007 10:51:30 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Cayman | Pictures#

Friday night was Zac's birthday. Usually Zac & Steph celebrate "birthday weeks" instead of birthDAYs, but we didn't all get together until Friday night which was his actually birthday.

I ran into them at lunchtime and we made a plan to meet up at the Hard Rock Cafe down in George Town at the south end of the harbor and start crawling north from there ending up at Calico Jack's at Public beach. The plan as Hard Rock, Margaritaville, Hammerheads, Rackham's, Aqua Beach, Decker's, Legendz and then Calico's.

at HammerheadsI caught up with them a bit later at Hammerheads and the crawl was already in full swing. We stayed at Hammerheads for a few beers and a couple of shots. Gordy was already there and Paulie & Catherine showed up with a friend of hers who's down visiting. We ponied up there and then walked over to Rackham's from there. We stayed at Rackham's for awhile, Eleni and Emma showed up there, and Super-fan Kendi was there with her friend who's visiting from Victoria and had a couple shots with us. We ended up staying longer at Rackham's than we initially planned for so we skipped ahead right to Legendz from there.

Breakfast of Champions

 By the time we got to Legendz, we were all fairly lubed up with alcohol. Someone ordered a round of shots, and even though it was well past breakfast, we bellied up to the bar and downed 'em. As you can see in the picture, Zac was still smiling at this point. I lost track of how many shots he did, but my count was about a half-dozen or so, plus a few mixed drinks along the way.


In our element

 After that round of shots, things started to get a little crazy.







 We finished up there around 11:00 and headed to Calico Jack's and closed the bar there.Going.... 

Calico Jack's is a beer & shots bar. There's really no getting away from it. In hindsight, it's probably not the best place to END a bar crawl, as you really don't have much of a resistance to shots anymore. I ordered a round of Jagerbombs for the boys, and then Renee also ordered a round, almost at the same time that Matty ordered a round of... something. Not sure what it was but it tasted like it had some Crown Royal in it or some other sort of whiskey. The funny thing about this picture of Zac is he's making a face, like he can even taste anything at this point! :)

John and I got home at about 12:30 (Calico's closes up at 12:00) and I went straight to bed. I didn't feel too drunk, despite the half dozen shots, and the last three coming within minutes of each other, but I guess they hadn't kicked in yet. I woke up around 3:30 with acid in my throat and the "uh-oh" thought on my lips. It was a long night. I think my lunch hadn't bee sitting too well, and in hindsight, I remember having heartburn as I got off the bus downtown to meet up with everyone for the crawl. I made a mental note to take a Zantac before I went to bed, but then, of course, I forgot. I think had I not been drinking I would have been fine, or had I only been drinking, I would have been fine, but the two together was too much for my system to handle. Saturday morning I felt like assssss and slowly sipped a quart of Gatorade watered down with about a quart of water. After that and a bowl of rice & turkey pot pie over it to soak up any excess I started feeling human again until I passed out on the couch at two o'clock and slept until about seven that night.


They say pictures speak a thousand words, so here for your own discourse are a few thousand words describing Zac's death spiral into the hallowed halls of infamous Internet pictures: (click for larger views)

Still smiling...Going..Going..Going...Gone!
Sunday, February 25, 2007 10:11:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Pictures#
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

2006-11-25 Jake's Wedding 052So this past weekend, our old roommate Jake got married. Ironically, the invitation showed up in the mail today. Thanks a lot, Cayman Postal Service!

Steph (who's like a sister to me, J ;) ) was worried that they wouldn't know we were coming because we didn't RSVP, but come onnnn like we'd miss this!

Johnny Rotten (the not-quite-littlest hobo) even flew back onto The Rock from his Immigration Vacation® to attend!

I picked up John at the airport last Tuesday at about five o'clock, and it turned out Jake was at the airport picking up some family from the same flight. We took a swing by Big Daddy's and got some Grolsch flippy-top beers and joined Jake and his family down at the Harbourview Apartments for happy hour.

Wednesday we all met up at Legendz for dinner

Thursday The Not-Quite-Littlest-Hobo and I popped into Sunshine Grill for their Thanksgiving turkey buffet. First drink was included with the buffet dinner, so I stuck to my "next time I go to Sunshine Grill, I'm going to have a Painkiller" promise. Whoooo boy. Following that, we went down to Decker's to meet up with FNG and his friend Snowflake who was visiting from Vancouver. Jason the bartender (who was well into Movember) asked me what I wanted to drink. I wanted to stick with rum, so I ordered a Collins. He looked at me funny and said I should aim higher in life and poured me their signature Blood Orange Mojito. In a pint glass. By the time we made it up to Legendz later, I was pretty fuzzy.

Friday, well what can I say that hasn't already been said. Friday was the day of the wedding. All week the weather was not cooperating. We had an early nor'wester that churned up Seven Mile Beach pretty well, the temperature dropped into the LOW SEVENTIES and the wind was blowing just above a breeze. We opened up the windows and balcony door and had the a/c off all week.

When I came out of my windowless office on Friday afternoon to meet up with the boys (and Stephie) it was still breezy, but the sun was shining! I kinda chuckled to myself and made a point of asking Jake which God he prayed to for that. :) It was too late though, the wedding planner moved the ceremony inside at the Ritz-Carlton. We got there just before five, after walking across the gallery and past a piano that Gordy couldn't help but stop and tickle.

We got to the Ceremony just in time and sat down together in the same row, right in front of the music(a violinist and a flautist). I leaned over to John and said "And then there was this one time... and band camp..." and his reaction was priceless. Jake was standing up front with the minister awaiting everyone, and surprisingly he looked cool as a cucumber (although he did say later that the Jager was just what the Doc(Jelly) ordered). The rest of the wedding party made their way up and they got under way. For the second wedding in a row that I've been too, the ceremony was brief, and before you knew it, they were kissing to seal the deal and making their way down the aisle.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 6:23:03 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Saturday, November 25, 2006

2006-11-25 Jake's Wedding 058 Drunkenness occurs when you have too much alcohol for your liver to filter out and the alcohol gets into your bloodstream causing impairment. According to an email that goes around every now and then signs of alcohol intoxication are: a lack of volume control, ravenous appetite for kebab or Denny's and karaoke.

Logic dictates that if you bypass your liver and get the alcohol directly into your bloodstream, you'll get drunker, faster.

But HOW to get that alcohol directly into your bloodstream? Injection? Too risky. Orally? That's not bypassing your liver. Your mucous membranes are another thing altogether though. You can absorb the alcohol right through them! How to get alcohol in contact with your mucous membranes? Just like in the picture. A wide, shallow vessel such as the bottom of a beer bottle works just fine. The trick is you're not drinking through your nose, the trick is to get your nose close enough to the liquid that when you inhale quickly, it creates a vacuum and the alcohol can get atomized into particles small enough to go right up your nose.

Of course, I'm completely talking out of my ass and I was already pretty damn drunk in the first place to even attempt this. The alcohol in question in this picture is champagne. Not only did it clear out my sinuses, but after I snorted it up there, I could FEEL the carbonation in the champagne bubbling inside my head. It made my eyes water and I don't remember if it made me drunker because I was already bombed.

What was the reason for the champagne? Our old buddy and roommate from The Ranch, Jake was down here with his whole family to get married. There'll be more posts and pictures coming in the next few days as I remember it and get things in order. If you'd like to jump right to the pictures, they're posted up at Flickr. I dropped the $$ on a Pro account renewal this afternoon and did a little housekeeping of my photos.

Saturday, November 25, 2006 6:33:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Pictures#
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Halloween is a big event in Cayman but not so much for the kids
Wednesday, November 1, 2006 7:59:58 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Meet Mike. Mike is a friend of my little brother's. They started hanging out back in high school years ago and we haven't been able to get rid of him since... I kid... I kid... 

I've told the story of The Shocker more than a few times over the years,both in short form and long form. When I told Zac, Johnny Rotten & Seb on the way into town one night, the whole jeep was shaking with the boys laughing so hard. I hadn't seen John laugh so hard since the Elizabeth/Coneheads kissing scene. When that happened I was afraid he stopped breathing he was face down on the carpet laughing so hard.

Anyway, Mike came over this afternoon and I had the camera out so I thought I'd post this up here just so the boys could put a face to the story. Here he is in all his, uh, glory.

One of these days I'll post the whole Shocker story in all it's gory details (and I do mean gory, especially now that you can picture this guy within the story) when it's a slow news week.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 10:29:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Pictures#
Monday, September 18, 2006
...gets posted on! :)
Monday, September 18, 2006 9:34:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Pictures#
...gets posted online and at flickr. :)
Monday, September 18, 2006 8:45:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Travel#
Saturday, August 26, 2006

I've got my webcam up and pointing out the window. It's not the best view right now, I need to fid something taller to put it on so the bars of the balcoy aren't obscuring the camera, and it's a bit washed out as the sun is going down, facing the camera, AND there's some window tint on the door that it's behind.

It refreshes every minute or so, but to refresh your view, you have to hit refresh (F5). If you want to link directly to it, it's

Update: Since Ernesto doesn't realistically pose a threat to us anymore, im taking the webcam offline. If he should radically change course and come this way again, I'll put it back up.


Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:48:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Pictures#
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Little did she know that it was all part of the setup. While we were taking her out for a scooter ride, all our friends were congregating in South Sound at Robert's Treehouse.
Thursday, August 3, 2006 6:42:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Pictures | Scooter#
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Last weekend a bunch of us congregated at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club to board Gordy's new boat, the Aquasition. He's had it down here for a few months now, and is just getting his charter operation up and running. To celebrate the launch of Aquazure and also a warm-up, pre-going away party weekend for Sharon, we rounded up a couple coolers full of cold frosty beverages and went for a cruise in North Sound.

Aside from the usual suspects (Miller Lite for John, Kokanee for FNG and Michelob Ultra for Gordy and myself) I also brought along a little something I whipped up last Saturday: Minted lime syrup. The reasoning behind it was simple: Mojitos without all the work and utensils. Saturday afternoon I made a simple syrup and then steeped 2 packages of mint leaves in it and then soaked a half-dozen limes in it before straining it and pouring it into a Nalgene bottle to bring on the boat. 2oz of white rum (which in the end we forgot to bring) 2 oz of the syrup, over ice and topped with some club soda and a mint leaf garnish and that would be it. No muddling, no half-inch of sugar sitting in the bottom of the glass, just pure, refreshing, alcopop.

The Lido Deck

We headed out towards Stingray City to see if we could catch up with Zac, who was working that day. As we got out towards the sandbar, we saw Moby Dick was anchored at the barrier reef, so we pulled up alongside and dropped anchor. Zac was in the water with some customers, looking for the baby nurse shark that had been hanging out around the barrier reef lately, so we climbed up on the bow and cracked open a couple cold frosty beverages. Zac's boss Mark was on the boat and he jumped in the water and swam over and had a beer with us, and then later on Zac swam over to say hi, but conscientious boat captain that he is, forwent the beer. What a guy! Eventually, they pulled up anchor and headed back to the dock and we stayed there in the afternoon sun cooling our jets with dips in the water and more frosty beverages. Little Naiya Pearson was out with us the whole day and was super well-behaved. She even let me hold her without squeaking and squawking AT ALL and even posed for a few photos (soon come). Finally with the sun starting to slide past "right overhead" we decided to pull up anchor and make our way over to the Kaibo Yacht Club.

Kaibo Yacht Club

We tied up at the end of the pier and mosey'd over to the bar for some refreshments (because we didn't have enough on the boat already. Kaibo Yacht Club is a funny old place. Back in the day, it used to be THE place to "be seen" on Sundays. People with boats would go and tie up and hang out there, and people who didn't have boats suddenly wished they did. Kaibo is also the scene for Mardi Gras every year, too. Part of that draw is the restaurant that used to be upstairs. Back in the day it was called Cecil's and was a very New Orleans-styled restaurant. Crawfish Etoufee, gumbo, oysters casino and rockefeller, that sorta sorta. In about 1999 they remodeled the inside and it was really slick. Most of the tables were outside on the balcony behind mosquito netting and best of all, they had a free ferry service from Safehaven. Just before sunset you'd board the boat and have a sunset cruise across North Sound, and then dinner upstairs at Cecil's. After eating way too much and then stuffing some fresh beignets down for dessert, you'd get back on the boat and have a starlit cruise back to Safehaven, and then it was only 10:00 or so! As of right now, the restaurant is closed and the ferry is not running. Taking a page out of the Almond Tree/Treehouse book, the Kaibo Beach Bar has expanded their menu to offset the restaurant not being there anymore. We didn't eat this time around, by MJ told me that the food there at the bar is really good. I'll have to put it on my list of places to go.

Calypso Grill

As the sun started to set, we climbed back aboard and made our way into the sunset headed for Morgan's Harbor in West Bay. To drive that would take about an hour or so, barring any traffic jams. It's about as far as you can possibly drive on the island. On Gordy's boat, it only took about twenty minutes to scoot across the sound. We found space to berth at the pier and tied up. I knew beforehand that we were going to the Calypso Grill for dinner, which is a semi-fancy place, but assumed that we'd all look like we were on the water all day. I assumed wrong. :) I ended up way underdressed for dinner, but I figured I could pull it off with chutzpah and balls. I did. :) If you like seafood, you'll like Calypso Grill. If you're like me and aren't particularly big on seafood, then you'll still like Calypso Grill, although you'll have to study the menu a little harder. Freya, Gordy and FNG all put a debit in their karma bankbook and ordered the seabass. I had a little taste of it, and it was pretty good, but seabass are approaching endangerment so I wouldn't order it myself. Knowing what I know of the Calypso Grill, I ordered a salad, and then the Calypso Shrimp which is an appetizer, for my main. I was saving room for dessert! They have a few "regular" dessert items, like Sticky Toffee Pudding and their chocolate bread pudding, but I went for the dessert on the daily specials menu: Mango crepe with coconut and pineapple ice cream. Freya was sitting next to me and ordered the sticky toffee pudding on the assumption that we'd share both. The sticky toffee was good, but the mango crepe was better. Best of all was the ice cream. I'm not that big on coconut for the most part, but hot DAMN that was some of the best ice cream I've ever had! There were a couple orders of bread pudding down the other end of the table, but I'm sticking with the mango crepe and coconut ice cream as my pick of the night.

Just as we were finishing up, G-Love caught the eye of a dark-haired lass at the bar and struck up a conversation with her. As usual, women travel in pairs and this one had a friend with her as well. Seeing the opportunity for G Love, I selflessly assumed the role of Wingman and chatted up her friend. He invited them back on the boat with us and we cruised back to the yacht club where all our cars were parked. G and his lady friend were deep in discussion, leaving her friend caught in the crossfire. I suggested she ride back in my jeep and her friend could ride with G Love and they could finish their conversation in his car with a modicum of privacy. We came back to my apartment (which is right next to where they were staying, at the Westin). We went upstairs briefly and I mixed up some drinks for us. I broke out the rum and the minted lime syrup that we didn't get a chance to try and whipped up a batch of mojitos for us to take down to the beach. We sat on the beach sipping our mojitos (which turned out pretty good, all things considered) and chatted with the girls. Eventually G made his move and they "went for a walk" down the beach leaving us on the chaise lounges. We actually had a lot to talk about, as she was in online marketing, and I'm a huge nerd. We both realized we were in the wingman role, made the most of it and had a good conversation. A  little later on, I walked her back to the hotel and went home. Gordy showed up awhile later to drop off their glasses and collect their shoes.

A long day? Yes. A fun day? Definately. Monday afternoon I talked to Gordy on the phone and we laughed and said the previous night was like it was "back in the day" when we were both divemasters at Bob Soto's. The difference being that instead of meeting girls at the Seaview and giving them a ride back to our rathole apartments on the handlebars of our bicycles, we met them at a classy place like Calypso Grill, went for a cruise with them on his yacht (it went from boat to yacht as soon as they got onboard) and then jumped in my jeep and his beemer and went back to my condo on Seven Mile Beach next to the Westin and the Ritz-Carlton :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006 12:01:01 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Pictures#
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Good News/Bad News
Originally uploaded by DocJelly.
The Bad news is that gasoline is $4.43 per gallon today in Grand Cayman. That's $5.26US dollars and $5.83 in Canadian dollars. Per Gallon.

The Good news is that my Vespa only needs 1.4 gallons to go from fuel warning light to full, and that lasts me just over a week of commutes and running around at work.

I estimate that Im getting on the far side of 60MPG out of that little puppy, plus it's fun to ride around on, there's no traffic hell anymore, and chicks dig it. :)

Tonight when I got home from work I busted out the Miracle Wash. It's a can of "waterless car wash" that has a built-in polish to it, and WHOA BABY does it ever do a good job, and fairly quick, too. Spray on, wipe away the dirt to a dull haze and then buff with a second, clean terrycloth towel and she's showroom pretty again. It also gives me a chance to go over it and see if there are any scuffs, scratches and chips. I seem to have picked up one scuff on the right rear corner and there's a chip in the front, probably from a rock or something. Time to pick up a little tube of touch-up paint.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:34:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Warning: very long post. Click to read the whole thing.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:26:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [5] | Cayman | Pictures#
Saturday, May 20, 2006
So another year has come and gone. The world has changed so much in the last 33 years that it's hard sometimes to grasp the changes. Things that don't change in 33 years or even 100 years are good friends. Last night I saw an outpouring of love (and jager) that you just don't see very often anymore.
Saturday, May 20, 2006 9:19:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures#
Monday, May 1, 2006
April 1st seems like a long time ago. So long ago in fact, that I don't remember what the weather was like. I'll take a wild guess though: SUNNY AND WARM.
Monday, May 1, 2006 8:59:02 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Monday, April 17, 2006
I've had my scooter since just before Christmas, and I've already piled on 2200 kilometers. Just in case you're wondering, this island is only 30 miles long and seven or so miles wide at it's widest spot. I haven't really gone for many long rides. I went out to East End on the scooter one night a couple months back when I was at the Reef Resort to see the Barefoot Man's show, and the knobbly road on the north side of the island tore my back tire to shreds.
Monday, April 17, 2006 6:59:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Cleaning out my electronic shoebox of old photos and stuff, here's a few that deserve to be seen once more before being put out to pasture.
Sunday, April 16, 2006 9:45:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures#
Tuesday, April 4, 2006

For some reason, when I grab the URL of a photo from Flickr and incorporate it into a post here, rather than using the Flickr Blog This! thing, they aren't showing up. But then again, some of them are. I dunno, it's an IE thing. I double-clicked the little privacy report icon in the IE status bar and it said that there were some blocked cookies from Flickr on the page, so I guess that's why. All the pictures show up and work fine if you're viewing this in Firefox, it's just IE that's blocking the cookies and preventing the images from showing up. So either change your IE security settings, use Firefox, or just wait and see what happens. I've sent a comment to flickr's tech support, perhaps Im not the only person this is/has happened to and they have a solution.

Update: I flipped a switch in the config, mostly on a hunch and now the pictures seem to be working. Changed the site's skin, too. Huge improvement over the "all gray" look, but still needs some work.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006 8:45:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures#
Sunday, March 26, 2006

2006-03-25 Jellybean Pearson 002
Originally uploaded by DocJelly.
Say hello to little Jellybean Pearson! SHe came home from the hospital today, so aroud 3:00 I txted them saying "OK, need a picture!" and it just so happened that Johnny Rotten, who had just borrowed my camera, was there, so he snapped a few and then brought my camera back over here. Matty called a few mins later, and I asked how everyone was doing... were things going in and coming back out again later on, all that sorta good stuff. Short of Everton's baby girl Raeann, I think Jellybean will be the SECOND most-photographed-and-posted baby in the Cayman Islands :)
Sunday, March 26, 2006 2:46:55 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My BackyardFor the past few Sundays, I've been rounding up "the gang" and hitting the beach. Have a couple beers, tell some awful jokes, look at and make comments on the bikinis that walk by all day (sometimes I swear it's like going to one of those sushi restaurants with the conveyor belt... they just keep on coming) and can you blame us?? Not sure what's going to happen this weekend, Matty & Jules, if she's even home from the hospital yet with Jellybean, will probably not be up to a "beach day" just yet anyway.

I think I can count on my available fingers the number of times I've "gone to the beach" in the last eight years (this summer) that I've been down here. It was always an ordeal... make sure you have everything you need, load it into the jeep, drive to the beach, find parking, walk through someone's back yard (basically) and then find a spot on the beach. If you needed anything, or had to go to the bathroom (#1 is ok, the ocean is right there, but god help you if it's a #2) then you were, no pun intended, shit out of luck.

Now that I just have to go downstairs and walk 50 yards, I've spent more time on the beach in the last month than I have in the last eight years.

Cheers to more weekends like that!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 4:11:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Friday, March 10, 2006

I was out and about on my scooter today at lunch time and a bunch of cop cars went screaming past me on North Sound Road, sirens blaring. A few minutes later, another cop on a bike and another cruiser behind him passed me doing about 70mph on the Harquail Bypass. I got home and made some lunch and was sitting on the balcony looking at the water when I heard MORE sirens heading north and an ambulance, too. I figured it was a big traffic accident or maybe they were filming season six of "24" here in Cayman.

A couple minutes later, Seb IMd me and said that the Cayman National Bank in West Bay had been robbed by gunmen. Later on when I got back to work, I heard that not only had they robbed the place at gunpoint, but also that a security guard had been shot. Later I heard it was a gardener, who was working on the landscaping. At this point, it's all rumor and conjecture. I'm sure there will be something about it in the paper on Monday, but until then, the rumors will travel down West Bay Road faster than the traffic does.

I went to the CNB downtown on my way back to work to pick up a draft and PIN my new debit card that finally showed up, and when I walked into the lobby, the doors were closed. There were two security guards there, and you had to go through the bypass lobby, and pretty much brush past both security guards to get into the customer service area of the bank. I don't blame them for the extra security, the guys in West Bay got away, and who knows, maybe they thought they had enough luck to go 2-for-2. The customer service agent said that there was a cop car parked outside for the last hour or so, but had just left a few moments before.

compass.jpgThe only question remains is "Why didn't they catch these hooded robbers last time and avoid all this in the first place? it's not like their faces were unknown to the entire public at large..."

OK, OK, it's a bad image. It's a 20 year old newspaper page that was photocopied a few times. One of these days I'll go down there and get a good copy and update this photo, now that I know what date it is. For now, squint.




UPDATE: The Cayman Compass has an article posted up about it under the heading "breaking news" that they posted yesterday afternoon. Realizing that they were sucking the hind tit and got scooped, the Net News posted something up a little later on.

I headed out to McCoy's last night, late, and John said it took him 90 minutes to get from West Bay to George Town, as there was a police roadblock just north of the Yacht Club that was stopping and searching vehicles. The roadblock was gone last night when he headed home, but apparently it's back up again this morning, with traffic backed up for an hour or so again. But what I don't get is why they took it down and then put it back up again? Isn't that like closing the barn door, then leaving it open, and then going back to close it again after? Who knows how many horses got out of the barn?? Someone else IM'd me about that and said "I guess the key to getting away with something here is to wait for the police to get tired and go home for the day first"

Friday, March 10, 2006 11:52:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures#
Friday, February 3, 2006
This beats Porno Shrimp, hands down. After all the hubbub about the Largest Gay Cruise II calling into port in Grand Cayman, the local paper goes and prints this above the fold...
Friday, February 3, 2006 8:25:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Friday, January 27, 2006
Last Monday, which was a holiday here in the Cayman Islands, I went out with Off The Wall divers for a little 2-tank dive in the afternoon. It was a bit windy and bumpy, but it all went fine. We scooted up around the corner and did a deep dive at Hepp's Wall out in front of the Turtle Farm. As we were cruising along around 80 feet or so, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see this whitish stingray-lookin thing swimming just above the reef.

It took me a minute to recognize it but the 'scalloped' leading edge, which looked like uncooked pizza dough, piqued something in my memory. I had SEEN one of these things before, years ago when I worked at Soto's. I had been doing a dive on the west side, and the videographer, Elspeth, called me back down rather frantically to see something, so I sunk down there and saw this weird looking ray. I aimed my camera at it, tripped the shutter and... the battery died. D'OH!

This time, I was ready. I took a few shots of him swimming around, and then got this shot as he landed on a ledge of coral. Shortly after this shot, he fluttered is fins to push him further into the reef and out of the light, and did a good job of stirring up the bottom making it difficult to take pictures.

When I got home, I pulled out Paul Humann's Reef Fish book and flipped to the section on rays. I found a picture that looked just like this one, and read/remembered then that it was called a torpedo ray.

There isn't a lot known about Torpedo Rays, they have been known to deliver an electric shock as a defense mechanism, and they're rarely spotted. The field guide said they were rare in the northeastern Caribbean, and not known/spotted elsewhere. Ironically the photo he had of the Torpedo Ray in his book was taken here in Grand Cayman, back in the day by Wayne Hasson, who's the owner of the Aggressor Fleet.

Unlike any other blurbs/writeups in the book, this one had a note attached to it that the author is very interested in finding out more about these guys and their sightings and whatnot, so after I finish moving this weekend and unpack some books, I'll see if there's any contact info in the back of the book.
Friday, January 27, 2006 7:33:38 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures | Underwater#
Friday, December 23, 2005
Cards? how quaint.
Friday, December 23, 2005 8:51:58 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Pictures | Rants#

LX 125
Originally uploaded by DocJelly.
It's funny, yesterday was the first day it rained in weeks. It REALLY rained, too. Last night it rained so hard the noise of it hitting the tin roof above woke me up. As did a few high gusts of winds that made the roof creak (!!) That got my heart rate up again.
Ironically, it was also the day I picked up my new ride, a Vespa LX125 in "Dragon Red" This picture doesn't really do it justice, but it's a quickie. I'll be taking some more shots of it soon, this was just a quickie while it's parked (under cover on the sidewalk) at work. :)
Friday, December 23, 2005 7:10:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Thursday, December 22, 2005
..or is it?
Thursday, December 22, 2005 12:36:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Thursday, October 20, 2005
And some BIG-ASS WAVES! Keep in mind that the closest point of approach of Wilma was about 150 miles south-west of us.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 5:18:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures#
Pic(s) of flooding in Newlands. Newlands is on the other side of George Town from where I live, along the south coast of the island.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:58:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures#
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I put my webcam up if you wanna see what it looks like out my window.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 8:41:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures | Tech | WWW#
I just went across the street to the shoreline (or near it anyway) and took a few photos.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 7:01:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures#
Thursday, September 29, 2005


Last June, we had a bachelor party/stag night for Matty a few nights before he got married. (pics) It was pretty low-key, compared to some stories of dead hookers and road trips to Las Vegas type of stag night, but it was bang-on perfect for our crowd. We started at Fidel Murphy's, made it through Coconut Joe's and Aqua Beach and then finished up at Deckers.

It also happened to be father's day.

Seb, with a couple of drinks in him, says “Just think, Matty. This time next year, we could be celebrating your first father's day!”...

Well, he was right. So therefore it's his fault. I've known for a few weeks now that Jules was preggers, but they kept a lid on it til it got to 12 weeks. It's 12 weeks now, and she's just sent out an email with some pics of the ultrasound. They don't know the sex of it yet, so it's going by the generic name of Jellybean, since that's what it looked like on the first ultrasound a few weeks ago.

Backdating to the conception puts it's Time Of Arrival into cell division the afternoon after the wedding. Talk about not wasting any time...

Cheers to the new bride & groom and soon to be new mother & father. Raise 'em up if ya got em, and if ya don't, hurry to the bar and get one, we'll wait.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 9:50:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Saturday, September 17, 2005
My rooommate Seb is in England at the moment. We were gonna go together, as I'd never been there before, but I got talked out of it. He went anyway and here's his first dispatch. (annotated, of course) :)
Saturday, September 17, 2005 8:01:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Travel#
Monday, September 5, 2005
Photos from Stingray City boat trip last Sunday
Monday, September 5, 2005 8:08:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rodale's Scuba Diving has announced the winners of the 2005 Photo Contest, and the photos over there are just absolutely stunning. Of course, they're the top 10-15 pictures out of (probably) tens of thousands of photos, but nonetheless, these are the absolute cream of the crop. I linked over to one of the Honorable Mentions, well, because Octopi are my faaaavorite underwater creatures (if you've ever been around me on a dive boat, you'll already know that) :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005 7:40:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Underwater#
Sunday, June 26, 2005
I found a new XP Powertoy today, it's for viewing and thumbnailing RAW image formats for Canon & Nikon cameras.
Sunday, June 26, 2005 5:51:01 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Pictures | Microsoft | WWW#
Saturday, June 25, 2005

MattyJulesWedding 211
Originally uploaded by DocJelly.

Matty & Jules got married on Wednesday, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I have the photos up on Flickr now. I upgraded to a Flickr Pro account this afternoon so they're all organized into sets. Matty's stag, The Wedding, The reception, the evening reception, a bbq the next day and just now an album of photos that I took today out at Stingray City.

The wedding was at 8am on Governor's Beach, which was nice because it wasn't unbearably hot, and there were no mosquitos, which there would have been if it was at the end of the day instead. John's sister flew down to perform the marriage, and then a local Justice of the Peace officiated and pronounced them Man and Wife.

After that we all piled down the beach to the Westin for a brunch reception. A refreshing change to usual wedding receptions! I got a brilliant idea during brunch to pool digital photos with Lana (who I think works with Jules?) who was shooting on film (and had a light meter... so pro!) and backing up with a digital(A PowerShot S60.. a girl after my own gadget-loving heart). I took those pooled photos and created a photo story with them, layed down the audio tracks and left it to render while I went to work. I borrowed a projector from work and got home around 5:30 to finish up the show and do some titles.

Seb helped me to string a rope across the pool deck between two planters and Joanne had a big California King Size white sheet, and Christine found some clothes pegs (pins? whatever). They saw us messing around with the sheet and rope and knew something was up, but not what. Once I busted out the projector and my laptop, I could see a bit of apprehension in his eyes. We dimmed the lights during one of Ratskyn's breaks and everyone took seats with a view of the screen. Everyone had a great laugh at some of the shots, and overall, it turned out pretty good.

I used Beck's new song as the intro music, and then it fades into Santana & Chad Kroger's "Why Don't You And I Get Together?" for the stag party & pre-wedding shots, and then it fades into the new Coldplay song "At The Speed of Sound" for the beach wedding shots and right after they tie the knot it segues into Jack Johnson "Banana Pancakes" and then finally to U2's In God's Country for the group photo shots. I resized the video to 320x240 and shrunk it down to 23mb, so I'll post links to it later on this week when I get it posted/hosted somewhere. Ill post a torrent of it as well if anyone out there knows what that is and wants to download it directly from me.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 5:20:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Monday, June 13, 2005

GeorgeTown I (scan)
Originally uploaded by Simon T.
Found this picture on FLickr tonight, just cruising around looking at photos with the "Cayman" tag.

This shot is of downtown Georgetown, looks like it was taken from upstairs at the Hard Rock or something...

Makes the harbor area look pretty cool for a change!
Monday, June 13, 2005 5:29:20 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Monday, April 25, 2005

Originally uploaded by DocJelly.
I was feeling the need for a little... change. I've been bugging Chopper to do it for the last 3 or 4 haircuts, and he never had time, and I ever really pushed it. It's quite a shocking change, especially if you've never seen me like this before (I've done this 3 or 4 times in the last 10 years)

People don't recognize me at first, and work was fun the next morning. Double-takes, dropped jaws, and the inevitable blonde jokes. In general, the girls love it, and the guys ask me if I lost a bet :)

It's been two weeks today since I did it, and I've already got nearly a quarter-inch of dark roots, so it doesnt look so... transparent anymore, especially when it's wet.
Monday, April 25, 2005 5:22:56 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Friday, February 25, 2005

Ratskyn made their big comeback last night at the newly-opened Club Octopus on West Bay Road. This is the bar that was “upstairs” and used to be called The Next Level (before they moved to the old Pagoda Takie-Outie place) and before that (for the old-schoolers) it was called Tabu. Back in those days it was as close as you got to an “Alternative Lifestyle” bar on this island. Thursday nights were pretty good back then, eeeeverybody would be there on those nights, not just those leading “alternative lifestyles”.

Club Octopus has been open only a couple months. It looks a lot bigger inside now than it did back in the Tabu days, because they tore out a lot of walls and made space out of clutter. now there's banquettes along the wall, a bigger bar in the middle of the other wall, the stage at the very back and pretty much one big dancefloor in the middle of the room. It works good and sounds great. They're doing “Absolut Rocks“ Thursdays with live bands from around the island, so it looks like we'll have somewhere to go and listen to live music again.

Ratskyn lost a lot of equipment during Hurricane Ivan. We saved all of Zac's guitars when the window exploded in his bedroom at The Ranch, but a lot of their PA equipment and amps and things like that were in their storage locker which got flooded out. They've been trying to get new stuff for the last five months and started practicing together again about a month ago in preparation for getting back out there and Rockin' The Rock.

There are other bands on the island, different styles, different audiences, but there aren't any out there as polished as Ratskyn.  I've had the good fortune to hear them evolve over the past few years and they really have come a long way. Ratskyn has been around, rockin Grand Cayman since the dawn of time and have gone through a few iterations of band members, and even released a CD five or six years ago called “It's About Time” and as with all bands, always have new stuff in the works.

I don't know why, or how it happened, but apparently I had a “Girls Gone Wild Photographer” T-shirt on last night. For about 20 minutes everytime I pointed the camera at someone, they pulled their shirt down, or up, or something like that. Whether or not they remember it this morning is another story...

Mark says:Hey Bucket!
Bucket says:Hi!
Mark sends:2005-02-24 RatskynClubOctopus0067.jpg
Bucket says:Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo1
Mark says:hahahahahaha
Bucket says:OH MY GAWD!Q!Q!
Bucket says:OH F***
Bucket says:NO
Bucket says:oh s***
Bucket says:oh my gawd
Bucket says:BURN THAT
Bucket says:oh man
Bucket says:I can't go out
Bucket says:OH MY GAWD

She *BEGGED* me not to post the picture of her... and I've honored that request. sort of. (evil)

The rest of the pictures (close to 50 of them) are posted to Flickr, and there's a set of some of the highlights grouped as a set called Ratskyn, or you can just search Flickr for Ratskyn and find em there.

Friday, February 25, 2005 6:56:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Underwater Pictures from Big Dipper/Little Tunnel & Spanish Anchor
Sunday, February 13, 2005 5:04:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Underwater#
Sunday, January 23, 2005
This was my first dive at Orange Canyon since Hurricane Ivan. I was anxious to see if there were any of the namesake orange elephant ear sponges still there. Fortunately, there are.
Sunday, January 23, 2005 10:35:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Underwater | Pictures#
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

If you're reading this with an RSS reader, here's the link to my Flickr Photostream RSS feed. It's pretty cool, I clicked it at the bottom of the “my photos” page and it showed me an RSS entry for each photo I've posted, and uses the caption text as the description in the feed. Clicking an entry takes you right to that photo in the stream.

Pretty cool stuff, I just may have to buy a Pro account at Flickr and get the 1gb/month upload.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 10:19:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Pictures | WWW#
Wednesday, January 12, 2005

OK, check out the menu at the right. Just under the calendar are a bunch of photo thumbnails. Flickr makes it really easy to add that, just like adding a badge to your site. I think the toughest part of incorporating it was editing the template file because it uses all these newfangled HTML tags that my Hot Dog Pro V4.0 old-school ass didnt really understand, but I made it work.

Don't bother clicking over there just yet, I haven't uploaded anything other than those five pictures. Flickr is in beta still, and with a free account you can upload 10mb of pictures a month (which would be five if I upped the full-res ones from my new camera) or 1gb/month if you buy a “pro” account for $42 for the year or something like that. Once I play with it a bit more, I may do that and scrap the old busted hand-coded HTML table albums that I've been using in the past.

What's cool is that it always shows my five most recent photos that I've uploaded, so if I upload new pics as I take them, then you'll almost always see some fresh pics when you come here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 6:08:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Pictures | WWW#
Monday, January 3, 2005

I decided to sit down and go through my digital photos awhile ago, and since today's a lazy day off, I decided to START.. I copied all the cds and dvds full of pics onto BigDog and then started trying to identify them by location and by date taken (XP Details View is a great help for that, except a lot of my old pics don't have/lost their meta tags along the way, which is where it gets slow)

One of the folders had a bunch of goofy shit in it, things that got emailed to me that I kept, that sorta thing. I saw this one and immediately knew I had to post it, and dedicate it to the best shitbag friend a guy could have, my brother-from-another-mother, Johnny Rotten. This one's for you, bubba. :)

I also signed up an account at as well as going to try out the web templates in Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 so I'll probably be messing everything up on this website for a little while yet. I'm not sure if Im going to keep the photos local to or if I'll relocate the whole thing to Flickr.

Whatever I decide, I'll post a note and links here when I get my crap together.







Monday, January 3, 2005 1:07:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Rants#
Thursday, September 2, 2004

It's late, I'm tired, I've been up all night wrestling with Frontpage 2003 to make some new photo galleries. I like the thought behind the Photo Gallery Web Component in FP, but it's execution sucks donkey balls. And it's not (very easily) modified. If you DO modify it, then next time you make a change within FrontPage, your changes get overwritten anyway. Sucks. Until I find a better solution, here's the link:

Thursday, September 2, 2004 9:32:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Pictures#
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Canada vs USA World Cup Hockey 2004 at Legendz Sports Bar in Grand Cayman
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 8:04:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures | Sports | Hockey#
Monday, August 30, 2004

My temporary permit is through and I'm back to work as of 1:00 this afternoon. w00t! for pictures from yesterday

Monday, August 30, 2004 9:12:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Underwater#
Saturday, August 28, 2004
I don't know what it is about that girl, but when I dive with her, we see turtles.
Saturday, August 28, 2004 8:53:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Underwater#
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Whoever said "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" was "full of shit, man". Canon Powershot S60 discussion.
Thursday, July 29, 2004 7:25:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Underwater#
Sunday, June 13, 2004

Oops. apparently the link to the photo albums has been giving a Cannot Find Server DNS error all week. I looked at it just now, and what happened was the machine that the website is hosted on's IP address changed by one number, so even though the Dynamic DNS entries were correct, my router was forwarding the packets to the wrong address. My bad. I've updated it for now, and later on I'll change it to a fixed address to prevent it from happening again. For now, they're up and all the photos are there, everything from Xmas last year through to the Cuba Pictures from last month.

Sunday, June 13, 2004 7:25:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Pictures#
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