Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Like the sword of fucking Excalibur, only the anointed, chosen one can pull the Export-Mailbox cmdlet out of the stone.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:58:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Mail Server | Microsoft | Servers | Windows#
Friday, March 25, 2011

It took almost five years. Coincidentally that’s the length of the warranty I was trying to get it repaired under, but finally, something was done. There was a management change at Divers Supply Grand Cayman, and the new manager wanted to make things right whereas the old manager told me to go fuck myself.

Shortly before Christmas 2010, I was contacted by the new manager of the store (on Facebook) who reached out to make things right.

We talked back and forth and came to an agreement, and I edited and updated the posts from 2006 calling out his store for treating me like an inmate in a shower. I posted an update at the top of the three posts with the date, and then edited some of the piss & vinegar out of my rants. As I figured, it was the then-manager who was behind the absolutely horrendous “service” and treatment. Now that he’s gone (and probably most of the staff) it’s not fair to paint them all with the same brush as him (although given a chance, I don’t think I’d use a paintbrush on him).

It’s going to take awhile (if ever) for the Google search results for Divers Supply Grand Cayman to drop the old titles of the posts and replace them with the newer, gentler ones, but if anyone clicks on any of the links to my previous posts about Divers Supply Grand Cayman then they’ll see the new titles and the update, in bold, at the top of the page.

My replacement dive computer is up here now (although it’s still out at my friend’s house who carried it up here at Christmas from Cayman) so it was the right time to make a new post and edit the old posts.

Friday, March 25, 2011 10:39:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Rants | Underwater#
Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Dingle Dangle Dongle… I’m Robert Goulet! doo da deee da dabba doooo

Seriously. It’s 2010. Who still uses Parallel port hardware locks? For that matter WHO STILL USES PARALLEL PORTS?

One of our (I thought older) software packages we use where I work has a parallel port dongle. Dongle not there? No design software for you!

What happens when you upgrade someone off some ancient AMD Athlon to a newer computer from the last few years? one that doesn’t even have a parallel port on the back anymore? Well… not much! But wait! there’s USB! People still make and use USB dongles! We’ll just ask the vendor to replace it! What? No? You don’t have anymore? But the software is still supported isn’t it? Yes? Well what happens if someone loses their dongle? What if there’s a fire? They’re SOL? Maybe? Who knows.

Eventually someone got back to us and said that since version 10.1 you don’t NEED the dongle anymore. We’re on 10.7 so we should be OK without it… right? No?

OH, you mean we have to completely uninstall the whole thing, then re-install from the non-customized version on the DVD, and then apply eight service packs plus our customizations? Sure no problem! I’ll get right on that! I didn’t have anything to do all day, nor did the operator who’s computer is out of commission all day now, either!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:15:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Rants | Tech#
Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I bet you think this is going to be a product placement post… It isn’t, but it’s sure going to sound like one.

Last December, I attended a course in Tampa, FL. They had a “free gift” if you signed up for more than three days, and this course was five. The choices were an Xbox 360 Core, a PS3 40GB, Nintendo Wii, iPod Classic 80GB, a Zune, a Garmin GPS/wristwatch or a $300 Visa gift card. Since I already had the others, I chose a Wii.

Of course the Wii was out of stock, so I asked if I could wait and get one of those. They said OK. They were good about sending me updates, and then around May they emailed me and said they still were having trouble getting the Wii and would I like something else? I still wanted a Wii, so I chose the $300 Visa gift card. A few weeks later a $200 and a $100 American Express gift card showed up on my desk. I was going to use them to buy a Wii.

Of course, I never did and carried around the gift cards for awhile. Eventually I did use up the $100 card, but I still had the $200 card. I tried to use the $200 card at Ikea last week and it was declined. I think I had about $230CAD rung up, and it was $200 USD, so whatevs. Last night I tried it again at London Drugs for $150 and it was declined again. Perhaps I can only use it at a US merchant…

Just for grins, I went to and clicked on the Check Balance link. I punched in the card info and up came… a balance of $35.20. WTF?! I started clicking each month in the dropdown for purchase history and there it was, June 16, 2008. Two purchases at for travel on the same day. My gift card had been hacked.

I tried to send a message through the AmEx website, but you had to be a registered member to do so. After three attempts to create an account with the giftcard failed, it locked me out. I called the number on the screen which was generic AmEx Customer Service and spoke with Paul from INDIAna (as if) and he gave a different number for Gift Card services.

I called them and spoke with a c/s named Cindy (no trace of an accent whatsoever) and asked her if it was too late to dispute the charges as they were nearly six months old. She said she didn’t think so and said she would transfer me to the Fulfillment team. I was put on hold, and listened to Bing Crosby xmas tunes for a few minutes, and then she herself came back on the line and apologized for it taking so long and would I like to continue to hold, or did I want the number to call fulfillment directly? I said I would wait a little longer, and then she connected me with Jose on the fulfillment team. He asked me a couple questions and before I could even ask if it was too late to dispute the charges, he said he was going to send out a replacement card for the full value.


Excuse me?


He thought I didn’t hear him and repeated it. I heard him fine, I just couldn’t believe it! I gave him my parents address, and he had to check with someone to see if they could mail it to Canada, but re-iterated that the card would only work in the US. It turns out they couldn’t, so I gave him my address in Sumas, WA and he said it would be there in 2-3 business days. That would be Boxing day, so probably not (although they don’t celebrate Boxing Day in the US)

At the end of the call, he asked me if I was an American Express cardholder. I said “No, but if this is the way you treat your customers, then I’ll be signing up for one later this afternoon!”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:18:06 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Rants#
Friday, November 28, 2008

And now, it’s time for a “Fuck You Friday” special!


To the Translink bus driver who changed lanes into my lane when I was halfway up the side of his bus, forcing me to STOMP on my brakes and nearly get rear-ended by the morning traffic behind me and then STILL almost clipped my front end with the ass-end of his accordion bus rather than wait the 1.5 seconds until I was past him; a hearty “FUCK YOU, YOU ASSHOLE” and I hope you have a shitty weekend!

Reminds me of an old proverb(ha) I heard on a Maclean and McLean record when I was a young impressionable child:

May bloody piles torment you,

May corns grow on your feet.

May crabs as big as turtles,

Crawl up your ass and eat.

And when you’re old and feeble and become a nervous wreck,

I hope your head falls through your ass and breaks your fucking neck.


To everyone else, have a great weekend. ;)

Friday, November 28, 2008 10:14:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Rants#
Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tonight I received my first SPAM message on Facebook. I had 1 new unread message and was putzing around when I went to read it and saw that  I now had TWO messages...

CaptureI clicked into my Inbox and my heart sank...

The Inbox view only showed the first line or two, but that was certainly enough. This is the first time I've seen one that referenced the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, but the details are not the important part.

The important part is that these fucking scammers are starting to infiltrate Facebook. I suppose it was only a matter of time. They've made using Hotmail or Yahoo mail practically unusable. Hotmail at least has the 'exclusive' setting so that only people in your contacts/address book can  actually send messages through to your inbox, but I've had to abandon my Yahoo email account that I've had since 1997 because it gets about 50-60 emails a day, most of it various forms of the Nigerian 419 Scam. The sad part is that even now, in 2008 people are STILL FALLING FOR THIS CRAP. There are various names for it, I know it as a 419 scam because that's what The Register called it when I used to read that. They had a whole section on 419 scam-baiters each week it seemed. There's another one about a lottery going around to and even my mother nearly fell for, forwarding it to me to ask me if I thought it was legit. As if.

This is a pretty serious thing for Facebook, and I hope they figure out some way to nip it in the bud. The whole point of a social networking site is, well, to NETWORK. Meet new people. If everyone starts jacking up their privacy settings to the point that you can't contact anyone unless you're already friends, how are you going to get to be friends?

As soon as I saw it, I looked for and found the "report message" link right there underneath this scumbag's name. It came up with a warning that if I proceeded, the person would be put on my block list and any relationships I had with that person would be broken. The two choices were Spam or Harassment. I kind of flipped out a little bit and vented at the poor administrator who has to open that message. The next popup (remember when THOSE were the scourge of the internet?) said that the message would be forwarded to Facebook administration and that I would not be informed if any action was taken.

Unfortunately, this sets up Facebook staff for a never ending game of Whack-a-mole, where these scumbags who have nothing better to do than sit in internet cafes in Nigeria and create fake user ids and email addresses and send their spam out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 11:49:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Rants | WWW#
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I double-checked and sure enough, the outlets on the wall near my rack are regular 120v outlets (higher amperage sure, but 120v connectors) I removed a little more of the packaging and sure enough, the UPS is set up for 230v operation. Shit.
Thursday, November 6, 2008 12:26:12 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Tech#
Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yes, collusion, not collision although in this case it's pretty close.

Last weekend I posted a rant about some hippie bastard who sideswiped my new (to me) car and sheared off the driver's side mirror. I suppose because I've been driving for close to twenty years, and five of those as a truck driver it's second nature and I don't even think about it, I never realized just how much I use and rely on my mirrors. I have a huge blind spot now, as I can't really even turn around that far in the driver's seat to see what my mirror normally does. Add in gray skies, rain and condensation on the windows and it's a recipe for disaster. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet, but has driven me (ha ha) to extremes to get it replaced.

I started off at UAP/Napa Auto Parts online site. No dice. I tried Googling but any parts online place, while having a plethora of engine and body parts, don't carry mirrors. A few days ago at work I was "cleaning up" the user profile of a former-employee before archiving his or her documents and in his or her temporary internet files was a cookie text file for I checked them out and to my surprise they had the mirror I needed, and it was only $36. $36 USD, and it was black, so I'd have to get it painted to match but it was better than nothing. I ran into a problem shortly in that they didn't ship to Canada. I clicked the "chat with sales help" and she confirmed that they don't ship to Canada, but referred me to who was an affiliate of theirs who did. does indeed ship to Canada but don't have any mirrors. I called their customer service 800 number and the sales rep confirmed that they did not have the part I was looking for and in fact only carried mirrors for Volkswagens, but they didn't advertise that. Shit.

I filled out a parts request form at Carter Honda's site and also one at Ralph's Used Auto Parts, a network of auto wreckers/used parts places around the Vancouver area. I didn't hear anything back for nearly two days from either, so I called Ralph's on Scott Road. Nothing. I called their affiliate on Mitchell Island, nothing. He kinda laughed a little so I asked him if this was a hard part to find and he said "Very." Great. defines collusion as "a secret agreement, esp. for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy" Now I wouldn't go so far as to accuse fraud, but check this out: I got an email back from the parts man at Carter Honda. A new mirror from Honda was $314 and they quoted me labor of $65 (one hour basically) to install it. $314? Sounds fishy... I checked my insurance policy and sure enough, the baseline deductible for comprehensive insurance is $300.

I had avoided ordering from PartsTrain and having it shipped to my mailbox in Sumas as it costs me about $30 in gas to get out there and back as well as about three to four hours round-trip depending on if there's a lineup at the border. In the end, $36 + $30 in gas and then getting it painted still comes out to less than half the price of the factory replacement part so I ordered it Friday afternoon from PartsTrain and I'll have to make arrangements to get out to Sumas next week sometime and then install it myself.

Meanwhile I have to keep driving around with no mirror for another week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008 1:40:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Vehicle#
Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've got a bunch of posts in the pipeline and maybe one day I'll get around to finishing them and posting them.

Last night some fucktard sideswiped my car and sheared off the driver's side mirror. This morning Laurie and I went to get a coffee at Giancarlo's on Commercial Drive and I saw something sitting on the sidewalk that didn't look like the normal kind of litter the fucking hippies and homeless around here leave around. It looked like the 'guts' of a mirror... Laurie saw me looking at it and went to investigate, and said "yup, it's a mirror". I looked at my car and thought "well at least it's not mine."

As she was further down the sidewalk, she could see the other side of my car and said "yeah actually it is" so I went to look and sure enough, some fucktard clipped it. The housing was sitting on the street next to my car and somehow the mirror ended up where it was, IN FRONT of the car. Since there was nothing to do about it, I picked up the pieces and put them in the trunk and we went for breakfast.

When I came back, armed with only a Leatherman, I removed the remaining pieces of the mirror and brought it all inside to see if there was a way i could use some moxy and epoxy (or Gorilla Glue) and put it back together. Nope... There are some plastic pieces missing to fit the jigsaw puzzle back together and some of the plastic looks "stretched" rather than a clean break that might have been able to fit back together.

Upon further inspection, there's a scuff or three on the front window pillar but they're really superficial and will probably just buff out. It looks like it was a mirror-to-mirror collision, but the person was going fast enough that it sheared off the screws inside the housing. there doesnt seem to be any scuffing or scratching on the housing itself, which is weird.

I checked my insurance papers, as I found out this is something that falls under "comprehensive" but the deductible is $500, so that pretty much torpedoes that idea. I have no idea what a replacement mirror will cost. I emailed a Honda dealership loally that had a "parts request form" online and I googled around for some OEM replacement parts. They were all in the 60-100 dollar range, but they were all black. The trim level on my car has color-matched bumpers and mirrors so I may get hosed.

The good news (if there is any) is that since I bought this car, I've seen LOTS of other Civics with the same color and head/tail light design as mine so there should be a fair bit of parts at the wreckers.

What pisses me off the most about the whole thing, aside from the hit and run, and aside from being out-of-pocket when I really haven't even received a paycheck yet (I landed a job, btw, but that's another post) and aside from the fact that I USE my mirrors and rely on them for you know, safety is that now there's a fucking HOLE in the drivers side door/window that's going to let COLD AIR in and probably blow right onto my hands while I'm driving!

Sunday, October 26, 2008 3:20:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Vehicle#
Friday, September 26, 2008
I've held off on writing anything about the whole ordeal until the settlement was done, just in case. I'm still not going to write too much about it until the money is deposited in my bank account, but some of the details are familiar enough to warrant a little write-up here.
Friday, September 26, 2008 12:51:26 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Rants | Vehicle#
Sunday, August 31, 2008
then wondered if US Airways and Carnival Cruise Lines were partnered. If not, they should be. This flying trailer park is the perfect vehicle to transfer those Whiskey Tango cruisers from whatever fucking hole they crawled out of to get to their floating trailer parks to spread their drive-fast-turn-left "culture" throughout the Caribbean, six islands at a time, for seven days.
Sunday, August 31, 2008 9:20:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Rants | Travel#
Friday, August 15, 2008
So that's the bottom line... for saving the company $300 and burning a loyal customer, the store manager reaped two years (and counting) atop the Google search results for "Divers Supply Grand Cayman" with the terms "Fucked in the ass by Divers Supply Grand Cayman" in the link text itself.
Friday, August 15, 2008 11:11:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants | Underwater#
Thursday, July 3, 2008
No I haven't been in an accident, but I did look the wrong way while turning onto a busy street and NEARLY caused one. I haven't driven up the wrong side of the road (yet) this time.
Thursday, July 3, 2008 9:14:48 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Rants#
Friday, February 15, 2008
Not just Queen lyrics anymore!

I just checked my work permit application online (or rather HR did) and my permit has been approved! Hooray!

While the start date is Nov 30th, 2007, the day after my last permit expired, the expiry date is August 27th, 2008.

That's not quite a full year, you say? You're right!

August 27th, 2001 was the date that I stepped off the plane when I moved back here from Texas. If you do the math, you'll see that it's exactly seven years.

That's right, seven years. My time in the Cayman Islands is up. Regardless of what my employer wants or would like to do, Immigration will not grant me a "Gainful Occupation License" or GOL past that seven year date.

I'll be getting a letter in the mail shortly officially kicking me out of the country.

I, uh, well I can't really think of anything else to say just yet, but I'll post more in the coming weeks/months about it as my countdown continues.

Friday, February 15, 2008 11:07:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [5] | Cayman | Rants#
Sunday, November 18, 2007
We've started receiving computers from Dell now with Vista Business edition on them. Fortunately it's only been ten so far and they're all Optiplex 755s, the new ones. Microsoft has a program in place to allow you to buy new machines with Vista Business stickers/COAs on them and then receive a free product code to "downgrade" it to XP, then when your company is ready to roll Vista out, you already have the license and don't have to pay anything to upgrade.
Sunday, November 18, 2007 12:17:02 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Tech | Microsoft#

Vista's been out almost a year, and SP1 is right around the corner. I've been running it at work on my personal machine for about seven or eight months now, just to try and get used to it so when we don't have the option of getting new computers with XP anymore, I'll be able to answer the inevitable questions from the users "where did x y and z go?" Because technically you can install an OS license on two computers if you really read into the fine print, I took the Express Upgrade disc from my computer at work home and installed it on my desktop computer.

Home Computer Work Computer
P4 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz
1gb RAM 4gb RAM
80gb PATA OS, 2x250gb SATA data array 80gb SATA
ATI Radeon 9600 256mb nVidia GeForce 7300 256mb
Acer 22" widescreen (1680x1080) Two Dell 17" LCDs
SB Audigy+ 7.1 channel audio Intel integrated audio
LG DVD +/- RW dual layer Sony DVD +/- RW dual layer


My work computer rolls right along with multiple applications open, Symantec Corporate Edition 10 in the background, WMP 11 in toolbar mode playing MP3s, Outlook 2007 open, Active Directory Users & Computers MMC snap-in open, Foldershare satellite in the taskbar and then whatever else I'm working on at the moment.

My home computer runs AVG Free version in the background, uTorrent in the background, Foldershare satellite and iTunes. Generally there's an explorer window or two open, as well as iTunes minimized when I'm not there and open and playing MP3s when  I am around. That's all.

My average processor usage is around 65%. 65% of my computer's resources are used up while it's sitting "idle" or doing something I consider extremely low-key, like playing MP3s through iTunes. It's so bad that iTunes actually starts "skipping" while trying to play MP3s. Doing anything, skipping forward to another song, opening a window, changing folders in Explorer, renaming a file, ANYTHING causes the processor usage to spike to 100% and slow everything down to a crawl. Heaven forbid I try to listen to music while doing anything file intensive.

Oddly enough, as resource intensive as it is, watching videos with Nero Showtime (I'm forcing myself to use it instead of VLC right now because I paid for Nero 7... right before Nero 8 was released and offered me the chance to upgrade for a low 39.99) doesn't seem to be a problem for the system at all.

I was watching the processor usage today while iTunes was skipping, trying to see WHAT was causing the processor usage and skipping. It didn't add up... I was using maybe 30% of the processor, but the reported usage was 65-70%. I checked "show processes from all users" box and there it was: Audiodg.exe was hogging up 30-65% of the processor cycles, iTunes went between 6% and 30%. What the hell is audiodg.exe? Is it something to do with the new Sound Blaster Audigy card I put in a few weeks ago?

I looked around online and found a pretty good description of it here

The short answer is that audiodg.exe hosts the audio engine for Vista.  All the DSP and other audio processing is done in audiodg.exe.  There are two reason it runs outside of the windows audio service.

The first is that there's 3rd party code that gets loaded into audiodg.exe.  Audio hardware vendors have the ability to install custom DSPs (called Audio Processing Objects or APOs) into the audio pipeline.  For a number of reasons (reliability, serviceability, others) we're not allowed to load 3rd party code into svchost processes (svchost.exe is a generic host process for services that's used inside Windows). So we need to move all the code that interacts with these 3rd party APOs outside the audio service (that way if an APO crashes, it won't take out some other critical part of the system with it).

The second reason for using a separate process for the audio engine is DRM.  The DRM system in Vista requires that the audio samples be processed in a protected process, and (for a number of technical reasons that are too obscure to go into) it's not possible for a svchost hosted service to run in a protected process.


UGH. So this piggy process was introduced in Vista to allow audio processing to run in a protected process because of DRM. Double-ugh. Everything in my iTunes library are plain-Jane VBR MP3s that I ripped from my own CDs. There is no DRM on them, there does not need to be any DRM on them, but they have to be processed through this audiodg process so they CAN. Lame. All it's doing is chewing up resources and making my audio playback skip. It's what the French call "Le Suck".

Vista's vaunted new User Account Control sucks, too. I left it all on to force myself to get used to it. I installed EAC to rip a couple new CDs that I bought, and it installed fine. I navigated to C:\Program Files\EAC and created a new folder called LAME and then unzipped the LAME_enc.dll and exe files into it and told EAC to use the external compressor... but it wouldn't. It would inexplicably fail. I dropped to a command line and tried it myself and got "Access Denied". Turns out that even with an administrator account, you can't execute an .exe file in the program files folder unless Windows/msiexec has put it there itself. If you have a program that didn't come in an .msi installation file, then it won't be able to run. On a whim, I went to Control Panel and turned off UAC. It warned me three times that it was a bad idea, and then asked me to reboot. After a reboot, EAC worked as expected, and I now have a red shield with an X over it in my system tray that periodically reminds me that I've left my system open to unauthorized use and click here to turn UAC back on. At work it's even worse. I had to disable UAC right off the bat in order for ScriptLogic to even run my logon script.

There's a whole laundry list of all small, niggling things that just don't work in Vista. My USB TV Tuner is unsupported in Vista and now has been discontinued. My Microsoft(!!) branded keyboard with the integrated UareU biometric fingerprint scanner doesn't work. The keyboard works, but the fingerprint scanner doesn't.

Probably my biggest gripe with Vista at work (aside from the UAC business described above) is the lack of adequate management tools. I'm a Network Administrator. I spend a lot of time in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Active Directory Users and Computers in particular just doesn't work very well. I don't have icons telling me if an object is a user, group, disabled, computer, contact or anything. EVERY icon looks like a text file. Exchange 2003 System Manager won't run, so I can't do anything mailbox-related without VNC'ing to the server or using Remote Desktop to one of the Domain Controllers. ISA management doesn't work (2004 OR 2006), Websense Manager won't run and ScriptLogic Desktop Authority sort of works, but is pointing at the wrong server (although that's not a Vista gripe)

I'm at the point now where I'm ready to declare my experimentation phase with Vista over and roll back my desktop computer at home to XP SP2. Fortunately when I installed Vista, I used an extra hard drive, and I can go back as easily as opening the case, pulling the drive and putting the old one back in. There will be a little work after that, Windows updates and a few driver changes for new hardware. At work it's a little more work to downgrade, but because they're new machines, I've been proactive and made a Ghost image of the new Optiplex with XP SP2. That's another post though :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007 12:06:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Links | Rants | Microsoft#
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I got the usual screen, validation required, so I clicked on Validate Now and of course it couldn't run because I was using Firefox and it used an ActiveX control to test your system. At least it's smart enough now to recognize that you're using a browser other then IE and prompt you to download the plug-in for Firefox to allow it to run. I downloaded it, installed it, ran it and.. validation failed.
Sunday, August 26, 2007 10:19:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Rants | Tech | Microsoft#
Monday, August 6, 2007
Yeah, so I won't be running again anytime soon. I have to walk again first. I'm kinda pissed because I was finally going to move on to week 2 starting today! I'll have to start over again with week 1 once I have more mobility back.

Monday, August 6, 2007 6:52:48 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Sports#
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
You may not have the RiskMaster 3000 that Reuben had in Along Came Polly, but you've been weighing options and deciding on a course of action (right or wrong) your whole life... Reuben may have wanted to run "Will my wife shag our scuba instructor on our honeymoon?" through there before he got married, but that's another story.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:54:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Rants | Underwater#
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I know it's the "in" thing to do to rag on SUV drivers and it somewhat makes me a hypocrite as I have a Jeep Wrangler (2.5l, not the 4.0l) that I drive when I'm not commuting on my Vespa, but it has to be done. This guy today really chapped my hide.

I drove my Jeep today as I thought I had some computers to move around at work. I stopped in to get a coffee at Paperman's at the Strand but had to go to the ATM first. I parked in the middle of the parking lot,(you can just see the windshield of my Jeep at the back corner of his behemoth) walked less than 30m to the ATM at the entrance to the supermarket and waited briefly while the guy in the big new V8 Land Rover (I saw him park just ahead of me, right by the ATM) to finish his transaction. I saw him walk back to his V8 Land Rover, get in and... back out the wrong way? There's only one exit from the parking lot and he just put it behind him.

He drove around the parking lot, as I was finishing at the ATM and walking across the parking lot and re-parked in front of the coffee shop! What the hell for??? It wasn't like he was saving time, I ended up holding the door open for him. It wasn't up a steep grade or anything. And to be honest, he probably could have used burning off the extra three calories walking across the parking lot (again, not like I'm one to talk, but I DID walk across the parking lot). I couldn't believe that he actually got in his car, started it up and drove it about 50 feet just to park it again in the same strip-mall/plaza. What a dick.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:26:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Rants | Scooter#
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Today I went to get my drivers' license.
Thursday, January 4, 2007 4:13:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Cayman | Rants#
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#
Monday, October 16, 2006

Every now and then I'd get an email saying that I had received a "trackback" which is when someone else links to one of your articles in order to quote it, dispute it, or something like that. I don't get them very often, so when an email comes in that says trackback, I would click the link and see who was linking to me.

Every now and then, I would see a trackback that went to some link-farm so I'd delete it. Sometimes people would leave a comment on an old article and either put a link in the body or use the website box to make their name a link to some link farm. A month or two ago, I got a slew of trackbacks all at once, about 20 spam sites all linking to the same page of mine. I went to the page they had linked to and deleted them all. What a pain in the ass.

Then it happened again a couple weeks ago when I was at home. I took the ten minutes to sit there and delete them all. I also started noticing on my activity page that the page views would shoot up to to 600, 700, 900 per day, which is a far cry from what I normally get. I found out that there was a blacklist function in the DasBlog configuration, so I added the pertinent terms. The next day would be more of the same but this time would be a refinance push instead of a drug push. Then casinos, then Texas hold 'em... you get where this was going. Everytime I added that day's terms, they would switch up and attack a different term the next day. It's proactive and a losing battle. I just ignore it now and gave up wondering what my REAL traffic is per day.

This morning, I was in a training session and we took a break to get up, wiggle around, stretch our limbs, go to the bathroom, whatever. I checked my email. :) First thing I noticed was that there was about 30 emails, all with the same timestamp, all trackbacks to the same page. I went to the page and deleted them all, and then went back to Outlook and deleted the notifications. When I clicked refresh, my blood chilled... up at the top, it said 1-35 of 691. I quickly went through it and saw that I had 680 splog trackbacks and 11 emails. FUCK ME IN THE GOATASS! What the hell? I suppose I should be flattered that someone thinks my website is important enough to target for spamming to help raise their profile in search engines, but then the reality of it says "no, you're just a random target" :)

For now, I've turned off the trackback service, decreasing the functionality of my website. If the comments start getting spammed in earnest, I'll shut them off, too.. decreasing the functionality and value even further. There's a way to turn off the referral stuff in a newer version of this software, but there is no RBL for splogs built in... yet. Now that I have my email under control, this is the last thing I need to 'harden'.

Monday, October 16, 2006 7:52:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | dasBlog | Rants | WWW#
Saturday, September 23, 2006

People who have known me since dirt was still new know that when I was a teenager, I worked in restaurants for a bunch of my formative years. I started in the dishpit at 15 and moved up to prep cook and then line cook when I was 17 and had worked almost the entire line by the time I was 18. I worked with a bunch of degenerates, but they were NICE degenerates. I saw the sex, the drugs, the alcohol, the more sex and more alcohol on a daily basis as well as a succession of Kitchen Managers and Assistant Kitchen Managers of all types and demeanors (I'm talking about you, Russ, you Irish bastard.. and I mean that in the nicest way :) ) So I know what 'being slammed' is all about: on a Friday night when the ticket printer just doesnt stop printing, servers are screaming for their food, the kitchen detritus is building up to knee-deep, the grills and burners are full, the commands are flying back and forth but in the end it (usually) runs like a well-oiled machine, cranking out a few hundred covers and enough adrenaline that when you finally finish around 1:30 in the morning you're too wired to go to sleep.

A couple years back, when Seb found out that I used to work in kitchens, he told me about this book that I HAD to read. It turned out to be Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. I read it. I laughed.. I laughed some more. By the end of the book, all those memories of Jeff the psychotic grill man, Franco the broiler, James the sautee guy who was a +1... anything you had done he had done one better.. Stuart with his Veronica Lake/Robert Plant hair, Mike the prep cook who got up and danced and yelled when he "shot" someone at paintball only to take about 30 paintballs to various parts of his body as soon as he did it and even Dave, the likable goofball who single-handedly destroyed half of the kitchen and burned both hands, two arms and cracked a rib when trying to do some "flair" on the line shortly after the movie "Cocktail" came out. I also realized just how much truth there was in the book ABOUT said sex, drugs, alcohol and rock 'n roll and that in my naive teen years just didn't see it, or blocked it out.

Last year Fox came out with a TV show based on the book. Right away fans screamed about how it couldn't do the book justice and that Bourdain was a sell-out. Out of curiosity I turned it on and watched the four episodes that aired before it was canceled (way to go again.. and again, Fox!) and they were actually quite funny. Sure the "plots" were loosely based on some events and characters in the book, but if you looked past that to a sit-com based in a restaurant, it was pretty funny.

Which leads me to the title of the post. In the TV show the hostess, Tanya, is a cute, complete bubblehead. Between my previous employment in restaurants, my experience as a patron of restaurants and most importantly, my recent interaction with a certain hostess at a certain restaurant, I've come to realize that the stereotype is well-earned. Thank you for taking a simple request to write something down and making a complete dog's breakfast out of it!

Saturday, September 23, 2006 8:29:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Food | Rants#
Thursday, September 21, 2006
They should write an article about that entitled "Rabid pseudo-journalists completely mangle the hand that feeds them"
Thursday, September 21, 2006 9:21:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [5] | Rants | Underwater#
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I just flew in from Miami... and boy are my arms tired!

But seriously. When I'm in Miami and get stuck with the "economy car" (ie no upgrades that include Sirius or XM) I tune in to Y100.7. They used to have a morning show duo named "Kenny and Footy" or something like that who were pretty funny. Other than that, they play the top ten or so of the top 40 over and over and over and over and over again.

Today's surprise (other than hearing Shakira's latest song twice in the span of three hours) was their latest contest: It's called Made. As in "I want to be made". The winner of the contest wins free plastic surgery! Along with the promo that I heard eight or nine times, were the commercials for the "company" providing the service for the winners. They have this girl who sounds about 16 saying things like "I hate my boobs, I want to start with them..."

Coincidentally, I downloaded the first four episodes of Season 1 of Nip/Tuck to my PSP to watch on the plane today... How fitting.

And since we're on the topic of signs of the apocalypse, Cayman experienced another earthquake yesterday. I was going to post it last night but I was just too dog-darned tired. Today I forgot about it, but aside from a few hundred referral links from some jackass online poker site were a bunch of search engine results for Cayman earthquake (From the last one in December 2004). Seeing as how this post was already entitled "The Most Recent Sign of the Apocalypse" I figured it was a good segue.

This one was only 4.5 on the Richter Scale and it happened at 8:26 in the morning, so I was out on the road on my Vespa scooter and don't recall feeling any shaking. I wonder what caused this one this time? Zac was here as far as I know... :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 5:17:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants | Travel#
Thursday, June 29, 2006
He understood that once in awhile you have to do something you don't particularly want to do, but have to do to keep loyal customers, well, loyal customers. Instead, Ales, the new manager has NOT done right by a loyal customer (me in this case) and created a lot of traffic on the internet about the piss poor treatment that you can expect from Divers Supply Grand Cayman.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 6:09:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Rants#
Saturday, June 24, 2006
This time when I went in, they all looked a bit nervous when I asked about my computer. They brought it out and showed it to me, and it looked like the picture to the right. The LCD had cracked and 'leaked' all over the front of the crystal. "What happened??" I asked.
Saturday, June 24, 2006 11:39:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Cayman | Rants#
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Things are picking up culturally and entertainment-wise in Grand Cayman... but only if you're a guest at the Ritz-Carlton
Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:17:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
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#
Friday, December 9, 2005
...who are actually offended by someone wishing them a Merry Christmas?
Friday, December 9, 2005 7:52:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Rants#
Thursday, December 8, 2005

Finally an entertainer of some famousness is coming to Grand Cayman. Sheryl Crow is scheduled to attend/perform at the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. She will be the first “big” show to come to town since Garbage was here in 2002. Just like the Garbage concert however, the show will be a private show with no tickets being sold or made available to the general public.

No offense to Bjorn Again, Nearly Neil, Elevation or Innuendo, but it seems that “tribute bands” are about the only kind of concerts I've ever seen down here. While they're entertaining, it's just not the same.

In 2002, Stuff Magazine flew about 100 people down here for winning a contest, and one of the things they did was attend a concert at the Seaview Hotel by Garbage. Garbage happens to be one of my favorite bands and when we heard that they were ocming to Cayman, we thought it was pretty cool, only to be told “it's a private concert, there won't be any tickets to be had”. Then we heard that we'd be able to moor up just offshore of the Seaview and still see some of the concert and hear the whole thing. Then we were told no, you can't do that, and they hung curtains behind the stage to block any visibility, too. In the end, by hook and by crook, I got in to the concert and it was pretty cool.

When I first arrived on the island, way back in the day, someone went to a lot of trouble to get Kenny Rogers down here, when he was doing a “Storytellers” tour or something. The island went crazy, as there seemed to be a lot of oldies who liked the old coutry & western music. Tickets were sold (and solt out quickly) at $150 bucks a pop for dinner and the show, and HOLY COW was there a backlash afterwards. The memories are a bit foggy, but I remember reading in the paper the next week or so people complaining that he only actually sang about 6 or 7 songs, and filled in the time sitting there with his guitar telling little stories and anecdotes about what the song was about or why he wrote it. Maybe it's just me, but when the tour is called “Storyteller”...

There were also a few other country acts over the years (usually at the Seaview Hotel) of either sunset tours of last-generation stars and B-list acts on their way up.

In the current scenario, I don't know if I'd actually go to a Sheryl Crow concert, but because there's just been NOTHING ELSE, I probably would have gone to this one (if they were selling tickets of course). It just makes me mad that they're hyping it up in the local rags about her coming and performing, and then “oh, except it's a private show, so don't show up and don't call looking to buy tickets”

Oh, another slap in the face: The movie theatre had a poster up for the past few weeks of The Chronicles of Narnia with a sheet of paper taped to it saying “COMING DECEMBER 7TH” which is a bit odd, considering that it doesn't open in the US until the 9th. Yesterday in the newspaper, they had the regular ad in there saying that they were showing The Gospel and some other chickflick at 6 and 615 respectively and then underneath it it said in block letters: CINEMA 1 AND 2 CLOSED: RENTED FOR PRIVATE SHOWING OF THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and no mention on what was going on. Today, they're screening The Gospel and the crappy chick flick again.


Thursday, December 8, 2005 1:24:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Rants#
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Last week there was a front page article in the paper about some positive steps the NRA was making to alleviate the traffic on West Bay Road.
Sunday, November 13, 2005 9:08:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Friday, November 11, 2005
Even if this was not a law, which it is, I'm afraid I would have a lot of difficulty endorsing an enterprise which is as fraught with genuine peril as I believe this one to be. Besides the liquor and the drugs which always seem to accompany such an event the thing that distresses me even more, Ren, is the spiritual corruption that can be involved.
Friday, November 11, 2005 9:02:47 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Links | Rants#
Monday, October 31, 2005
Where is everybody tonight?
Monday, October 31, 2005 9:18:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Thursday, September 22, 2005

Gas is now CI$3.90/gallon in Grand Cayman. (USD$4.71)

That is all.

Universal Currency Converter

Thursday, September 22, 2005 4:51:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Yesterday was the first day back to school for the kids of Cayman. There's no Labor Day holiday here, so they don't get a last long weekend before heading back to the books. Why do I care that school is back in session? Traffic.
Tuesday, September 6, 2005 6:37:48 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Have you ever noticed that the people who are naked the most SHOULDN'T BE?
Thursday, September 1, 2005 4:26:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants#
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
What's up with ALL alarm clocks sucking so hard?
Tuesday, August 16, 2005 8:57:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Gadgets#
Friday, June 10, 2005

I woke up tired, which is never a good sign. I left the house at 6:55am and made my way through the back roads of West Bay down to Morgan's Harbor and to the dyke road. There was traffic coming BACK down the Dyke rd, which means that they did actually close the barrier at the far end to stop people from cutting through there. So I turned around and followed a truck back, but he turned off and I followed him, thinking it was another way out, but it wasn't, so I turned around again, and this time missed the road and went further into the mangroves the wrong way. I came to a dead end, turned around AGAIN and retraced my tracks and found the road again, had to worm my way through more traffic (the 7:15 onward traffic) that was still trying to get down onto the dyke road not knowing it was closed.

I made it back out to the paved roads and turned onto Willie Farrington Dr at 7:20... and stopped. The entire stretch of Willie Farrington was gridlocked all the way out to West Bay Road. I sat there for about five minutes and noticed my engine temp indicator was a smidge high. I looked and made sure that the a/c was off and kept an eye on it. Within two minutes (and maybe 20m of progress) it was up to the next notch on the gauge. Not good. I increased my idle to about double, to see if it was a flow problem or leaking fluid and it didn't change after 30 seconds, so I pulled out of traffic and turned around (I was tempted to go home and ask if I could telecommute for the morning) and came down West Church Street back towards home, towards 4-way stop, and away from work. I got caught in MORE traffic, but the temp gauge started fluctuating, but never went back down to “normal” so I pulled into Centennial Towers, parked and abandoned it for the day and sat at the bus stop at 7:35.

A bus came along a couple minutes later and I climbed aboard. Buses in Cayman are an unknown gem, if you know how to work with them. They have no fixed schedule and not a clearly defined route (ie they'll take you out of their way for an extra $1). Buses cost $2 per trip and start/end at the George Town Library, and go all the way  up Seven Mile Beach, loop through West Bay, past the Turtle Farm, and then through a bunch of residential areas before coming back to 4-way stop and then back down Seven Mile Beach into town. For two dollars! You can't even get a taxi to stop for you for less than that!

So I sat on the bus playing Ridge Racer on my PSP and sweating. This particular bus didn't have A/C, or at least have it turned on. I hopped out at the corner of Eastern Ave and Shedden Rd and walked from there. I got in to work at 8:30, “right on time” even though I left 95 minutes earlier.

Now that the dyke road is closed for good, I'm going to have to sit in traffic for an hour every morning, doing nothing but idling away, not running the a/c and watching my gas mileage go into the toilet, along with the environment. That's unacceptable, so the apartment hunt will be back on in full-force again, real quick.

So here I am, at the start of my day, tired, grumpy (more grumpy than usual) AND sweaty, and with no vehicle here to do anything or go anywhere until 5:00 when I'll hitch a ride to the gym, and then catch a bus home from there.

Friday, June 10, 2005 5:42:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
When I was a kid, my dad used to say "or comes the Revolution!" when he was trying to threaten me to do something (clean up my room, put toys away, that sort of thing) I never really knew what he was talking about with it, but I've put a spin on it and use it to describe people who are going to be lined up against the wall first "when the revolution comes".
Tuesday, June 7, 2005 6:52:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Sunday, May 29, 2005

Have you ever left a load of laundry in the washer for a couple days? Have you ever done it where the ambient temperature is over 80f? ugh. stink. I went down to the laundry cupboard in Seb's bathroom and put the same load back on, put in a little more soap and a scoop of Oxi Clean just in case there were some greeblies starting to grow in there.

I came back up here and got my ironing board out, got my shirts & pants that needed to be pressed and was waiting for this load of laundry to do it all at once. I sat down and checked my email and stuff, and then grabbed a water bottle to go fill up for the iron and put my laundry into the dryer. As soon as I started down the stairs I knew something was wrong.

The little blankie that I keep on the floor under Tweeter's cage was wet. I thought “How the hell did he spill his water dish? and that's a lot of water... then a couple more steps down I saw that it wasnt just the blankie that was wet, the whole floor was wet... I got down to the bottom of the stairs and splashed into a half-inch of water. My next thought was the sink, but no it was empty. The hot water tank? Could be. I walked back through the kitchen and I heard the washing machine filling... I sloshed through Seb's bedroom into the bathroom and saw the washing machine spitting forth a waterfall of water down it's front. The dial was stuck on rinse.

I shut it off, had a 30 second panic attack, and then thought about a course of action. All I had was a swiffer (useless) and a little sponge-headed mop. Wonderful. I made a couple phone calls looking for a squeegee, but no one seemed to have one. HazMat Jenny said she had one at work, and John was on his way to the airport to drop some peeps off so I called him and asked him to drop by her office and pick it up. Meanwhile I put some towels down in strategic locations to act as dams, and they more or less worked and let me mop in one area without all the water running back into where I just mopped, sort of. John showed up with the squeegee and I got to work in the living room.

I got the bulk of the water out by about 2:00 and took a break to eat some cold, leftover pizza and have a cold drink. It's now 3:45, Seb should be home soon, and we can tackle his bedroom together. I didn't wanna go tearing through there picking shit up and moving it around and mopping, just in case he has anything in there he doesnt want anyone to see. We're gonna have to move the entertainment unit out and mop behind it, and same with the couch, but the bulk of the work is done already.

Around 11:00 I decided I was going to go to Canton for dinner. Their Honey Garlic Chicken is top of my “comfort food” list now. THEN I'm going to get my ironing started so I have something presentable to work tomorrow and probably fall asleep soon after that.

My big plan for today, other than to get the wireless network sorted out finally, was to give my bicycle a once-over and go for a ride to prepare myself for trying to ride it in to work tomorrow. (I've had it with West Bay Road traffic) I guess I'll have to put that off til Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sunday, May 29, 2005 12:48:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Friday, May 27, 2005
Hello? who? Cable & Wireless? Sure, hang on... "HEY C&W, it's for you, it's the 21st century calling, they wanna know why you're still in the last century"
Friday, May 27, 2005 6:52:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Links | Rants | Tech | Gadgets#
Thursday, May 26, 2005

Although this isn't much of a rant, it's more of an observation. I've been leaving later and later these days. 7:30 one morning, and between 7:15 and 7:30 on average. I still get to Cafe Del Sol by about 7:45 and have some time to kill, but less and less the later it gets (Thank you, Captain Obvious).

Yesterday I left at 7:20 and there was actually traffic on the dyke road. Not so much ON the dyke road itself, but there was a good ten cars waiting to merge back into traffic on West Bay Road. Merging is a pretty foreign concept, it seems. Some people will stop and let four or five cars in ahead of them, causing traffic to back up behind them, and then the next ten or so cars behind will follow through bumper to bumper and not let anyone in, which causes backups for people trying TO merge in. It's a never-ending battle that's been going on as long as I've had a car down here, and I'm somewhat resigned to the fact that it's just never going to change, education of drivers notwithstanding. Younger drivers seem to have even LESS patience than anyone over, say, 30 years old so it's just going to get worse.

This morning the line of cars waiting to merge from the dirt road through the West Bay backcountry was about 35 cars long and stretched all the way to the bend where the dyke road comes out. I was shocked, but not THAT shocked. My first reaction was “better start leaving earlier again” but what really made my blood boil was the asshole who at the beginning was behind me.

When I turned off of Batabano near Morgan's Harbor onto the little road that's still paved, he beeped at me. My back window is pretty dirty so I looked to see if it was someone I knew... 50 yards down the road, he beeped at me more insistently, so I thought maybe I had a flat tire or something, so I checked my mirrors, loosened my grip on the steering wheel to see if it pulled, etc. Finally, I went straight near the turnoff to the dirt road so that he could pull alongside me, and the little cocksucker used that opportunity to PASS ME on the inside and cut in front of me onto the dirt road. He then got stuck behind another car and was in front of me all the way through.

When we made the last turn and saw the line of cars, rather than stop he just pulled into the oncoming traffic lane, drove right up to the road and then forced his way in cutting off the person that was (trying to) merge onto the main road. Three or four other cars followed him with the “Well if someone else is going to get away with it, so am I!” kind of stupid mob mentality.

People like that really piss me off. Unfortunately there's no shortage of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:45:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Rants#
Monday, May 2, 2005

I decided to get a new video card for my computer at home. I thought I could get away with the 'built-in' video, with it's whopping 8mb of (shared) memory, but it's just not cutting it. I decided to go for an ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 9600 with 128mb of RAM on (coincidentally, the same amount of system ram my first “killer gaming rig” had on it back in the day) I looked around online and decided to go with because I had purchased from them in the past and they had good prices.

I also didn't want to pay 20% customs duty on the purchase, and it wasn't a desperate need to have it within a few days, so I decided I would buy it and ship it to our Miami office and next time one of us was up there, they could pick it up and bring it back in under their customs allowance. I could also have shipped it to my US Link mailbox in Miami and they would have shipped it here in 48 hours from receiving it for the wee fee of $3/lb. The only problem with that is that I would pay 20% duty on the (pre-rebate) $249 for the card, the $5 super saver fedex shipping, and then the airfreight charge as well. 20% of $300 is $60, but the duty would be in Cayman Dollars, so it would be USD$72.50 on top of the $249. A bit too much.

My credit card billing address is my US Link mailbox: it's where my magazine subscriptions (”What am I going to do with 48 subscriptions to Vibe?”) credit card statements and credit card junkmail are delivered to. I even had my local debit card's address changed to that Miami address to facilitate online purchasing.

I went through the checkout routine at newegg, and they didn't have my name in their system anymore, so first I had to go through the “sign up for a new account” process, and validate that, and then go back, find my shopping cart again, and start the 'checkout' process again. I used my local debit card, who's billing address is in Miami, and specified “different shipping address” because I wanted shipped to my office rather than my mailbox. I clickety-clicked through it and thought it was done.

Fifteen minutes later I got an email response from newegg that my card was issued by a non-US bank, and my order was cancelled. OK, well I gave it a shot anyway, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking “There are 300 million potential customers in the US, but there are 6 BILLION potential customers outside the US and FedEx will deliver to every single one of them. What's the holdup?” so I went back, and found the video card again, put it in my shopping cart, went to checkout, logged in, changed my debit card to my US credit card which has the same Miami billing address and went through the whole thing again. I even used their newegg/fedex shipping address validator and made sure everything was filled out properly.

THIRTY minutes later this time, I get another email: unable to verify shipping address! Didn't I just click the validate address thing? The problem this time was that my shipping address and billing address didn't match up. DUH, I know that! I was the one who clicked “ship to another address”! so I contacted NewEgg's Customer Service number and they told me to have the shipping address assigned as a secondary address to my credit card. I called the credit card company, but due to high volume, their current estimated wait time on hold was 17 minutes. Have I mentioned that calling 800 numbers from the Cayman Islands results in regular overseas long-distance charges? plus the regular airtime charges for your mobile account? Thankfully I have ways around that. I didn't want to wait on hold for that long, so I put it off til the morning.

The next morning I called the credit card company and got through right away. I said I wanted to add a second address to my card because these jackasses wouldnt ship to anything other than the billing address. The nice lady told me that that wasn't possible. I could change my address, but I didn't want to do THAT. Then she told me I could make a temporary change of address which would “time out” and revert back to my normal address after X days. I decided to do that, gave her my “shipping” address and then that was done. I called Newegg back, but their call center is on the west coast (yet their order fulfillment warehouse is in New Jersey) so they were closed and please call back later. I was kinda pissed off at this point, it was a lot of running around just to order one simple little thing online. I waited until just after 9am local when the call center was to open and called them back. I gave them my order number, and said I had the address added to my credit card, so please go ahead and re-submit the order. At this time, I checked and there was a roughly $200 authorization on my card from newegg, so I thought everything was in order. Yeah, right.

Ten minutes later I get a NEW MAIL popup and I get the same goddamn form letter from Newegg telling me my shipping address could not be verified and to please have the address added to my credit card and call them to try again.

Nope. Fuck that noise. I DID log on to Newegg's site, but that was to cancel the order. I haven't gotten around to it yet, but they will be getting a nastier version of this website post in their customer service mailbox shortly. I clicked over to CompUSA's site, and five minutes later had an order confirmation in my mailbox, and then a quick check to FedEx this morning showed it was delivered on Friday. Then I got an email from someone I work with who was in the office in Miami this weekend and said she was bringing it back for me.

SO, Newegg, who suck donkey balls, can bite me. I won't be buying from them again.

Monday, May 2, 2005 5:42:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants | Tech#
Saturday, April 9, 2005
...who wants to poke out their eyes with red-hot knitting needles
Saturday, April 9, 2005 8:33:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants | WWW#
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#
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
I think I've stumbled across the most heinous use of the internet. Ever.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 8:16:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | WWW#
Sunday, April 3, 2005
This is a PERFECT reason why Cayman needs a rent control board.
Sunday, April 3, 2005 10:08:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Monday's editorial in the Cayman Compass was entitled “Seek Self Help Commuters“.

In that article, it practically parroted what was printed in a front-page article that same day from the National Roads authority saying that there was no easy cure for the endless traffic jams that are occuring every morning and evening. If you've been reading this web page for more than a couple weeks, you've probably read me venting about it more than once.

They quashed an idea to use the center lane as a counter-flow lane (two lanes southbound in the morning and two lanes northbound in the evenings) because it would make things difficult for people turning if they were going in the opposite direction. They also point out that the current width of the road won't allow for another lane to be put in, either. Their response? “Less cars on the road“ and also said maybe it was time for the gov't to look at limiting the number of cars that are allowed on the island. Liberal estimates are that nearly 10,000 cars were destroyed during the hurricane, and that 5600 had been imported up to the end of December 2004, and close to double that number since then. So with those numbers, we now have 50% MORE cars than we did before September 11th.

It was pointed out that places like Bermuda have laws in place regulating the number of cars allowed on the island and ownership of multiple cars. That's fine, maybe we DO need some sort of regulation on importation of cars here, but that's not the hypocritical part of this rant.

The editorial referenced above, in the print version, took up rougly 1/3 of the page, in a column down the left-hand side. Flip 2 pages and there's a 1/3 page ad for King Auto Mall in Florida. Another 1/3 of that page is an article entitled “Importing ABC's“ and the final 1/3 of the page is a newswire article/review of the Buick Lucerne. Page 7 is a half-page article highlighting the Chicago Auto Show, with a sidebar article/advertisement for Jumbo Auto in Florida. The entire bottom half of that page is an ad for Maroone Auto Plaza in Miami, and the coup de grace, page 8 is a full-page, 4 color ad for Jumbo Auto in Florida.

So after printing an article and writing an editorial pleading for people to take alternative transport, public transit or carpool, posing the question that perhaps the government should look into legislation limiting importation and saying that there's no quick fix to the traffic predicament, they turn around and whore themselves out to car dealerships and print a “How-to” article on importing vehicles.

I have only one question: “WTF?!”

Wednesday, February 23, 2005 10:02:46 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Monday, February 21, 2005
Consider yourself warned, this article is long, and Im going to try very hard not to swear.
Monday, February 21, 2005 8:13:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Rants | Gadgets | Travel#
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I could probably sit here and rattle off a couple pages of wishy-washy, back-and-forth bullshit and put a pox on both houses (the league and the union) but I'm at work for one, and second, I can't even begin to put into words what a bunch of HORSESHIT it all is.

Best to let someone else do the talking: Mike Ulmer, a columnist at Slam! Sports wrote this eulogy to the NHL season. He hits all the points I would have, but in a concise manner.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 12:14:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Links | Rants | Hockey#
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#
Wednesday, February 2, 2005
I worked late last night, and then got five support calls between 0400 and 0500 this morning (it's my turn to be on call) so I was already cranky when I got in this morning...
Wednesday, February 2, 2005 6:27:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Tech#
Thursday, January 27, 2005

It's only taken 4 months, but our fault report was finally cleared up yesterday. After the hurricane, 9 apts out of 10 came back up with phone lines and DSL (if they had it) except ours.

In October I took home a tone generator and tested all the outlets in the apt and toned the lines back to the termation point on the side of the building, and they were all OK. I called in a fault to Customer Service at that time.

A week went by and I called back and they said “we're working on it” and referred us to the Restoration Schedule on their website. The estimated repair time for our area came and went and we called back again. They updated the website to show a new estimated repair date of late november, then early december, then early January.

In the meantime, I had consulted with our technicians who take care of our work systems, and spoke to a couple people I knew who were telco technicians. I tried everything they suggested. We were calling Customer Service every 3 or 4 days for a status update and every time we were referred to a supervisor who never answered their phone, never checked their voice mail and never ever called back when they said they weould.

Finally two weeks ago (middle January) I acquired two internal phone numbers for Cable & Wireless: the technician dispatch controller and the technician team supervisor. We put calls in to them and they said they would look into it for us and get back to us in a couple days. Nothing happened, no phone call back.

Last week I happened to sit in on a meeting and the VP of Sales & Customer Service was at the meeting as well. In conversation after the meeting, it came up that I had an outstanding fault report going back to October that wasn't in connection with the hurricane restoration schedule. I gave her the fault number (gotta love the smartphone) and she made a couple calls and SMS'd me the next morning that it was to be dealt with on Monday (3 days ago, which incidentally was a holiday) I was going to wait until today and see if anything happened before SMS'ing her back and saying that nothing still hadn't happened.

Yesterday, Seb called me and said that two C&W techs came into the dive shop inquiring about some courses and he said “I'll teach you to dive when you get my phone line fixed” or something to that effect. They promised to go and take a look at it later that day and sure enough, one of our neighbours called Seb and said that there were 3 trucks in our carpark. one at the termination point, one bucket truck up the pole and another bucket truck at the pole on the street, yet last night when I got home, there was still no dial tone, no voltage on the line and no DSL signal.

I was going to get in touch with the VP again tomorrow, but Seb just called a few minutes ago and the caller-ID showed up as “Seb (H)” HOME NUMBER!?? Sure enough, he stopped in at the apt and saw the DSL syc light on the modem was lit, so he plugged in a phone and got a dial tone! sweet! I guess I know what I'm doing tonight!

Thursday, January 27, 2005 9:40:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Traffic report: There was an absolutely gorgeous sunrise this morning. orange-rimmed clouds, fingers of god, and a general all-round rosiness to the whole morning. The bad news was I saw it because I was sitting in traffic that early.

I left at 7:08, saw the traffic practically from my driveway, so I took the Detour Through Hell from last week, and this time I continued down Batabano to Morgan's Harbor, hung a right and did a little early-morning off-roading down the dyke roads. It spit me out back onto the main road near the yacht club at 7:22. Im not sure if it was because I was elated at skipping all that traffic, or if it had some other cause, but traffic seemed to move right along, as well. I made it to Cafe Del Sol by 7:35, they had Thursdays paper still, so I got bored and came to work early and was here by 7:50.

Today's Rant: People who park in handicapped spaces while handicapped people make handicapped faces. I don't think I've seen more than one or two license plates or placards signifying a handicapped parking permit in the seven years that I've been here. Somehow though, the handicapped spaces always seem to be taken. Point in reference: the handicapped spot in front of Cafe Del Sol. I think most people down here are confused as to the meaning of the handicapped parking symbol. I think that they think it means “Hey, we reserved this space for your shiny new monstrous SUV. Park here! You Deserve it!“

Restaurant Notes: Saturday night Seb & I joined our neighbours Sue & Dave for dinner at Edoardo's Restaurant. I had been there a few times before over the last seven years and it was pretty good. Good atmosphere, good food, caring waitstaff, but the menu prices were a bit high for all of that. Last time I was there wasn't a particularly good experience, but that could have been due to my company just as easily as anything else. With that in mind, I accepted the invitation and off we went.

The first thing I noticed was that there was some new construction. The old patio that used to be framed in and protected by mosquito netting/screens was now part of the shell of the building with big arched windows in the front. When we got in, the right-hand side of the new addition was the bar and a tiny lounge. We waited (and waited) for our neighbours to arrive and were seated as soon as they got there. Dave used to be a server at Pappagallo's and currently is working at Ragazzi while Pappagallo's rebuilds after the hurricane and is quite the somellier. He picked out a Cloudy Bay pinot noir that I had a little sippy sip of, and it was purdy darned good. I really don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to wines, so when something like this comes along/happens I usually make sure and make a note of it for a future time.

I ordered a caprese salad to start, and the four-cheese penne for my main. It had Parmesan, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola and Cambozola cheeses in a white sauce. Yum. I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it, as I don't usually like really strong cheeses. The salad was yummy. I don't really know where on this little rock they got their hands on heirloom tomatoes and yellow heirlooms. I was at the grocery store on Saturday and (as usual) the produce dept sucks. I know they're doing the best they can with what they've got, but one of the things I enjoy when Im NOT on the rock is going to the supermarket and looking through the .3 acre produce dept at all the fresh (not black or borderline molding) produce on display. But I digress... Seb ordered the filet on Dave's recommendation, and Dave ordered it as well. I had a bite of Dave's and it was nice and tender and juicy. It was almost as good-looking as the steak Cipher was eating in $imdb(The Matrix) when he does his “I know this steak doesnt exist...” thing except this steak really DID exist.

Dessert followed, I had the amaretto cheesecake, and someone else ordered the banana toffee pie. For the four of us, it came out to less than $200 including the wine which wasn't too bad. I'll definately put Edoardo's on my list of places to go again (especially since Cafe Casanova hasn't re-opened yet)


Tuesday, January 25, 2005 5:30:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Rants#
Monday, January 10, 2005

Back in the day when I was a strapping young lad making my way through the dating scene in Vancouver, I always had a little litmus test in my back pocket. Whenever I'd pick a girl up (or after dinner on the way home, or whenever we were heading to the car) I would, like a gentleman unlock her door and open it for her. Once she was in, I'd close the door and head around the back of the car to my side which would give me an unobstructed view of the interior of the car. It would also give me a grandstand view of “The Test” to see if she would make it to first base that night, or if she would get a crack at a second date (and possibly beyond first base).

The Test of course, was to see if after she was in the car, if she would lean over and unlock my door before/as I got there. Some girls didn't and their story ended pretty quickly after that. Other girls did, and some even went so far as to OPEN the door a crack after unlocking it. I have fond memories of those girls. :)

This served me well when I was sixteen and was driving an '80 Camaro. (No I didn't have a mullet then, or wear nylon track pants pulled up over my calfs with soccer boots). I moved up to an '87 Golf after that, and it had regular old door locks as well, and I drove that car until I left for Cayman when I was 25. After a year of getting around on a bicycle (which really hampered the social life, as you can imagine... “hey, you wanna get on my handlebars and go back to my place?”) I landed myself Betty.

Betty was an '86 Suzuki Samurai, baby blue with pink racing stripes on it. Betty was a chick magnet. Being a soft top, I never locked the doors, so there was no need for “the test”. When Betty finally said goodbye and went off to that big, blue & pink puppy farm in the country, I picked up a sweet little Acura Integra. It had regular door locks as well. The Acura floated away during Hurricane Ivan and I was back to biking and thumbing rides until I got my current ride, a Jeep Wrangler. Again, a soft top that I don't bother locking. I also drove Brad's pimpmobile for a few weeks while I was waiting for my Jeep to arrive on a boat.

In the mid 80's cars started coming with “central locking” which as you all now know opens ALL the doors when you unlock one of them from the outside. It was the natural progression from the ultra-chic power locks of the 70's. Then the 90's came along and the next step (on your average car, not just really expensive imports) was remote keyless entry. Quite possibly one of the best innovations in automotive technology since cruise control, or anti-lock brakes.

This presents a quandary to the young male on the dating scene. Approaching the car, he palms the fob and unlocks BOTH doors at once. He steps aside and holds the door open for his lovely companion, sees that she's seated comfortably , closes the door and proceeds around to his side... where the door is already unlocked!

How is he to know if she is the type of person who WOULD HAVE unlocked his door for him, or even opened it a crack, or if she was the type to take that moment alone to let a little gas pass through her dainty little cheeks? Or even worse, the type who makes a mad dash for the vanity mirror?

Technology... man's saviour... and his downfall.

Monday, January 10, 2005 9:33:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Rants | Tech | Gadgets#
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#
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Excerpt from Yahoo News

By KATA KERTESZ, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Bouquets of flowers lined the stairs and walkway leading to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia on Wednesday as groups of people signed a condolence book and mourned the tens of thousands of lives lost to an earthquake and flooding.

People in the affected areas don't need flowers or a fucking condolence book! Am I taking crazy pills or does anyone else see the idiocy in that? If someone sent me a condolence book on Sept 13th this year, I would have used it to start a fire from wood we scavenged to boil water. Food, Water, Shelter. Maybe not in that precise order, but decorating my destroyed home or stopping to take in the lush floral scent or smell the roses would be about 15,433rd on my list of things to do.

 Take that $20 and instead of giving it to FTD (No link on purpose) try sending it to one of the aid agencies. Today's editorial in the Caymanian Compass said something to the effect of “Everyone helped us out in September when Ivan hit, and now it's time to repay some of that kindness and generosity“

Derek has a link to a guy who's accepting donations via paypal and Peechie has gone to the trouble of finding contact info for all the major relief agencies to take your pick from.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 1:33:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants#
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Between flying 3000 miles, seeing The Gipsy Kings, vowing to strangle the person in front of me with his inflight headphones, -20c terminal transfers and having to wear four layers of clothes, it's been a busy week.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 10:07:39 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Travel#
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Finished Halo 2 last night. The ending sucked. No spoilers if you haven't finished it yet, it's safe to read on.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004 5:33:39 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Gaming | Microsoft#
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#
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Walk without rhythm, you won't attract the worm!
Thursday, November 25, 2004 6:20:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | 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#
Thursday, November 18, 2004

I read today on BoingBoing about a band called the Kleptones. They've gone and remixed Queen's A Night At The Opera with hip-hop. The result? Pretty friggin cool. 23 tracks, with various rappers (so far I've recognized ODB ,Biz Markie and Eminem rapping over Bicycle Race!) and also mixed in soundclips as filler between the tracks. It's one hour and 20 minutes long.

BoingBoing linked the story from who have been slapped with a cease and desist letter and threat of lawsuit from Disney of all places, because Disney owns Hollywood Records, who own the rights to Queen's catalog) He points out that he isnt even hosting the files, just links to other servers, but he still got slapped with the order.

If you like it, apparently there's something else along the same vein called The Gray Album by DJ Dangermouse, who's remixed The Beatles White Album with Jay-Zs Black album. I haven't heard that one yet, though.

There's a great comment on the post by Matt: “If no one makes any money on something, the record label considers it a loss” bunch of arse.

If you know what a torrent is, click the link below to get your hands on it before it disapears forever because of the RIAA. If you don't know what a torrent file is, DON'T click it, and DON'T ask me to explain it to you, that's what Google is for. :-)

The.Kleptones.-.A.Night.At.The.Hip-Hopera[1].torrent (39.67 KB)
Thursday, November 18, 2004 3:24:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants#
Tuesday, November 2, 2004

OK. Time for the Canadian to tell all the Americans something:

I've been reading a lot of things about the election lately, and how everyone is saying that voting is a right, and you should get out and do it.

I disagree. Voting is not a RIGHT. Voting is a RESPONSIBILITY. So go get out there, beg borrow steal or hitch a ride, stand in line for hours if you have to, but just do it. It's your duty.

...And don't vote for Bush. :-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 8:40:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Rants#
Tuesday, October 5, 2004

If you get an email from “Faccinmark” with the address IT  IS NOT FROM ME.

this is the second day in a row I've seen an email from that address show up in my inbox. Different subject lines, and just a :) as the body and an attachment that Outlook blocks, so it's a bad script or program.

If you get an email from that address, don't open it, and for god's sake, don't email me and yell at me that I sent you a virus.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 6:59:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | WWW#
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

OK, so he's 3rd on the all-time list of goals, 18th on the all-time list of points, Hart trophy winner (MVP) in 91, been on countless all-star teams and the Team USA World Cup team in 1996. And he's an asshole. I've been trying to find an picture that was emailed to me back around the time that he played for Team USA. It was a pic of Hull sitting on the bench with a variation of the Molson I AM ad caption that said I WAS CANADIAN. I just can't find it anywhere. This was from the Fox Sports Website:

The U.S. prepares for its clash against the Russians Monday, but Hull was approached by The Post after he did not play in a 3-1 victory over Slovakia Friday.

"I couldn't care less," he reportedly said. "It's no fun playing."

The Post approached Hull Sunday, but he refused to discuss the story. When the newspaper told him fans might be interested in the story, Hull said, "I don't give a ---- about the fans anymore."

What a complete and utter jackass. So much for being a role model to young kids and young players, especially right now with the future of the season and even the league undecided. With multi-millionaire prima donnas not wanting a salary cap trying to appeal to the fans (who shell out $90 a ticket and up to pay their ridiculously bloated salaries) about their plight, Hull goes and drops this bomb. Way to go, shithead.

Again, I don't want you to think I'm siding with the owners, I think $6.50 for a beer at the arena and $15 for a program (that was $2 when my dad had season's tickets) and more retail sales area than bathrooms is a bunch of arse, too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004 3:38:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
Sunday, August 22, 2004

So rather than email bad news to everyone, I'll put it here.

On Friday morning I was advised that my work permit was denied by Immigration. They haven't said why, and they don't have to, which sucks. Either one of two things has happened... one is that my former employer, our of spite, has poisoned my name at immigration. Not only is that considered lying and beneath contempt, but by putting those words down on official documents, it constitues slander. Karma's a bitch though, so they'll get what's coming to them eventually.

The other thing that could have happened is that a Caymanian wants my job. This job was advertised back in April. I applied for it, went through the interview process, the job was offered and I accepted it. They advertised it again in the paper, to see if anyone who has precedence was interested in it, and there wasnt anyone.

All of a sudden about two weeks ago, I find out that my permit has been deferred... they've put it aside til the next meeting, basically. That happened a couple times, a couple times, and then all of a sudden, there's someone who's interested in the job, right at the wire. Friday comes around, basically with 24hrs remaining on my permit, and they tell me it's denied.

So what does that mean for me? For starters, Monday morning I have to go down to Immigration and stand in line for a few hours and get myt passport stamped in as a visitor for a few weeks (I'm going to ask for Sept 30th) During that time, I have to get all my affairs in order (i.e try and sell my car, my household effects) and make arrangements to go somewhere else. All the while paying rent, eating food, consuming resources with no cashflow coming in.

Hopefully this gets sorted out in my favor, and I'll know more on whether that's even possible tomorrow. In the meantime I have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I've been going through my things this weekend, making an inventory, and deciding what to sell, what it's worth, making up for sale lists, and seeing what I can give away, pack, ship etc.

My three options for the near future are (if this situation doesn't get sorted): 1) Take the job in Tampa I was offered about the same time which is still open and available to me. 2) Go to Denver and upgrade my technical certifications. 3) Go back to Vancouver and cool my jets for a few weeks or so and see if this situation works itself out.

Following the “there's no such thing as bad publicity” axiom, my name is going to be dropped around immigration tomorrow by about 10-15 different people. I called in a lot of favors, and talked to a lot of friends who have friends and relations on the Labor Board and Immigration/Work Permit board. Hopefully at the very least, I can find out WHY it happened, and then formulate a response/plan based on that.

I don't know what I'm going to do yet at this point, and I'm not going to make any decisions until I hear from work tomorrow after I go to Immigration.

Sunday, August 22, 2004 4:09:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Is it just me, or is watching the drama unfold (or not unfold) between the NHLPA and the League with their negotiations and threats of a lockout for this season about as fast-paced as the part in The Return of The King when the Ents are having a little chat?

“So? are we going to war?”
“We've just decided that we should have a chat about it”

WTF? They've met for hours twice now... Once in New York and once in Toronto and they only thing that they've agreed on is to MEET AGAIN? What kind of shit is that? It reminds me of the poster on Consulting: “If you're not part of the solution, there's a lot of money to be made in prolonging the situation” Too many asshole lawyers are involved and they've all got to make sure they hit their billable hours, at the expense of all the hockey fans.

Note that I'm not siding with the league or the players, they all need to pull their frigging heads out of their asses and get this done. Either that, or have a parade down Madison Avenue, Red Mile, Yonge Street and Robson Street and televise it (with play by play and the glowing Fox Suck Puck) with the players wearing black shirts with “SELLOUT” and “CORPORATE WHORE” in big white letters and the league and owners with curly tails, big ears, piggy snouts and pink bodysuits. At least I'll have respect for them showing that they have the courage of their convictions.  Admitting that “2.5 million dollars a year just doesnt put food on the table” with a straight face in front of their fans who can only go to one or two games a year because they can't aford $90 for a ticket, ($180 or more unless you go alone) $20 for parking, and $6 for a beer? And Im not talkin about a GLASS OF BEER, Im talkin' bout a paper cup!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 12:47:31 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
Friday, June 18, 2004

I was all set to tear into a good rant today about traffic on the island. I had examples, such as when you get behind the wheel of a Honda Inspire (basically a RHD version of the Acura TL) you immediately become an asshole. I was going to pose the question “When is 'island-time' not 'island-time'” and the answer is whenever there's traffic.

I'll save that rant for another day.

Darlene sent me a link this morning to The Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman. It's basically a long commercial (or a short film) for American Express, but it's very entertaining. If more commercials were like this, there would be no need for the skip commercial button on your ReplayTV or TiVo.

Friday, June 18, 2004 10:03:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants | WWW#
Friday, June 11, 2004
Stop the presses! Call the president! Alert the National Science Foundation! I believe I have stumbled upon the worlds first Stealth Car! Either that or it's cursed. I've had a bright red Acura Integra for just a hair under 2 years now. I believe that when I get inside this bright red car, the whole thing becomes invisible to those outside, much like Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet.
Friday, June 11, 2004 9:14:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Rants#
Tuesday, June 8, 2004
If you've been reading this for awhile now (all 5 days that it's been up that is) you know that I was going to be happy no matter who won game 7 last night. We were at Legendz last night to watch it, and we got there too late to find even a bar to rest our drinks on. It was PACKED. I wish I had my camera with me to show you how packed it is. In June. In Cayman.
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 7:25:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
Saturday, June 5, 2004
Stanley Cup Finals Opinions :)
Saturday, June 5, 2004 9:07:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
Thursday, June 3, 2004

Well this week has been a bit overwhelming. Im going from managing one server locally and four remotely via a DSL VPN link to sitting next to a rack with nine servers in it (and one more should arrive this weekend). They're running everything from NT4 to Server 2003, and one Virtual Server running 2003. Exchange, SMS, SUS, Exchange, SQL 2000, ISA, Firewalls, Scriptlogic, Citrix MetaFrame and that's not incuding the custom apps for accounting and the big Revenue Generator program. We've got DSL, Frame Relay, C&W's infamous "direct connect", wireless point-to-point and a whole 19“ rack full of patch panels, switches and routers. Plus close to 200 desktops and terminal emulation programs. Im trying to spend a few hours a day just trying to get a handle on the naming conventions, and who does what (as far as the servers go) and where it is.

I'll tell you one thing though. It sure is a nice change to be respected at your job. So far, I've brought two innovations to the table (besides my haircut, thanks Rich :p ) One are those 3Com Intellijack switches to cut down on cabling, and the other is the Zyxel B-4000 Wireless hotspot-in-a-box. That's the same one I set up for the Seaview Hotel & Dive Resort a couple weeks ago to give them in-room internet and wireless access in the lobby, dining room, restaurant and bar. It works great (albeit I had to add in an outdoor omni-directional antenna from Little Bucket at Kirk's ISS to boost the signal enough to penetrate the walls into the rooms) and the setup is DIRT easy. I was up and running in about 5 mins. It has built in authentication, accounting, a thermal slip printer for handing out usernames and passwords, and it's as simple to use as pushing the big green button on the printer to generate a 1-hour username and password.

I brought it up today, as I did during my interview, and they said “We were waiting for you to come onboard before rolling it out.” We ordered it a few minutes later. A couple weeks ago, trying to do anything innovative would have been met with a big fat slap in the face. It just goes to show you the difference a little vision in management can make. It's not just that they can't see the forest for the trees, but they can't see the trees for the bark. Everybody knows what happens when you go running in the woods without looking where you're going... you end up running smack into a tree and knocking yourself out or worse.

We can only hope.

Thursday, June 3, 2004 7:30:19 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Wireless#
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