Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Tuesday, 10 June 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 10 June 2008 07:28:26 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Thursday, 05 June 2008
Little holy shit freak out moment this morning... I got a phone call from a 916 number. Some Cable & Wireless cell phone, someone who's not in my address book... tempted to let it go to voicemail, but I answered it.

It was an RCIPS constable. He's got a summons with my name on it.

WTF?

I told him where I was and he came by my office and dropped it off to me. Slight moment of "what the hell did I do?" until i read it: it's a summons to witness, and I'm to give testimony/present evidence on behalf of someone named Regina... (ha ha yes I know it's the Queen) against the guy who hit my scooter last summer. Fucker's been charged with careless driving and they're bringing a criminal case against him!

Then I see the next problem: the court date is September 9, 2008... about a week or so AFTER I leave the Islands for good! I asked the cop about it and he said I would have to go talk to the court clerk. Good plan, I'll grab a sandwich at Fort Street Market while I'm downtown! (If you're ever in downtown George Town, grab a sandwich--the roasted chicken breast specifically-- and you won't be sorry. Best sandwich ever)

I go to the court, have to surrender my Leatherman when I go through the metal detector and empty my pockets and talk to the Criminal Registry. They told me no problem, just come back on Monday and they'll pull the file and get it straightened out. Great... but if it's that easy, why do I have to come back next week?

It might be nice if it works out that I leave on the 31st of August, and then come back on the government's dime 10 days later to give evidence in the case... that way I could come down with two empty suitcases and take the rest of my stuff with me, rather than have to use a moving company or airfreight to get my stuff home!

Thursday, 05 June 2008 17:57:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Misc | Scooter#
Saturday, 02 February 2008
Nothing sucks quite as hard as having to move... I suppose the blessing in Cayman is that 99% of rentals are furnished so you don't have to rent a truck and move all that heavy shit around. Still, all that packing and unpacking is a pain in the arse.
Saturday, 02 February 2008 15:36:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Movies | Scooter | Tech | Gadgets | Gaming | Microsoft | Wireless#
Saturday, 26 January 2008
The light at the end of the tunnel may very well be an oncoming train. I've been back from Vancouver for about 10 days now and haven't had time to stop and breathe.
Saturday, 26 January 2008 20:44:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Misc | Scooter | Sports#
Sunday, 02 September 2007

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 02 September 2007 07:51:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Tuesday, 14 August 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 14 August 2007 18:08:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Pictures | Scooter#
Thursday, 09 August 2007

I'm at home this week recuperating after the mishap last Saturday night. I ventured out yesterday to meet with the Royal Cayman Islands Police (RCIP) constable who attended the scene to give him my statement and pick up some documentation from him for the insurance company. I stopped in at work for about an hour, but then came home and am more or less working remotely from a prone position. The good news is that the police report states that the other driver was in the wrong, absolutely, positively, no gray areas and no doubt about it.

This morning I got an email with the bodywork estimate for my Vespa. $2225 CI for paint, paint supplies & bodywork. Add to that the $1400 in parts required to bring it back to roadworthiness (mirrors, lights, body parts, new seat etc) and that brings the damage to nearly $3600 CI dollars, almost the cost of a brand new bike, so I think it's safe to say that she's going to be written-off :(

I posted the pictures up to Facebook last Sunday, and then after that I posted them to Flickr as well. Most of the comments and emails I got from people were of the "you need to get back in a car" and "you need something with doors for more protection" and only ONE person (thanks, Jeff) so far saying Fight The Power and getting another scooter.

scooter-door This afternoon, as I'm reading some newsfeeds, I came across this gem on Digg, entitled "Who says scooters can't have doors?" I thought it was going to be one of those BMW C1s that have a little roof on it, but no, it's even better than that. It was a link to a post on techeblog and it has the title "Even this won't protect you in a crash" I'm guessing that door or not, this wouldn't be too helpful in a crash. Especially one like mine on Saturday night where I was t-boned by an an Acura Integra.

Thursday, 09 August 2007 10:44:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Scooter#
Tuesday, 07 August 2007

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Tuesday, 07 August 2007 20:55:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Sunday, 05 August 2007

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

 

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=41670&l=c5678&id=904890192

 

 

Sunday, 05 August 2007 19:55:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Saturday, 04 August 2007
So it happened again. This time it was a Honda instead of a dog. Some guy didn't stop and went right into the roundabout and t-boned my poor little Vespa. I don't know how fast he was going, because when I looked, there was no one waiting to come in to the roundabout, and then as I crossed through, WHAM.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicks dig scars!

Saturday, 04 August 2007 20:53:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Wednesday, 13 June 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, 13 June 2007 21:26:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Rants | Scooter#
Thursday, 10 May 2007
I remember hearing the scooter scraping along the pavement then I landed square on my side. Shortly after that I heard and then felt my helmet hit the ground and then I rolled over, sliding on my back a little before ending up on my belly
Thursday, 10 May 2007 21:36:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Sunday, 15 April 2007
Another Sunday, another meeting of the Church of the Vespaholics down at Paperman's Coffeehouse down at The Strand Shopping Center.
Sunday, 15 April 2007 11:12:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Scooter#

Last weekend was the Easter Long Weekend. A traditional time in Cayman to go camping! OK, whatever... I'm not sure what the history is on that, but every Easter weekend, people get all packed up with all their new camping gear, generators and all the comforts of home and drive a mile or two to the beach and set up camp. Does no one remember HAVING to live like that for nearly two months after Hurricane Ivan?? Anyway, it's tradition now and no one asks why, because it's tradition.

Good Friday afternoon Lee called me up and asked if I was up for a ride. Suuuuure, no problem, twist my arm to go for a ride around the island on my Vespa when it's nice and sunny. We met at his place in South Sound and took off the long way around South Sound and then headed east. We stopped momentarily near Pedro Castle as Lee's Vespa was really loud. He said he was having some problems with the exhaust and that Piaggio had issued a recall. We took stock of the situation but continued on and stopped again at the Lighthouse restaurant in Breakers. His exhaust seemed to be holding up, so we continued along to Frank Sound Road and headed for Northside with the intention of hitting Over the Edge for lunch.

As a side note, I was sent a link a few days ago about a scooter forum that was talking about the Piaggo recall ofthe Vespa 250GTS because of the exhaust leak. When we looked at Lee's, I asked what was around there that could be affected by the excess heat. The throttle linkage for starters, and a couple other components. What I didn't realize was right there until I read it in that forum post was the PETROL PIPE (the fuel line in English 2.0) is right there. I'd say that's pretty sensetive to heat! Sure enough on that forum post was pictures of a guy who had to hop off his Vespa GT250 right quick while he was on the motorway because it caught fire and BURNED TO THE GROUND. Fortunately nothing like that happened to Lee's Vespa, and since he's seen this forum post, he's welded his exhaust shut and has ordered an aftermarket replacement.

We made it around to Over the Edge and sat outside on the patio overlooking the ocean. It was nice, a bit of a breeze and only a few menacing dark clouds around. "Maybe we'll see a waterspout out at see if we're lucky."

Lee ordered a glass of the new beer on-island called Caybrew. I opted for a Diet Coke. Ten minutes later they brought us our drinks and asked if we were ready to order. I didn't notice it til it was too late, but the glass hadbeen sitting for those ten minutes with the ice melting, so when I poured in the diet pepsi, I could see it mixing with all the water. Bleah. Neither of us wanted a "big lunch" of Mahi Mahi with veg and rice & beans or anything so I ordered the hamburger. It's small, it's cheap, it's just right. "Sorry, no hamburgers today, already finish."

Over The Edge

How do you run out of hamburger on the first day of a four day weekend? Lee was going to have one too, soon that news, we decided to just have the beverages and then continue on to Kaibo or head back towards town and have a burger at Durty Reid's before it's closed down to make way for the new East-WEst highway. We asked for the check. She didn't know what we meant. We asked for the bill, still nothing. Finally Lee asked for la cuenta, and she nodded and disapeared for a few minutes. Finally she came back with the bill... $4.00 for the Caybrew draft. Not so bad. $4.00 for a can of Diet Pepsi? I called the waitress over and asked her if she made a mistake on the bill, and she just shook her head. I guess not. We grudgingly paid up and left, heading back into town to Calico Jack's on Public Beach. They were closed. We then headed down the road to the Sunshine Grill and finally got our burgers for lunch around 4:30pm. Seriously though... $4.00 for a fucking can of Diet Pepsi? Last frackin' time I go back to Over the Edge. OK, OK, I'll give them a pass and just make sure I'm in the mood for fish next time someone suggests it.

 

Sunday, 15 April 2007 10:54:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [6] | Cayman | Food | Scooter#
Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Vespa Church at Paperman'sI missed "church" this past Sunday because I was in Fort Lauderdale. I made it last week and we actually had quite a good turnout! There were about ten scooters parked out in front and I think we hit at least one of each kind of scooter that Vespa makes! Eleni was there with her LX50, I was there with my LX125, Paul's GT200 was there (obviously), Lee with his GT250ie, Jim showed up on one of the new Zip100s, a girl named Ginny who rides a Beverly (with My Little Pony in glitter glue on the topcase) showed up and another guy who's name I don't remember was there on his Gilera.

This was the 3rd or 4th meeting, since Paperman's decided to try opening up on Sunday mornings. I think the first week it was just Lee, Eleni and I and then the next week I was the only one there, so I txt-msg'd Lee and Eleni with "It's just a little rain, you pussies!" and they showed up 15 minutes later. I've also been away for a few Sundays so I don't know what the turnout was like then. Both times I've shown up recently, I had other plans afterward so I couldn't go for a ride with everyone, but maybe this weekend it will be nice and we'll head out on the Queen's Highway out towards East End.

If you've got a scooter (of any kind) and wanna come hang out and tell some dirty jokes and have a good Sunday morning coffee, we meet at Paperman's Coffee House in The Strand on Seven Mile Beach at 10am(ish) on Sunday mornings and then go for a ride.

If you DON'T have a scooter, there are a few places that rent them around town. There's one on North Church Street near the Lobster Pot that has some brand-new Piaggio Zips for rent. If you don't have a scooter and don't want to ride, that's cool too. Come have a coffee and enjoy our company and my bad jokes :)

Wednesday, 21 February 2007 10:13:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Scooter#
Wednesday, 07 February 2007
So I moved back out to West Bay last week, home of the hour-long commutes (aside from Scooter riders). I have a few posts bubbling in Windows Live Writer that I'll probably post tonight when I get home, but I wanted to get this one out while it's still fresh in my mind and also to ping everyone who's reading this via RSS that I'm not dead and haven't stopped writing.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 07 February 2007 06:20:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Sunday, 14 January 2007

This morning, we held our second meeting of Vespaholics Anonymous at Paperman's Coffee House in The Strand shopping center here on Grand Cayman.

Today was a smaller turnout than last week, it was just Lee and I. Paul from Paperman's Vespa was parked out front, so there were three scooters, anyway. Eleni was going to come, but she had a late night and couldn't drag herself out at 10am.

Lee said he called a few people (including the cutie Courtenay who came out last week) and asked them if they were going to "come to church on sunday" which is funny as well, but I'm sticking with the Vespaholics theme instead. It's mostly because I'm sitting on the vespaholics.com domain name and am just waiting to throw it up on a server and start posting stuff there. :)

I left the house around noon and rode down to South Sound to meet Eleni at her apartment and we took off headed east. The wind has been pretty fierce the last few days, so that made riding east a bit challenging, but we made it out as far as the Bodden Town civic center. We pressed on out to the Lighthouse in Breakers and turned around there. I didn't want to open the throttle like I usually do on that nice smooth new road because of the wind, but on the way back, with the wind behind us I opened it up and managed to get my LX125 up to a top speed of about 68mph. I laid off the throttle and sat back up and slowed down to about 30mph and then 25mph as we got back into Bodden Town and then we came back here and sat on the beach and drank some Coronas.

Paperman's is going to open again next Sunday from 8-11 so we'll make a few phone calls and see how many people we can get to the next Vespaholics Anonymous meeting and go for a ride. If you're reading this and you're in Cayman and have a scooter, come on and join us. We really don't care if you don't ride a Vespa, just come out and have a good time.

Sunday, 14 January 2007 17:53:20 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Scooter#
Wednesday, 01 November 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, 01 November 2006 06:33:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants | Scooter#
Friday, 11 August 2006

There's an article in the New York Times this morning about scooters. One of the people they interviewed was a police officer who initially bought it strictly for commuting but after going on some Wednesday night rides with the New York Scooter Club, he's more into 'the scene' now. A common theme among people who had blurbs in the article was traffic and $3/gallon for gas.

So it seems that Cayman and NYC have something (else) in common: traffic! I pulled into Texaco on Seven Mile Beach the other day in my jeep and pumped in $20 which gave me less than half a tank. Fortunately that will last me 6-8 weeks. $4.43/gallon (In CI Dollars! that's over $5US) for the cheap stuff (jeep) and about $4.60/gallon for the good stuff (Vespa)

The New York Scooter Club rides on Wednesday nights, and down here, we the Scooterati used to ride on Saturday afternoons. One of our charter members, Sharon, has left the flock now, headed back to the US of A and her ET50 is for sale down at Auto Alternative (Lee's Vespa Cayman shop). It's a damn good price, too. Last time I was over at his website a few days ago I noticed that he added a Pre-Owned Scooters page to the site. For those of you who are a smarter than the average bear, he's also introduced an RSS feed to the news/announcements section of the site and you can read that in your favorite newsreader, IE7 or Firefox's built-in RSS reader.

If anyone is reading this IN Cayman, and wants to come for a scooter ride with us one of these Saturday's, just drop a line or leave a comment below and we'll let you know when the next ride is.

Friday, 11 August 2006 06:12:52 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Scooter#
Thursday, 03 August 2006
Little did she know that it was all part of the setup. While we were taking her out for a scooter ride, all our friends were congregating in South Sound at Robert's Treehouse.
Thursday, 03 August 2006 18:42:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Pictures | Scooter#
Thursday, 29 June 2006

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

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

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

Tonight when I got home from work I busted out the Miracle Wash. It's a can of "waterless car wash" that has a built-in polish to it, and WHOA BABY does it ever do a good job, and fairly quick, too. Spray on, wipe away the dirt to a dull haze and then buff with a second, clean terrycloth towel and she's showroom pretty again. It also gives me a chance to go over it and see if there are any scuffs, scratches and chips. I seem to have picked up one scuff on the right rear corner and there's a chip in the front, probably from a rock or something. Time to pick up a little tube of touch-up paint.
Thursday, 29 June 2006 17:34:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Friday, 02 June 2006
There was no house on fire, there was no woman giving birth in her back seat, there was absolutely no emergency that required driving like a maniac all the way down West Bay Road and Eastern Avenue well above the speed limit.
Friday, 02 June 2006 21:19:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Scooter#
Tuesday, 16 May 2006
DSC_00042.jpgIt's a bit hard to see in this picture, in hindsight I should have lowered the camera angle to get a better shot, but hey, it's a cameraphone. Expecting good things from a cameraphone (even when it's rated at 1.3 megapixels, the same as my first digital camera) is like, well.. whatever.

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

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

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

I tend to disagree a little but about the 100mpg thing, realistically I've tracked it to be about 60mpg in real-life driving. It's still better than the 25 that my Jeep is rated for and probably closer to 20 that I get with it. It ends the article with "And just like their motorcycle brethren, scooter riders are joining clubs, Internet forums, and organizing weekend rides." Unfortunately, the island is only 22 miles long, but fortunately it's sunny and warm (except today) and you have a gorgeous ocean view for most of the ride.
Tuesday, 16 May 2006 15:04:59 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Scooter#
Friday, 21 April 2006

The Cayman Compass led off with a story this morning titled "Traffic Chaos Plagues Tourists". I'd like to think that traffic chaos plagues everyone on this island, whether they're here for the day, the week or if they live here. They did manage to narrow the focus of the story down later on, though.

The article described the mass chaos that occured last Saturday. The day before Easter Sunday and the day after Good Friday, and smack in the middle of a four-day weekend that traditionally is a time that people camp out on the beach with family, and run back and forth visiting, catching up and that sort of yadda yadda. Easter weekend is also the end of high season (April 15th) and is the second busiest holiday of the year,tourism-wise next to Christmas.

Bearing all of this in mind, someone's head had to have rolled (but probably not) at Public Works for OK'ing a request to CLOSE THE BYPASS behind the Galleria shopping center to allow some trenching and laying of pipes and cables to a new construction development. This forced ALL of the traffic coming from Seven Mile Beach and West Bay to stay on the single-lane, full-of-driveways, stoplight'ed West Bay Road. Those of you that have been reading this for awhile and remember some of my frothing-at-the-mouth tirades about traffic on any given day can appreciate the frustration that must have occured from waiting in excess of two hours in traffic, during the heat of the day.

Fortunately, I was on my scooter. :)

Saturday morning I headed up to Sharon's place for an easter brunch. Jules was there with the Bean and her mum, and after we finished eating and sitting around talking, poor Jules decided to call it a day, as the Bean had kept her up for the previous two nights and was looking forward to actually taking a nap while the baby was asleep during the afternoon. They left at about 2:30. At 2:45 she called us to warn us off trying to come in to town, as they had only made it as far as Victoria House, north of the Yacht Club and were sitting STOPPED in traffic. We contemplated getting the Scooter Brigade to convoy down there and rescue them, but I don't think Jules or Matty would have been too happy to slip Bean into a snugli and hop onto a two-wheeler, and Jules' mum is getting on and has a few mobility challenges as well.

I left at about 3:00 and rode home up the middle of the road past all the traffic and caught up to Jules near the COurtyard Marriot by Public Beach: they had moved about a quarter of a mile in the last 20 or so minutes. I carried on, went all the way down to the roundabout by the Lone Star to see what was causing all the traffic, and saw that there was a barricade set up barring the access to the bypass. I assumed there was a nasty accident or something, but I didn't find out that it was just closed til Monday. I turned around and headed back north towards home and pulled in at the Big Daddy's liquor store at The Falls shopping center, which just so happens to be across the street from my apt (convenient, isn't it?) and grabbed a few bottles of cold water. After that I walked over to Legendz and Jay gave me a styrofoam to-go container full of ice and I balanced it all on my scooter and headed north again.

By this time, Jules had progressed to the south end of Public Beach, so I turned around and pulled up next to her. They thought it was funny to see me again, until I showed them the goods. I took the chilled bottles of water out of the bag and handed them in through the driver's side window, and then the container of ice and saw the manic smiles on their faces. Did I mention that she doesn't have air conditioning in her old bucket?

Eventually they got home and cleaned up, but I don't think they ventured out again for the rest of the weekend.

It's times like this that make me glad I took the plunge and bought myself a Vespa Scooter to get around Grand Cayman and it's awful, hideous, insiduous traffic.

Friday, 21 April 2006 11:29:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Scooter#
Monday, 17 April 2006
I've had my scooter since just before Christmas, and I've already piled on 2200 kilometers. Just in case you're wondering, this island is only 30 miles long and seven or so miles wide at it's widest spot. I haven't really gone for many long rides. I went out to East End on the scooter one night a couple months back when I was at the Reef Resort to see the Barefoot Man's show, and the knobbly road on the north side of the island tore my back tire to shreds.
Monday, 17 April 2006 18:59:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Monday, 20 February 2006
Here's the final result of the Cayman Net News' article they approached me with questions about.
Monday, 20 February 2006 13:21:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Scooter#
Tuesday, 07 February 2006
The Cayman Net News is doing an article on Scooters and approached me with some questions to help them along with it. With most of what I said going to end up on the editing room floor, here's the full reply I sent them
Tuesday, 07 February 2006 11:20:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Scooter#
Tuesday, 17 January 2006

I rode my Vespa in the rain today, more or less for the first time. I rode once before in wet weather, with a rain jacket on and got my pants wet, but today was definately what's reffered to as “rain”. Tropical rains at that. I'm not talking the slow, misty, last-all-goddamn-winter-long, embarrasing-West-Coast-wetness that you see in Vancouver. I'm talkin HOLLYWOOD rain. The kind of rain that hammers down and makes a lot of noise on things like roofs and hoods of cars and bounces six inches back up when it hits the road. The kind of rain that soaks you to the bone running from the car to the big, dark, scary house when you have a flat tire...

I was sitting upstairs in my “office” (which is STILL 'temporary accomodations', 16 months after Hurricane Ivan) which has no windows when someone else came up and said “Man it's POURING out there.”

“Great,” I thought. Riding in the rain. I packed up my things, put my laptop into the giant Ziploc bag that I carry around in my laptop bag and got my stuff ready to go. I went downstairs and left my backpack and helmet at reception and went outside to get my rain gear out from underneath the seat. It HAD rained hard, but was just lightly sprinkling at the moment. I went back inside and pulled on my rain pants, zipped up my DiveTech rain jacket that I got for xmas, slipped on my non-tinted glasses, pulled on my helmet and steeled myself for “Teh Suck”.

I hopped on the scooter and made my way out of the carpark to the road. At that point, the rain started coming down harder. And harder. And even harder still. We were approaching tropical monsoon rains, and as I turned into traffic, I put the rain at my back. No big whoop, but I was a little concerned about my laptop and other electronic bits in my backpack (digital camera, 4G iPod Photo, PSP and a few cables and adapters). I was tempted to ride down the middle and get out of the stopped traffic, but North Sound Road is quite narrow, and pretty extensively damaged by so much traffic and heavy trucks travelling it over the past 16 months. The intersection at AL Thompson's is probably one of the scariest intersections on the island, too. All things considered, I sat there in the rain inching forward. I got past the intersection and stopped again at the big roundabout. I noticed that I had gotten ahead of the big rain cloud, but as I sat there, it caught up to me again.

At this point, I realized that when I lifted my foot up onto the running boards, my rain pants came up over the tops of my boots, and the water was just running down my pants and into my boots, making my socks wet. I got through the roundabout and onto the “highway” and accelerated ahead of the rain cloud again. The lighter rain, at 40mph managed to push it's way through the teeth of the zipper on my rain jacket and soak through my shirt and my undershirt, just in the front.

Traffic was backed up along the bypass, and when I got to that part of the bypass, I did ride up the side of the traffic most of the way. One lady saw me coming in her mirror and edged over to block me from passing. Thanks a lot, you douche bag! When she saw me move over to the other side of the road, she actually tried to get back across to block me there, too but didn't have enough space to move forward and do it. So long, sucker! After that it was a quick five miles in light rain up Seven Mile Beach into West Bay, and home. I got in the door and called to Seb “Well that was The Suck” and he started laughing at me. By the time I peeled off the wet rain gear, took off my shoes and hung stuff up to dry, the rain cloud caught up with me and started hammering on the tin roof.

It only lasted a few minutes, but Im glad I didn't stop anywhere on the way home. If I have to go out anywhere tonight, I'll make sure and take the Jeep, which should be dry, even though my back flap was open and facing south (the direction the wind & rain came from).

As much as it sucked, it really wasn't that bad of a commute. I was more worried about people seeing me in the limited visibility than I was anything else. I'm glad I keep rain gear under the seat, and the ziploc bag in my backpack. I don't think I'd CHOOSE to go riding in this kind of weather for fun, but such as it was, it still beat sitting in traffic.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006 15:43:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Scooter#
Friday, 23 December 2005

LX 125
Originally uploaded by DocJelly.
It's funny, yesterday was the first day it rained in weeks. It REALLY rained, too. Last night it rained so hard the noise of it hitting the tin roof above woke me up. As did a few high gusts of winds that made the roof creak (!!) That got my heart rate up again.
Ironically, it was also the day I picked up my new ride, a Vespa LX125 in "Dragon Red" This picture doesn't really do it justice, but it's a quickie. I'll be taking some more shots of it soon, this was just a quickie while it's parked (under cover on the sidewalk) at work. :)
Friday, 23 December 2005 07:10:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Wednesday, 21 December 2005
... or on a scooter.
Wednesday, 21 December 2005 15:15:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Scooter#
Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Last week I borrowed a scooter from a friend to try out the commute and see how it went before deciding if I wanted to spend the money on one myself.

Sunday the 4th I scooted over to the Texaco in Hell and “filled up”. Grand total: $4.51 or 1.05 gallons. That filled the little tank all the way to the top. I then scooted home and left it there til Monday morning. I slept in that morning, more or less by accident and left the house at 8:05am.

I got to work at 8:25am.

Traffic was backed up to the West Bay Public Dock, but by scooting along beside it, at just 10mph, I made HELLA time. In just five minutes, I was down to Foster's West Bay. Ten minutes to Public Beach. Fifteen minutes to Safehaven/Ritz-Carlton, 20 minutes to where the Harquail Bypass comes out by the cinema and then 25 minutes til I was parking the bike and walking in the door at work on North Sound Way.

Over the next four days, as my confidence increased (and I got passed by other scooterati going twice my speed) I've shortened the trip to 20 minutes. I could go faster, but I choose not to. If I put the bike down at 25mph, chances are I'll walk away from the scene. If I put it down in traffic at 40mph, then the only likely way I'll leave the scene is in an ambulance, and that would SO suck, big-time.

This morning I stopped at Texaco and filled it up again. Gas has dropped now to 3.87/gallon so the 1.1 gallon fillup cost me $4.05. I checked the odometer and did pretty close to 120 miles. On 1.1 gallon of gas and one week of commuting. That would have cost me nearly $50 in gas in my jeep (which is only the 2.5l 4cyl engine, not the monster 6-cyl 4.0l) and taken nearly an hour each way.

Aside from the savings in fuel, and the savings in time (which I've spent getting an extra 40 or so minutes of beauty sleep) the change in my demeanor is un-measurable. Instead of rolling in to work in a bad mood, with a little black thundercloud over my head and a scowl on my face, I come in fresh-cheeked and bright-eyed and HAPPY to help people when they call with dumb questions, like if their computer is un-plugged). So far I've managed to scoot from office to office with a 15” LCD between my knees, a dot matrix printer on the floorboard and a small CPU strapped to the back of my seat, so it hasn't been too much of an inconvenience.

Now the question of buying my own. I polled my close friends via IM and email on it a couple weeks ago (before having given it a go on a borrowed bike) and got talked out of it at first, because of the high initial cash outlay and the fact that a new Vespa LX125 costs more than my jeep cost me last year and because it wasn't going to be my primary mode of transport.

I'm still not ready to sell my jeep and go scooter-only, and the LX125 is still $4000 CI, but Im approaching the “it doesn't matter” mindset now. I've already worked it out, what with interest rates and things, and it's STILL going to be cheaper to pay it off (at 13.99% credit card interest) over a year than it would be to move closer to town and end up paying $1200/month (or more) for rent.

All I've got to do now is come up with a little more $$ or talk the dealer down a little more $$ and I'll be good to go.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005 11:59:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Scooter#
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