Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Monday, January 31, 2005
There are a number of ways to draw comparisons between Xbox Live and Las Vegas, here's one.
Monday, January 31, 2005 1:14:50 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Gaming | Microsoft#
This is a particularly geeky post. Lots of terms in there you may or may not know. If it's over your head, don't worry about it. Next post will be more xbox-live and less configuration :)
Monday, January 31, 2005 7:13:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Wireless | Gaming#
Friday, January 28, 2005

The other night me, Johnny Rotten, Matty & Zac met up at the lobby bar at Treasure Island for Heather's birthday party for Karaoke. All the usual suspects were there: Brad, Rick & Fran, Wayne, and then Heather showed up with most of the Straight-outta-Cayman Pussy Posse and the party got started.

As usual at karaoke nights, there were some truly horrendous singers. People who make William Hung sound like Enrico Caruso. On the other side of the coin, there were some really good singers there, too. One guy got up and sang “Brian Wilson” by the Barenaked Ladies and as soon as the first syllable came out of his mouth, I swiveled my head around to the 'stage' cause I thought they put a CD on. This guy sounded REMARKABLY like the bigger guy in BNL. He then ruined it later by singing an Elton John song. Boo. Zac got up and sang Jeremy by Pearl Jam and totally upstaged that homo Elton-John-wannabe. :)

Brad's been busy downloading CD+G stuff to augment the Karaoke library, and got up and did a good cover of Secret Agent Man. I was shocked! Brad *DIDN'T* sing a Jimmy Buffet song?! Some girl got up there later and belted out a Britney Spears song, and probably spent as much time practicing singing it as she did practicing her moves in front of a mirror. It gave me a funny feeling, down in the bottom of my chest, down in the cockles of my heart... maybe in the sub-cockle area... maybe the liver... maybe the kidneys... maybe even in the colon, I just don't know.

Heather sang a few songs, and her and Tex reprised their “I Love Rock n Roll” duet that got them into the finals of the Karaoke competition last year at the Hard Rock Cafe in George Town. They also all got really drunk! A few of the pictures are over there on the right. If you're reading this from a search or an archive and they're not there anymore, click over to my Flickr page and they're hiding there. I think at this point I'm going to spring for a Flickr Pro account. It's 45 bucks for a year and you get something ridiulous like 1gb of upload traffic per month.

Treasure Island Resort is still closed to the public, and for good reason. We were just in the lobby around the lobby bar, and if you didn't look TOO closely, it looked like it did before (shitty). If you were to actually LOOK around, the whole hotel looks like it belongs in Vedado Beach in Old Havana. The ceiling is either A) Gone and you stare at the studs or B) the painted part is all stripped off and falling in. The men's bathroom always looked crappy, but you really get the feeling that you're in some abandoned derelict building that someone's decided to have a party in after being in there. Actually, that's pretty close to the truth. The restaurant is open, it's been renamed to the Montecristo Chop House, and they look like they're up and running in fine shape. I haven't eaten there yet, because it's also pretty expensive, but it's on the list of places to go (and of course, I'll post here what it's like afterwards)

Now in defense of Trailer Island, they went into receivership last september (15 months ago) and the previous owner let it tank even before then. Considering the lack of care that ownership put into the maintenance (ie a budget for it, no dig against the miracle workers who made up the maintenance staff to actually keep it open and functioning) and the headless functioning in receivership, and something else... Oh right. A friggin Category 5 Hurricane that beat the entire island to a pulp in September, the staff that are still around have done a pretty good job.

Before the Hurricane, Treasure Island was rated a 3-star hotel. I think that's being pretty charitable. If it were in a bigger city in North America, it would have old guys with nowhere else to go living in it, or it would be a halfway house.

Friday, January 28, 2005 5:18:41 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Links#
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#
Trying something new, here... a photo-entry. Not sure how it's going to work/look but drop me a comment and let me know if it works, or if it sucks ass.
Thursday, January 27, 2005 5:48:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Jeep | Topside#
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Steve (see the blogroll to the right) and Rich (same) are involved in a charity auction to raise money for tsunami victims in Southeast Asia. Basically you're bidding on an hour of consulting time from one of the group. It's pretty much a who's-who of software development professionals. I haven't clicked on all their names in Steve's post, but I recognize a lot of the names from various posts at various sites over the last year or so. Rich posted about it on his blog yesterday as well, and there are references to it on Microsoft Watch as well.

I can count the number of things I know about software development on one hand and still have enough fingers left to bowl with, so the only thing I can do is try to help drive some traffic to their eBay auction. Go bid, even if you just want to chat with one of them for an hour. I know some of you have paid more than $100 to be someone's friend for less than an hour. Less than 20 minutes if I remember correctly... Lordy pants did Colin's 25th birthday present ever backfire on us. (smack forehead)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 7:19:23 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Tech | Microsoft | WWW#

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#
Sunday, January 23, 2005
This was my first dive at Orange Canyon since Hurricane Ivan. I was anxious to see if there were any of the namesake orange elephant ear sponges still there. Fortunately, there are.
Sunday, January 23, 2005 10:35:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Underwater | Pictures#
Friday, January 21, 2005

Sounds ominous, doesn't it? :) It isn't nearly as bad when you recognize that there's a little township/district in West Bay called Hell. It even has it's own post office, which is pretty much a tourist trap. You can have your postcards postmarked in HELL. The post office has some PO boxes too. I looked into getting one last May when the other post offices were sold out and had a months long waiting list for one, plus they were ridiculously expensive. As if that wasn't enough, the Seven Mile Beach post office was wiped out in the hurricane, so everyone with an SMB PO Box has to go to the Airport Post Office and collect it there. Ay Carumba. There's also a couple gift shops there hawking everything from bumper stickers (Been to Hell and back, etc) t-shirts, coffee mugs and shot glasses to beach towels, postcards and videos.

It's history is pretty lame, too. About 100 years ago or so, some bigwig from the UK came out and was been shown around the island and was taken to this spot. Hell in fact is an odd outcropping of petrified coral (locally called Ironshore) well inland on the island, and gives you a reminder that this island just recently popped out of the ocean's surface probably after the last ice age or nearabouts then. Apparently the odd, black stalagmite (the ones that point up?) rock formations called to his mind descriptions of the Underworld when he was a child and remarked “My God, this place looks like Hell” and a tourist attraction was born.

This morning's detour through Hell was due to, once again, West Bay traffic. I woke up a few minutes before my alarm went off (again) and rather than put a pillow over my head and try to squeak out another few minutes of not-sleeping, I dragged my ass out of bed and hit the shower. After making sure Tweeter had enough food (that she's not REALLY eating anyway :;( ) and some fresh water/medicine in her other dish, I left the house at 0655 hoping to get in ahead of traffic.

Yesterday I was a smart-ass and tried to avoid traffic by going in LATER. I reasoned that if traffic was that backed up by 0700, that it must be almost done by 0900. Failing that, after 0900 I could turn left by Indies Suites (there's a sign that says no left turns 7am-9am) and scoot down the back road and cut a mile or so of traffic. I left the house at 0845 and promptly got stuck in traffic just as bad as if I had left at 0730. When I finally got to Indies Suites at 0925, there was a cop sitting there with his ticket book in his hands interrogating anyone who wanted to turn left there! There was another cop sitting in his car at the entrance to Governor's Harbour doing the same thing. :$ Instead of being out on the road making sure that people were moving along and not holding up traffic, they sat there on their upholstered seats to stop people from trying to AVOID the traffic. If ever the old adage “If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem” ever applied, it was to that Police strategy. (evil)

The only difference was that at 0900 and beyond, the sun had crested the rooftops and what's left of the trees and beat down ferociously on my poor little jeep. It took me over an hour to get into work and left me a big sweaty mess before I even got to my desk. Ugh.

At 0652 this morning, I got to the tail end of traffic, about 1/4 mile down the road from my house. :$

I turned around, went back up the road past my house and turned right on Watercourse Road (The Crack Alley of West Bay) and then took a right up Hell Road. I scooted through the back of West Bay and came back to the main road at the intersection of Willie Farrington Road, near the grocery store. there was maybe 15 cars ahead of me on WF which was pretty good. At least when compared to the 80-odd cars and a 4-way stop that awaited me back the other way.

Traffic actually moved along fairly consistently today. I made it to Cafe Del Sol by about 0725. Thirty minutes to go about eight miles. Not bad, but still not very good. The only other thing I could have done was to go straight down Batabano road and then hung a right and traversed the dyke roads. I never went that way before, because dirt roads and a low-slung Acura didn't mix well, but now Im in a Jeep. :-D

I've only been through the dyke roads once, a couple Sundays ago with Johnny Rotten and there's a few crossroads and forks in there, so I didn't want to go out there and get lost on my way to work. I'll wait til I've gone through there a couple times before trying to do it on my own. The other thing is that the dyke roads themselves are a bit perilous. it's about a 6 foot steep slope down to yucky water on either side of the road which is about 1.5x the width of an average car. I'd never go down there at night, unless I was in a VW Thing or some other “amphibious vehicle” just in case. Last year the Captain of one of the mega-yachts that was moored here and his girlfriend died when they failed to negotiate a curve on one of the dyke roads, and they rolled over into the swamp and drowned. Alcohol was a factor in the accident, but why take unneccessary chances?

Friday, January 21, 2005 6:29:50 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman#
Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I was all set this morning to tear into a rant on traffic... AGAIN.... after spending 45 minutes going about eight miles and the lack of foresight by building on both sides of the one road with one lane each way. I filled up my fuel tank yesterday again, after only 211 miles. That's a 90 mile-per-tank DROP since I replaced the fuel & air filters, spark plugs, spark plug wires and oil lube & filter job I did the other weekend. Maybe this weekend I'll replace the distributor cap & rotor and check for any engine diagnostic codes, see if I can figure out what's what.

I get into work and check my email, with the thoughts of a traffic rant post in my head, and I see I had an email from my friend James who's over in Baghdad at the moment. The good news is that since he's sent out an email, he's still alive. I can't think of a more dangerous job to take than a Close Personal Guard or whatever it's called that he's doing. The pay is good, but you can't spend it if you're dead, y'know?

The first paragraph has this lovely tidbit of information:

The ' Bomb Average ' is now up to (according to CNN...) 4 to 7 bombs / week!!!!!! 2 days back I had a close one. You see untill recently normally ' a close one ' meant it detonates within 200 - 400 metres away from you: This one went off 200 ft away from me!!! Apparantly some guy pulled his car into the outer perimeter of the Green zone and wasnt being let through by the security forces. So, as you do, he got back in and blew the car up...

Of course, you get back in the car and blow it up. as you do... Gotta love the British Humor.

At night here its seriously quiet. Everyone behaves. No bombs, riots, gunshots, assassinations, its all good! Come day light - AND ITS ON!!! So, we were doing the same thing basically - The Rounds - checking up here and there. When suddenly We see a couple of flashes about 120ft away and then hear a sound that we havnt heard before... A weird metalic " thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk " on the exterior of the vehicle.

Thankfully they're in an armored vehicle, but still... Here in Cayman this weekend is a long weekend, as the third Monday in January is National Heroes Day. Something to look forward to. James on the other, has this to look forward to...

Got the Gen. Elections at the end of next week. Im generally a fairly positive and optimistic individual, with a hopeful out look on life......BUT ITS GONNA BE A FULL ON BLOOD BATH! Im talking ' Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino & Mel Gibson ' Blood bath!!!!!! Really, I hope Im wrong. I hope the elections come and go with minimal eyebrow raising....But will it???... God knows what the insurgents are planning - what they have already planned - and what they are waiting to carry out! Like I said....Never a dull moment.

He also mentioned a dream he had where he was out in the desert on Patrol, a flat, featureless snooker table as far as the eye can see, and then... he's on West Bay Road and turning into Lone Star for a beer. I guess you dream about the things you just can't have over there... Speaking of things you can't get over there...

Talk about a lack of things.... There are no Women over here.... Well, there are, but they all dress like ninjas! Dosnt do shit for me! I couple of my mates have accused me of being caught eyeing up the occassional camel!!! - It hasnt gotten that bad...yet...

Insert your own "What are you doing? usually we just RIDE THE CAMEL INTO TOWN" punchline here :)

Any way lads and ladesses, Im off because Im doing Grave yard shift in approx 45 mins and it takes me ages to just get ' dressed ' for it! So, I hope you are all well and stay that way.

So keep ya selves nice! Manly hugs and arse pinching aplenty.

95f during the day, -5f at night, body armor, comms, gps, weapons and ammo, yeah I can see how it takes as long for them to get dressed and ready for work as my old girlfriend did. As far as the hugs and arse-pinching goes, this is coming from the guy who wrote "CONGRATS STEPHANIE" on my ass in super felt-tip pen before my underwater strip show for that stagette/hen party I did a few years ago. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005 6:25:02 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Travel#
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

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

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

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

I spent the last two hours writing a BRILLIANT post about MP3 players. Mine was apparently dead this morning, and Creative's support site was no help at all. Eventually I found an answer that led me to my own solution over at Nomadness in their FAQ section.

When I clicked Post To Weblog, my login expired and it bonked out. Since all the text had been entered in a form, it was gone. Two hours of writing & link research down the drain. Grrr.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005 9:00:24 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Gadgets#
Friday, January 14, 2005

Rene the Birdman said that Tweeter was going to be alright. :)

She was eating while she was at Animal House, and he gave her a quick once-over. He also trimmed her wings & nails while we were there, and gave me some “shotgun” antibiotics to put in her water just in case her little head wounds get infected. She's eating, she's preening, she's learning that she can't really fly very far anymore... and she just pooped on me. I guess she's feeling better. :p

With that out of the way, it's time to hit the town tonight with Zac, John, Matty, Steph, Jules and who knows who else will be there.

Tomorrow we're going diving together, so look for new photos over on the right tomorrow afternoon sometime.

Friday, January 14, 2005 4:17:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | #

I stopped in at Animal House today to talk to Rene, who I was referred to as “the man” when it comes to birdcare. He said that she's probably OK, just a bit beat-up. As long as she's eating, she'll be OK...

Well I just went home to get her and bring her in to get checked out and there are no seed husks or chewed bits in her bowl, I dont think she ate any of it today. :( I loaded her cage into the car and drove her in to the pet store and as soon as I left there she started tweeting (her crying tweet) and Rene is gonna be back around 6 and check her out then. I'll try and hand-feed her some seeds tonight when we get home.


Friday, January 14, 2005 1:44:55 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | #

As you can see from the pics at the right, something just doesnt look right...

Last night I was starting to make dinner and Tweeter was sitting on my shoulder and took off and was flying around the apartment. I didn't really think anything of it, she does it all the time. She flew into the ceiling fan once, and got a big THWACK on the wing, but it just sorta pushed her back and probably left a nasty bruise on her right wing.

So she goes flapping away and then I hear this big THUMP, like she knocked something over. Seb looks at me and I go upstairs and there's tweeter flopping around on the ground with one wing outstretched. Oh fudge. I tried to get ahold of her but she was so freaked out she kept flopping and flapping around. Finally I used a towel and threw it over her, and carefully scooped her up. Her wing wasnt broken, but it looked like she was missing a chunk of her head, and it was starting to ooze a little blood.

She was still trying to flap, and making these awful gasping, hissing noises, but I held her close to me and sent Seb next door to get the styptic powder that she had from the vet. Once we got her into the kitchen and could see better, the blood wasnt really coming out at all, it was like a skinned knuckle, probably from where the feathers got yanked out. She was still freaking out and shaking and her little birdy heart was goin a mile a minute. I sat down on the couch and let her go, and she climbed up to my shoulder and then onto the back of the couch cushion and sat there shaking for awhile, while I stroked her feathers. she kept closing her eyes, like it hurt or something (which I'm sure it did, I've stood on the bed and got MY head whacked by the ceiling fan and it hurt enough to make me curse like a sailor) and I didn't think she was going to make it. :'(

About an hour or so later, she was still sitting there, shaking less, and she was stretching out her beak or something. I dunno what to call it, but I'd seen Toby doing it before. Probably like a bird yawn or something. She started to climb back onto my finger when I put it in front of her (which she wasnt doing earlier) so I got her water dish (wasnt interested) and hand-fed her a few little seeds from her food dish, and she was still able to crack open a sunflower seed and eat the nut, so that's all good.

I put her on top of her cage (normally she tries to fly away whenever you go near her cage 'cause she doesnt like being put back in there) and walked back to the kitchen to re-start my dinner and she flew (slowly and gingerly) across the room and landed on my shoulder, and stayed there for the next hour or so. She sat on my shoulder and preened while I ate dinner (and tried not to get little feathers on my plate) and then after dinner I went upstairs and was laying on my bed watching DVDs and she sat on my hip or my knee or my shoulder, whichever was the highest point, tucked her beak into her back/wing and slept... She's never slept on me before, but I guess she was tired out from the stress and shock.

I moved her cage upstairs and put it next to the bed, so that when it got light out in the morning she would be able to see that I was still there, and didn't put the cover on her cage. This morning I moved her back downstairs and gave her some food & water before I went to work. A girl at work gave me the number of her bird-guy to call, and I'm going to try and take her in maybe tomorrow and get her checked out, just so she doesnt get an infection or anything on her head where the feathers got yanked out.

Poor little Tweeter. Gave me a bit of a scare last night, but I think she's gonna be OK now.

Friday, January 14, 2005 6:18:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman#
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Apparently that's what men want... according to women.
Thursday, January 13, 2005 7:46:18 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Movies#
Wednesday, January 12, 2005

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 6:08:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Pictures | WWW#
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
They had their first baby today. Naked pics after the jump...
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 8:55:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Links#
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#
Saturday, January 8, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, January 8, 2005 2:40:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Jeep#
Friday, January 7, 2005
Mind you, the nation is only 20 miles long and about 12 wide, but don't burst my bubble.
Friday, January 7, 2005 11:43:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

There's this neat utility that “looks into” an avi or mpg file and tells you all kinds of information including but not limited to WHICH FRIGGIN CODEC it's encoded in and if you have that one installed or not.

I guess in hindsight, it's pretty hard to see any detail in that picture.. the top left section has the path & size, below that is Stream Type and A/V Interleave, the 3rd window down is metadata. On the right hand side is the Video codec info and below that the Audio codec info. At the bottom is some DirectShow rendering information, but I haven't messed with that yet.

I was a bit hesitant to put “GSpot Video” in my Google toolbar, as it sounds rather... saucy and not safe for work. Everything here runs through a proxy, so there's a log of wherever I go on my work computer. I try to keep things on the up-and-up, just in case... Then again, very rarely does anyone “watch the watchers” I told the other sysadmins and we all had a good laugh about it.

Here's a link to the GSpot Appliance webpage. I like the program so far, and like you, I've never seen WMP of any version correctly identify a codec and auto-download it.

If you're curious, the video clip that I opened to take the screenshot is from Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago with Colin Farrel as Bono being interviewed on the spanish talk show “You know, quatorze is really fourteen in Spanish...”

Wednesday, January 5, 2005 10:27:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Monday, January 3, 2005

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

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

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

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







Monday, January 3, 2005 1:07:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Rants#
Sunday, January 2, 2005
I guess when you think you're a big fish and you live in a tiny pond, you feel like the rest of the world owes you something. The reality of it is, little things tend to seem big to small people.
Sunday, January 2, 2005 9:44:55 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman#
Saturday, January 1, 2005

Sue saying HGY to mom & wavin a sparkler

Went to a beach bonfire last night over at Sharon's place, blew off some fireworks and had a little champers at midnight, then we rolled down to Rackham's. It was dead there, the only person still there (that we were going to meet up with) was Paulie, who was so drunk I dont think he recognized us. We left there and went to Aqua Beach and had a beverage there (Coke for me, I was the DD) and just people watched til last call. Sure enough, a fight nearly broke out, but Batty & Chris defused it before the punches started flying. It's too bad, really, I had my camera out this time!

I was wondering what I was going to do with the weekend, and maybe I'll sit down and sort out the photos and organize em up with PS Elements that I just picked up and see how their web-page creation tools/templates work.

Saturday, January 1, 2005 3:48:25 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman#
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