Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Friday, 25 February 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 25 February 2005 06:56:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Wednesday, 23 February 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have only one question: “WTF?!”

Wednesday, 23 February 2005 10:02:46 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Monday, 21 February 2005
No, not me, silly. Mark Cuban takes Bob Goodenow to the courthouse steps at high noon, pulls his pants down and spanks him silly. In one blog post.
Monday, 21 February 2005 08:57:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Hockey#
Consider yourself warned, this article is long, and Im going to try very hard not to swear.
Monday, 21 February 2005 08:13:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Rants | Gadgets | Travel#
Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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

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

Wednesday, 16 February 2005 12:14:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Links | Rants | Hockey#

Saturday was the five month “anniversary” of Hurricane Ivan tearing through here. Last week I thought I would do a post about what's been fixed/bulldozed since then, and also what HASN'T been done in the last five months. It turned out to be a lot more involved than I thought. I started to go through some of the 2200 pictures I have from the aftermath of the storm, and identifying things that would make good “after and after-after” shots, and then carrying my camera around with me to take those shots, and what exactly to say. I took some shots this morning, and I've been making some notes about what to write. Hopefully I can get everything together in my head and “on paper” and get something out in time for March 12th, the six-month marker. I'm also trying out Microsoft OneNote for this, so I'll also post about that in the future, too.

Richard has a post on his website about his hardware racks. Yes, racks. Plural. If I'm the übergeek, then I don't think there's a word do describe the ultra-geekiness of having not one, but TWO data relay racks in your house. He found these double-sided rackmount power-strips and I've asked for a link or a name so I can find em myself (we're in the process of designing and putting together multiple cabinets/racks in various locations throughout the company) and in doing so remembered a product I heard about a few months ago and had to go looking for. They're called Liberators (no, not THAT Liberator) and they're six-inch “extensions” that allow you to plug in your transformer/wall-wart without blocking the other outlets on your power strip or UPS. It's one of those things that makes you think “Geeze, I should have thought of THAT! I could have made millions and be kicking back on a tropical island with a fruity drink in my hand” except I'm already here. Well except for the fruity drink in my hand. (it's gotta be 5 o'clock somewhere, but it's 10:15 am here, so I'll settle for a cup of tea)

Someone in the office was asking me this morning if I knew of a website that would allow you to “track” a flight, where it was, it's altitude, speed, etc and preferably show it on a map. I asked her if she also enjoyed watching paint dry, but she did find a site called Aeroseek which does exactly what she was asking me about. If you have friends who are travelling, or you're waiting for someone to arrive, it could come in pretty handy. You might also want to do screen-grabs every minute, save it, and turn it into a stop-motion animation and then play it back in a vacation video or something, and you can have a “travelling by red line” sequence just like $imdb(Indiana Jones)!

I still haven't processed the pictures from Monday's dive. I have one of the most beautiful pictures I think I've ever taken underwater in that batch. Considering I was shooting with a digital camera without any offboard strobe, this picture came out poster-quality. I'll probably post it on it's own tonight or something, as well as put it on Flickr.

Wednesday, 16 February 2005 07:29:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links | Underwater | Gadgets#
Sunday, 13 February 2005
Underwater Pictures from Big Dipper/Little Tunnel & Spanish Anchor
Sunday, 13 February 2005 17:04:46 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Underwater#
Apparently Jeep/Chrysler does...
Sunday, 13 February 2005 16:34:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Jeep | Rants#
Tuesday, 08 February 2005

The Kleptones were on The Rinse, a program on XFM London a couple weeks ago. While I didn't hear the show, or even know about it, they talked about it on their website and have posted two torrents on their homepage. One torrent is one long mp3 of their whole performance, with a cue sheet to break it into seamless tracks on a CD, and a second torrent to download them as separate tracks. I haven't listened to it yet, as Im just downloading it now but if it's anything like their other stuff, then it's worth the download.

Holy crap! it's downloaded already, just in the time it took me to write this. I guess our higher-speed connection has kicked in. I'll post more on this in the next day or two after I've listened to it.

Tuesday, 08 February 2005 06:49:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links#
Sunday, 06 February 2005

I picked up the Linksys Wireless Network Expander G last week and gave it a quick setup the other night that didn't work. It was late, and I didnt feel like monkeying with it, so I put it aside and left it for this weekend. That didn't help til now, as we did a network reconfig at work Friday night and that took us til about 12:15... AM. I could hardly see when I drove home I was so tired. Five hours later I got a support call. (sigh). I showed up back at work at 12:30 and it took us til 6:30 that night to get everything finished. It's all done and pretty now.

On the way home, I stopped and picked up a few groceries, and some Honey Garlic Chicken at Canton (mmmm comfort food) I ate my chinese and watched $imdb(Dirty Dancing) on DVD. I probably would have fallen asleep and stayed on the couch til about now, except that somehow I got enough energy up to meet John & Matty down at Aqua Beach. Little Bucket showed up and we had to take turns holding her up. The poor thing weighs 90lbs and had a bunch of drinks into her. She was SO DRUNK that we signalled the bartenders that she was cut off, so everytime she ordered a round of shots, she got coke in a shot glass and we all got Jagermeister and she didn't even notice (until today when she called to say she was alive and I told her we fed her Coke)

So this morning I slept in. Bliss. I went and picked up the wheels from my old car and stacked them in the living room (quite stylish.... not) and I hope to shift them this week. That left me about five hours to get the network expander set up and installed two doors down before the Super Bowl starts. Our cable is still out, but we do get 4 or 5 channels now. Thankfully, FOX and Comedy Central are two of them. When I rolled out of the sack at 10:30, there was already a Super Bowl pre-pre-pre-pre-game show on. Ridiculous.

Anyway, on to the network. I plugged in and hard-reset the Network Expander (isn't that kind of a dumb name? You'd think they would have called it an extender or something...) and ran the setup wizard again, after disabling the firewall on my laptop. It still didn't work. I reset it and disabled WEP and tried it again. Nothing. I tried the auto-configuration button on the side. Nothing.

I disconnected myself from the network and associated with the Expander's SSID and gave myself an IP address on it's subnet. I was able to see/get to it's Admin page and make some changes, but I couldn't get it to associate itself with my main wireless router. Next stop was to Linksys Support Knowledge Base and all of the support pages I found had to do with minimum requirements of your WAP54g and WRT54g firmwares. Not very helpful.

Next stop was MSN search (through the MSN toolbar/desktop search on my other machine.. Google Desktop Search on this machine so I can compare them) and I turned up an article on Tom's Networking showing how to manually set up the Linksys WRE54G. It included one vital piece of information that Linksys' support page and the user's guide failed to mention (and I failed to notice on the admin page): a field to enter in the MAC address of your router.

I filled in the WLAN MAC address of my WRT54G and tried it out. Nothing. I tried the LAN MAC address of the router. Nothing. I tried the WAN MAC address and still nothing. I re-set it back to the WLAN MAC address and this time it worked. The link light on the expander stayed red (it's supposed to be blue when it's connected) but I was able to ping my router while associated to the expander. Then, I turned WEP encryption back on on the router, then on the expander and then re-connected to the expander and here I am, live on the internet writing this. The link light is still red, but hey, it's working, so Im not going to mess with it now that it's working.

A side note... my ctrl key on my laptop seems to have stopped working. :$

Sunday, 06 February 2005 10:34:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Wireless#
Wednesday, 02 February 2005

Holy cow. I think my home network is more complicated than the network at work! I drew it out in Visio last night and used jpgs instead of shapes for my network devices, so it's a bit sloppy, but it gives you an idea of what level of hell my network is from.

 

Network.jpg (84.01 KB)
Wednesday, 02 February 2005 09:39:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Wireless#
I worked late last night, and then got five support calls between 0400 and 0500 this morning (it's my turn to be on call) so I was already cranky when I got in this morning...
Wednesday, 02 February 2005 06:27:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Tech#
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