Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, September 29, 2005

MAN, today was the LONGEST DAY EVAR at work! Between checking event logs and modifying backup jobs and some forensic investigating of IE history files (major boring shiat) the clock just dragged it's way to 5:00.

But 5:00 has come and gone, and Im just finishing packing my bags. I'm off to Toronto for the weekend, and then home to Vancouver on Monday for a couple weeks, Canadian thanksgiving (I guess they don't really call it Canadian Thanksgiving in Canada, it's just thanksgiving.. they don't have to differentiate it at all like we do down here), my aunt's birthday and the opening of the NHL season. I'm trying to find some tickets to next Wednesday's game against Phoenix, but it looks like it's sold out already. I wonder if there are still scalpers hangin around outside yellin TICKETS HERE like the used to outside the old Pacific Coliseum back in the day.

Seb gets in tonight, I'm heading to the airport shortly to pick him up, stop by McCoy's for a beverage or two, give him a briefing on what's goin on as far as people getting kicked out, leases no getting renewed, rents getting jacked up, give him MY rent money before I go, and givin him tweeter feeder instructions and then it's off to bed. Separately. Just in case you were wondering. :p   Then it's up damn early to catch Cayman Airways flight to Miami at o'dark hundred, pick up a couple bottles of rum at duty free and then tell everyone to catch my vapors as I be up, and gone!

Thursday, September 29, 2005 4:41:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Travel#


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

It also happened to be father's day.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 29, 2005 9:50:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Sunday, September 25, 2005
We missed out last year, but we just had our hockey pool draft for the 2005/2006 season.
Sunday, September 25, 2005 2:57:41 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hockey#
Saturday, September 24, 2005

Last night we were going to head to McCoy's for a couple drinks and maybe get a bite to eat. John was already over at my house, we were stting up his new laptop, and then Sharon the Fearless showed up and we piled into her car and headed down there. Just as we were arriving, Zac called us and said that he and Steph were at DJ's Cantina and did we want to come and have a pitcher of margaritas with them. Sure thing, sounded good to me!

They have good margs there, by the way, and the food, while presented a little foofily, is really good. We finished the pitcher and started on another, and then another, and then we settled up and went to Calico Jack's. I decided I better stick with the same poison, so I had another lime margarita and nursed it til nearly midnight when it was time to go.

I didn't really feel all that drunk, I wasn't off-balance, I wasn't slurring, I didnt have any visual disturbances, but this morning, holy crap! I felt like ass! Deep-fried ass! I crawled out of bed and went straight to Hell. The Esso in Hell, West Bay that is. I got some gatorade and went home back to bed. I thought some lunch would help, so I had a nice big “Cheeseburger in Paradise” at Coconut Joe's. Still felt like ass. Came home, took a nap (from 2:30 to 6:30!) and finished off the bottle of gatorade and took some more advil. At this point Im thinking maybe dinner will help?? we'll see what happens. Probably not the best night to go to Thai food, but I made the mistake of asking where everyone else wanted to go. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2005 4:13:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food#
Thursday, September 22, 2005

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

That is all.

Universal Currency Converter

Thursday, September 22, 2005 4:51:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#

The title is from $imdb(Footloose) and it's a subject I hold near and dear to my heart. Call me a child of the 80s, I was 11 when Footloose was released in theatres. Somehow though, I'm always reminded of that movie living here, especially when I see a headline like “HOTEL ON PROBATION FOR SUNDAY DANCING”. As of right now, the Cayman Net News hasn't updated their website to today's information yet, I'm not sure what time their update is, but by the time you read this you can probably click over there and read it for yourself.

Music and dancing is illegal on Sundays down here. Bars have to keep the canned music down low, and no bands are permitted to perform, period. I've never actually seen anyone arrested for dancing, but the threat of the law is revocation of the premises liquor license, so it's really in their best interest to police their own patrons.

I've actually been in a bar on a Sunday and seen bartenders, with fear bordering on panic, having to tell people who are here on their vacation to please stop dancing. It's kind of pathetic, really. Bars & other “licensed premises” have to call last call at 2330 on a Saturday night, and all alcohol has to be off the tables and locked up by midnight and people making their way to the door. A lot of people get upset with the bartenders and the manager, for being somewhat brusque with their attitude and “TIME TO GO, GET OUT!” and “YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO HOME, BUT YOU CAN'T STAY HERE”. It's not their fault though, they're not the ones who wrote the law, but they're the ones who's shoulders it falls on to enforce it.

As ludicrous as it sounds, the reason that these people were “caught” dancing on a Sunday was due to a complaint received by a private citizen to the liquor licensing board. Honestly. The issue comes up from time to time in the letters to the editor section of both newspapers here, and for every letter written about “You've got to be kidding me, bars closing at midnight on a Saturday and no music or dancing allowed on Sunday???” there are a couple replies a few days later saying “This is our way and we're trying to preserve it. If you want to party, go somewhere else.” Sometimes in those terms, sometimes they're more long-winded in saying the same thing.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 4:25:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman#
Sunday, September 18, 2005

A few months ago, I was sitting home on a Sunday much like today. I had no plans for the day, which is always nice. The only thing I had to do was a bunch of laundry and iron my clothes for work on Monday. I went downstairs and put a load on and went back upstairs and was messing about online.

After an hour or so, I decided to go downstairs and move my laundry into the dryer and put the next load on, and from the top of the stairs, I knew there was a problem. We ended up with 2” of water on the floor because the washing machine did not shut off and overflowed, and overflowed and overflowed. I called the landlord and they said they would send someone out on Monday to fix the washer. That still left me with a lot of water to push out, and mop up and clean up.

Since then, I haven't really trusted the washer, and would sort of babysit it to make sure it didn't happen again. My vigilance paid off last week as it did it again. This time I caught it before it escaped beyond Seb's bathroom. I mopped it all up and called the landlord who sent someone out to fix it the next day or so. I called them on Friday to see if it was safe to use the washer again and they said yes it was fixed.

Because my trust was waning, I stood there and watched it fill up with water. When it got to the top of the tub and hadn't started yet, I shut it off. I called them back again and they said “oh, well it's Saturday, we'll send someone over on Monday” and I said “No.” She called back about 10 minutes later and asked if someone would be home this afternoon, as she found someone to come out and take a look. I said I would wait here for someone to show up, and they showed at about 3:15.He found a nick in the hose that controls the water level, which the previous two guys must not have found.

Talk about making a control overly complex. Instead of a simple float switch, like in a toilet, this washing machine has a tube that connects from the bottom of the tub all the way up to the water level/load size control panel. As water fills up in the tub, it forces water into the tube, compressing the air that's in there. The water level sensor shuts off the water based upon the increased pressure in the tube. Turn the knob to 'large load' and it takes a higher pressure to shut off the water. The only problem was that this tiny pinhole in the hose was bleeding pressure and therefore there was never enough pressure in the hose to tell the water level sensor to shut off (unless the water level in the whole apartment raised 4 feet or so and the pressure sensor itself was under water, but thankfully it never came to that). After some duct tape and some testing, we came to the conclusion that the washer would work properly if set to medium or small loads temporarily and he would get a new hose on Monday and come and install it then.

The third strike was actually at work. I'm on call this weekend and got a call about a web application not working properly. I rebooted the web server, and since it was notorious for taking a long time to shut down and start up, I left it for awhile. 30 minutes later it was still unresponsive, so I deciced to head into town and check out the console, knowing full well that Murphy's Law states that by the time you get there, it would have fixed itself. As I pulled up to the building, I remember hoping to myself that someone was already there and I wouldn't have to deal with the alarm system. My hopes fell on deaf ears as the parking lot was abandoned when I pulled in. I unlocked the door and pulled it open... and was confronted by a scene from Waterworld. My jaw hit the floor (splash) and then I remembered the alarm, so I ran, splashing, through the office and disarmed the alarm, and then followed the sound of running water to the men's bathroom and an overflowing toilet. I turned it off at the valve and stopped the water, but by now there was a good 2” of water on the floor throughout the office. ¡Ay Carumba! I made a few phone calls to alert management and meanwhile set about trying to rescue as many PCs as I could that were sitting on the floor... with the power still on. I used a pencil to flip off power strips and unplugged the CPUs and put them up on tables and tucked up the cables to prevent them from sitting in the water while it was cleaned up.

SO hopefully now that it's happened to me (or at least I've discovered the floods three times) that I wont have to deal with it again for a long, long time.

We now rejoin our regularly scheduled Sunday already in progress.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 3:16:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Misc#
Saturday, September 17, 2005
long technical post about my media streaming stuff. skip if this sorta thing gives you headaches
Saturday, September 17, 2005 8:43:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Tech | Gadgets | Wireless#
My rooommate Seb is in England at the moment. We were gonna go together, as I'd never been there before, but I got talked out of it. He went anyway and here's his first dispatch. (annotated, of course) :)
Saturday, September 17, 2005 8:01:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Travel#
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

UPDATE: According to a press release from the RCIP, the total amount of “vegetable matter resembling ganja“ was 3,367 lbs

A couple days ago, I was talking to my aunt on MSN Messenger who lives in Delta, BC. She told me that Burns' Bog was on fire. My mom also mentioned it in an email later on that day that they came out of a restaurant and there was ash on the car and they thought maybe Mt St Helens erupted again. My buddy Derek also wrote about it on his website a couple days ago as well, so I was pretty well informed about it.

Imagine my shock then when, while driving to work yesterday morning I saw a huge plume of smoke coming from just east of George Town. The smoke and ash were blowing out to sea, but across George Town, the harbor and over the cruise ships. I assumed it was coming from the George Town landfill, which it turned out it was. The huge column of smoke could be seen from pretty much anywhere on the island.

There was a landfill fire a few years ago, that went underground. It took the CI Fire Service days to put it out and a couple weeks to dig out the remaining “hot spots” and extinguish them as well. The smoke and smell were pretty terrible along the Harquail Bypass that runs alongside the dump. Compared to that time, this time the smoke smelled... sweeter.

I just saw the front page of the Cayman Compass this morning, and the lead photo was of a “controlled burning” at the George Town landfill... of one-thousand pounds of confiscated ganja!

We used to tell a funny story (OK, it was funny for the tourists, but it was pretty corny in reality) about the wreck of the Oro Verde, one of the shipwrecks off of Seven Mile Beach. She used to be a drug runner, and when she foundered on the reef, the RCIP confiscated tons of marijuana off it, took it out to East End and burnt it. The prevailing winds here are east-to-west, so as the urban legend went, the island was covered by a thick cloud of pot smoke (much like the Mighty Weed scene in Mel Brooks' $imdb(History Of The World)) and that's one of the reasons that it still to this day takes so long to get a burger at Burger King.

Whether that was true or not, no one knows (or really cares) but this time, it was for-damn-sure real. The Cayman Compass doesn't update their daily stuff on their website til later in the day, so make sure you check it out later to read it for yourself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:18:08 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman#
Friday, September 9, 2005
Well, almost.
Friday, September 9, 2005 4:47:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Links#
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Local TV & Gov't documentary about last year's Hurricane Ivan and it's effects in the Cayman Islands.
Thursday, September 8, 2005 4:04:38 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Cayman | Hurricane | Tech | Wireless#
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Yesterday was the first day back to school for the kids of Cayman. There's no Labor Day holiday here, so they don't get a last long weekend before heading back to the books. Why do I care that school is back in session? Traffic.
Tuesday, September 6, 2005 6:37:48 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
Monday, September 5, 2005

Seb's going on vacation for a few weeks on Wednesday, and his birthday is in a week or so, so we (I) decided we should go out for a few drinks tonight (as opposed to tomorrow night, as getting up at o'dark hundred to catch a flight still drunk or just starting a hangover is no fun). I asked him where he wanted to go, and he said let's go to the Triple Crown Pub, which just opened up along the beach.

It looks like they tried hard to make it look like an authentic Irish pub, but at the same time make it look shiny and new and trendy. It was too bright in there to be too authentic, but they had a lot of wood and a lot of Guinness art on the walls. They also had some brickwork inside making two arches to “split” the bar into two halves. Judging from the brickwork and tiles, and the fact that the owner of the place is one of the guys from Edoardo's (good Italian restaurant) , if the whole Irish Pub thing doesnt work, they can re-decorate and re-open pretty quickly as an Italian/Pizzeria place.

The menu was quite big, and had your usual restaurant things, and they also had some pub standards. I had the bangers & mash tonight, which was pretty good. Jules had the steak & kidney pie which looked and smelled REALLY good and Matty & Renee both had a Chicken & Ham pie, which was in some sort of a crepe instead of pastry. Someone else ordered the individual beef wellington, and that looked and smelled real good, too. I don't know which one I'll try next!

We arrived just before 8:00, and the building that the pub is in (which is brand new and un-rented as yet, aside from the pub) had flashing lights coming from the second floor, and I said “Oh, maybe they've opened a disco up there or something?“ turns out it was the fire alarm. We went around the front and into the pub and it was business as usual. When you went to the bathroom, you could hear the klaxon still buzzing upstairs from the fire alarm going off, but we ignored it and carried on. Around 10:30- two and a half hours later -a fire truck pulls up in front of the pub, along with another emergency vehicle behind it. Four firemen climb down and start walking around. Five minutes later they come out of the kitchen and are looking around at the ceiling, and then they see it: a smoke alarm with a solid red LED. Above the bar where we were sitting. Apparently the smoke alarm was sensetive enough that people smoking in the pub set it off (smoking in an Irish pub? say it ain't so!) Worse than that was that it took the fire department two-and-a-half hours to show up?!

Seb really had no idea what was going on, he thought it was going to be me, him, John, Matty and maybe Zac if he was back from the Velvet Revolver concert in Miami (bastard) or not. John made a bunch more phone calls after I sent out the initial text messages to the four of them this morning and there was probably about 15 or so people there. Jules had the night off, so she came out. Peter & MJ (no im not kidding, his name is Peter and her's is MJ... we just call him Spidey), Paulie & Catherine, James & Lucy and a friend of hers named Megan, Martin & Jo came out, who we havent seen in months, Sharon came out (we still haven't scared her off for some reason) and then me, Renee, John & Matty.

Once everyone was there, we gave Seb a card from us guys, and we had a little package for him, too. Being the jet-setter that I am at work, I had a 1gb iPod Shuffle picked up for him, along with the sport case. He had one already (that I picked up for him in Miami back in March or April) but he killed it pretty quick by wearing it inside his shirt while working in non-air-conditioned environs and basically drowned it in sweat. I sent him a link from Hackaday on how to take apart a Shuffle and even brought home an X-acto knife to try it with. It's already broken, what harm can there be, right? Well he tore the ribbon cable that attaches the USB plug to the rest of it, so it was a lost cause. He was kinda moaning about it a couple weeks ago so I decided that I would get him another, along with the sport case which is more or less water resistant. The boys chipped in and I brought it home tonight and wrapped it up and put it in a gift bag. The next trick was how to get it out of the house and bring it with without arousing suspicion. I put a couple books in my backpack to make it laptop-weight and told Seb when he asked why I was bringing a backpack that it was John's laptop that just arrived from Miami. John's laptop is still in Miami (yeah yeah, im workin on it) but Seb knew that John was expecting it, so he had no clue...

I made sure everyone had a drink and then I stood up and got everyone's attention (including half the rest of the bar) and said that since it was your birthday, we had a couple gifts for you that you could really use... Matty & John started chuckling, but I had thought about what I was going to say earlier on today. I didn't write it down, but just remembered the bullet points. Being the king of $G(double-entendres) that I am... “We know you haven't had too much luck with the ladies lately, so me and the boys decided to get you something to keep you busy on those long and lonely nights. In fact, if you're discreet, you can even use it on the long plane ride to London on Wednesday... (the iPod) Seb didn't know what to expect at this point, and Matty just started laughing then. I continued... “But just in case youo find yourself in a situation that warrants it, we also got you some protection!” (the waterproof case) so with that I handed him the bag and dared him to open it in front of everyone. The poor boy thought we bought him a dildo or some other amusement or toy for self-gratification and a box of condoms, and he was like “no f-ing way Im going to open that in front of everyone” but we insisted.

When he pulled out the iPod he started laughing, and then I said “there's more in there...” and he pulled out the waterproof sport case he really started laughing, because one of those would have saved his old iPod. At that point, my talky bit was over so I picked up my glass and got everyone to raise em up and cheers him for his birthday (no singing $wiki(Happy Birthday) though, didn't want the RIAA all over our asses for royalties). After that we just got him really really drunk.

And I forgot to bring my camera.

Monday, September 5, 2005 9:19:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Gadgets#
Photos from Stingray City boat trip last Sunday
Monday, September 5, 2005 8:08:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures#
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Have you ever noticed that the people who are naked the most SHOULDN'T BE?
Thursday, September 1, 2005 4:26:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants#
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