Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Saturday, April 29, 2006

Phil sent me this video a few months ago and I laughed my white-ass off. It's sitting in my saved attachments folder, and is on the 'playlist' whe people come over, the booze starts flowing and the "I saw this thing on the internet..." discussions start happening.

Last night we were at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman for beverages after dinner. They had a DJ there, so it was pretty loud. With DJs come dancers, and this big white guy got up on the dancefloor and started shakin his groove thang and made everyone else laugh. It's within the realm of possibility that he was drunk and moving around spastically on purpose for everyone else's enjoyment, but it's also possible that he was the hippest, grooviest white-boy on the island last night and wanted EVERYONE to know it.

So between laughs, I said "DId you ever see that video that made the email rounds a couple months ago called "How to dance like a white guy?" and everyone said no. I collected up everyone's email addresses and said I would send it to them, but what a bunch of bandwidth! Instead I went to YouTube and searched for it, and found it. Here then, for your viewing pleasure, How To Dance Like A White Guy...


Saturday, April 29, 2006 10:19:15 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Movies#
Friday, April 21, 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, April 21, 2006 11:29:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Scooter#
Thursday, April 20, 2006
A few weeks ago, my friend Jen was down here in Cayman on vacation. On her last day here, we were sitting on the beach with John (the rest of the Sunday crew showed up later) and Jen took a few pictures before she left. A few days later when she got home and uploaded them to Flickr, I caught a glimpse of my beluga-like self in one of the pictures and nearly had a shit hemorrhage. NOT GOOD. It was so nasty that I put down my fork, grabbed my helmet and went to the gym to renew my membership.
Thursday, April 20, 2006 5:48:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Misc#
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
For reasons unknown to me at this time, I've decided to start messing with my Linksys Routers again. I've posted before about it, about my trials and tribulations (mostly tribulations) about getting it to work. Getting WDS to work, trying to link an entire apartment building with Sveasoft's Alchemy and Talisman firmware, replacing the default rubber duckies on the main router with some higher gain antennas and then, when I thought I had everything set up and everyone in the complex was happy with their internet access, I'd realize that the VoIP would drop calls, or Xbox Live wouldn't work very well at all and we'd get our asses handed to us (faster than normal) in Halo 2.

Once that was all out of the way, then it was the Prismiq's turn to squawk. The Prismiq also only supported WEP and not WPA or WPA2 encryption, so my encryption was only WEP. I've given up on the Prismiq now, it's sitting on the floor behind the TV, unplugged. The SVideo and L-R audio cables that were plugged into it are sitting there looking lonely, but I plug my laptop into them now when I want to watch stuff on a bigger-than-12.1" screen. With that out of the way I can now move up to WPA encryption.

I'd also like to get the VPN endpoint set up so that when I wander into a random hotspot and connect to the big 'ole Internet, I can tunnel through to here and then go out from my router,keeping all my info that's transmitted to the public AP encrypted. QoS is also important, for the Packet8 phone and the Xbox, as well as making sure that any torrents that happen to be coming down don't choke out web surfing or emailing.

After using Sveasoft firmware for nearly a year, I'm switching to DD-WRT. It does everything I want it to, and has better documentation. One of the biggest sources of frustration was getting answers from the Sveasoft forum. If you had good search-fu you could find where someone else had already asked the same question you had, but more often than not, it was not answered by anyone, or answered by someone saying "it's been answered already. use the search function" and lots of messages from Sveasoft saying "it'll be fixed in the next version." "But when is that?" 'soon.' I still have the binaries I downloaded for my routers from Sveasoft, so I can always go back if I need to, but for now Im switching to DD-WRT. If you don't see me online for a few days, you'll know why :)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 7:01:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Linux | Wireless#
Monday, April 17, 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, April 17, 2006 6:59:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Pictures | Scooter#
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Cleaning out my electronic shoebox of old photos and stuff, here's a few that deserve to be seen once more before being put out to pasture.
Sunday, April 16, 2006 9:45:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures#
Part 1 of a look at the exceptional hiring practices of Vancouver restaurants
Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:44:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
Tuesday, April 4, 2006

For some reason, when I grab the URL of a photo from Flickr and incorporate it into a post here, rather than using the Flickr Blog This! thing, they aren't showing up. But then again, some of them are. I dunno, it's an IE thing. I double-clicked the little privacy report icon in the IE status bar and it said that there were some blocked cookies from Flickr on the page, so I guess that's why. All the pictures show up and work fine if you're viewing this in Firefox, it's just IE that's blocking the cookies and preventing the images from showing up. So either change your IE security settings, use Firefox, or just wait and see what happens. I've sent a comment to flickr's tech support, perhaps Im not the only person this is/has happened to and they have a solution.

Update: I flipped a switch in the config, mostly on a hunch and now the pictures seem to be working. Changed the site's skin, too. Huge improvement over the "all gray" look, but still needs some work.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006 8:45:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures#

Most of the time, I'm pretty jaded about all things tropical. I guess it's just what happens when you live there for so long. Growing up, I was never more than an hour away from the Pacific Ocean, and less than an hour away from deent skiing, and a few hours away from Whistler and Blackcomb, before they became the huge destinations that they are now. Road trips out to White Rock or Crescent Beach for fish and chips were mainstays of the summer, skiing at Grouse Mountain and Cypress Bowl were good ways to pass the winters. What do they have in common? You always take for granted the things that you get used to.

I got pretty stoked a couple weeks ago. My friends George & Darlene were down visiting with their little girl, Maddie and staying at Sunshine Suites, which is pretty much right across the street from my apartment. My friend Allison was down then, too. We decided to all meet up for dinner, and since it was an early night, because Maddie had to go to bed early, we decided to just have something to eat at the Sunshine Grill, which is right off the pool deck at Sunshine Suites.

20050623SunshineSuitesBBQ 002

Sunshine Grill has always been there. I remember having lunch there with Jenny a few times back when we were dating, and I always remember hearing about them winning 'best in show' or whatever it's called at the Taste of Cayman for their fish tacos. Other than that, it never really stood out to me. I also hadn't been there since they re-opened after Hurricane Ivan, until that night a few weeks ago. (well ok, we had dinner there one night after Matty & Jules' wedding, but they weren't open as a restaurant yet, we just used their tables and had a cookout)

Sunshine Grill is an "outdoor" restaurant, although it is completely enclosed with screens to keep the mozzies out. They have a fairly substantial bar, and the $g(Pusser's Painkiller) is their signature drink, which I've had once. Years ago when Jerry was the manager there and I don't remember much else after that. One cool thing they have there is a big-ass fan hanging from the ceiling. Seriously. It's a BIG-ASS FAN. the blades have got to be about eight to ten feet long.

George had chicken quesadillas that night, and I remember thinking to myself as he was served "Shit, I should have ordered that..." until I saw my dinner placed before me: a Cobb Salad wrap. It was a monster. There had to be close to a pound of shaved turkey in there, along with some cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and some ranch dressing right in the middle. I could only eat half of it. The fries that came with it were really good, too. I talked Allison into getting the fish tacos, as it's their signature dish. They come in an order of either two or three, so I convinced her to get the three, and I would have one, to give it a try. I'm not much of a seafood lover, but they were pretty damn tasty. Grilled mahi mahi, lettuce, tomato, guacamole in flour tortillas. Yummmmmmmy!

It was so good, we went back there for lunch a couple days later and SPLIT a Cobb salad wrap. The next week we went back again, I think it was a Thursday night, but the kitchen wasn't serving the regular menu that night. Thursday night is a bbq buffet that looked and smelled good. Im a sucker for bbq, but no one else was in the mood for it, so we walked over to Legendz instead. The bartender did make us promise to come back on Saturday night, when they had a steak & lobster special (I think it's every Saturday) of an 8 Oz strip steak and a lobster tail for 24.95. That's cheaper than pretty much anywhere else on The Rock, and judging by everything else I've had there, I would put some cash down betting that it was better than pretty much anywhere else on The Rock, too.

I walked over to Legendz tonight to have a beer with John, and while I was walking (stumbling?) home, the marquee up at the roadside for Sunshine Suites said "BEST BURGER IN CAYMAN" in big capital letters. That sounds like a challege to me, so I think I'll have to make plans and check it out on Wednesday or Friday night this week.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006 8:17:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Food#
Saturday, April 1, 2006
When it comes to sports, I usually follow Hockey throughout the season, and that's about it. Football? Yeah I'll watch it if im bellied up to the bar on a Sunday, but I don't usually pay attention unless it's the Super Bowl or the Grey Cup. Soccer? I'll catch the scores, and watch the Euro, or the World Cup tournaments. Baseball? Baseball takes too long. It's a sport that was designed for highlights, just like golf. Basketball is a weird one, though. I don't normally watch basketball, especially NCAA basketball, until it gets down to the Final Four.
Saturday, April 1, 2006 8:17:42 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Sports#
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