Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This morning, im achey and have a bit of a headache hangover. I've been sipping water since about 4:30 this morning after I woke up and am about to get in the shower and start getting ready for work. I'll stay on the "more natural" food regimen for the rest of the week as well, but I'll leave the supplements out til the weekend.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 4:47:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Food#
Sunday, August 27, 2006
  • Headaches
  • Cramps
  • Possible diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloating
  • having to eat a lot of green vegetables

For at least the last 20 years I've been subjecting my body to a veritable cornucopia of crap. Garbage in, not always all the garbage out. Starting tomorrow, I'm doing a seven day cleanse. Psillium, brown rice & apple pectin in, along with milk thistle for the liver in... hopefully all the crap (literally) out.

I was going to follow the Master Cleanse routine after reading up on it all last week and speaking to people who had done it before (Heather & Tex) and prepared myself for it. All I needed, to start tonight (and tomorrow morning) was some herbal tea with Senna in it. I stopped in at GNC on Friday evening after work to find some, and right next to it was a shelf full of different "solutions" for cleansing. I looked at all the boxes, talked to the staff and decided on a Zand Quick Cleanse kit instead. Rather than having to mix up all this lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne pepper, allI had to do was pop the fiber supplement in the morning, and evening, and the milk thistle (among other things) supplement after lunch and dinner. Every other night, there's a "mild laxative" to take at bedtime as well. The Master Cleanse is also a fast, all you get for the 7-10 days or whatever is the lemonade. The Zand Quick Cleanse is for use with your "regular diet". ha ha. MY regular diet? I don't think so, that's what got me here in the first place. Starting tomorrow there's no sugar or caffeine allowed. I think the caffeine is going to be the hardest part to get over. I don't drink a lot of coffee like most people I know, but I do have a cup of tea in the morning and then usually a diet coke or a diet dr pepper at lunch time, and sometimes one with dinner. I've been trying to cut out added sugar and things with high fructose corn syrup in it, or at least minimize my exposure to it for the last couple years, so that won't be as much of an 'addiction' to break.

So every day this week,in addition to whatever else I feel like posting, I'll be keeping notes and posting up what's going on with the cleanse. I'm warning you now, Im not going to pull any punches in describing what's coming out of me, or how it feels or anything like that. I probably WON'T take pictures of the toilet bowl, unless I see something truly... shareable.. but I definately wont be posting them to flickr or anything like that. I'll make sure that each post has a "read more..." link so that if you don't wanna see it, then you can ignore it, but if you click it and then get grossed out, then it's your own fault.  Those of you reading it via RSS, well you'll just have to take your chances :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006 7:56:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#

Yesterday afternoon I was at work for a meeting of the hurricane commitee and at the end of it, just as it was wrapping up, someone went and checked NOAA for the update and it showed that Ernesto was going to jog north instead. That put us on the very southern edge of the projected path (the Cone Of Death as I've been calling it the last few years) and even pulled away from the Sister Islands (Cayman Brac & Little Cayman). It stayed about that way until this morning.

I slept in this morning, and just got up about a half hour ago and checked this morning's updates and theynow show Ernesto hooking way north, cutting across Cuba, skirting Key West and then hooking around to the NE and heading ashore near Tampa Bay. Of course, that's the 5-day forecast, and the further away you get from NOW, the larger the room for error is. In any case, Grand Cayman is out of the projected path and Cayman Brac is barely within the 3-day cone of death. There should be an update posted by NOAA right about now, so I'll check that when I'm done here.

The webcam is offline now, but the last image uploaded to the web server was from 9:55am this morning showing another beautiful sunny day with blue skies. I guess all the clouds and weather ar getting sucked towards Ernesto, leaving nothing but a breeze and good weather for us.


Sunday, August 27, 2006 7:06:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Saturday, August 26, 2006

I've got my webcam up and pointing out the window. It's not the best view right now, I need to fid something taller to put it on so the bars of the balcoy aren't obscuring the camera, and it's a bit washed out as the sun is going down, facing the camera, AND there's some window tint on the door that it's behind.

It refreshes every minute or so, but to refresh your view, you have to hit refresh (F5). If you want to link directly to it, it's

Update: Since Ernesto doesn't realistically pose a threat to us anymore, im taking the webcam offline. If he should radically change course and come this way again, I'll put it back up.


Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:48:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Pictures#
Last night at 8pm the Cayman NHC issued an Alert, which means we could be feeling effects within 48 hours (as opposed to  watch for 36 hours and a warning for 24 hours). Each successive update to the track by NOAA's NHC in Miami it's moved a little north. Right now it looks like Little Cayman is going to get spanked. We'll still feel the Tropical Storm force winds here, starting sunday night/monday morning around 2am.

Today though, the sun is out, it's warm, breezy, blue and clear. We may even be able to pull off a Beach Day tomorrow, too!

A few of us are going out for a dive at the Turtle Farm later on this morning, and then I have a few duties at work to take care of. Other than that, there's really not much to do but carry on. What's the point of sitting around the house waiting six hours at a time for the next NHC update? Tonight I think we're gonna head to Copper Falls for a steak, as they're probably going to be closed early tomorrow night to allow their staff to go home early and "batten down" and "take refuge".

Im not expecting much to happen with this storm, maybe the power will go out for a few hours, Monday will be a "snow day" for most people and then Tuesday the sun will come back out and everyone will go back to work.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 7:40:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Friday, August 25, 2006

After about noon today, activity picked up around the island. I popped in to Foster's by the airport and there was just a mess. Cars, people, everywhere. I thought for sure it would be until tonight or tomorrow that everything started getting really busy and shelves started getting empty. People were buying all kinds of things... As far as we knew this morning, we would start getting Tropical Storm force winds sometime in the early AM hours of Monday, and maybe hurricane force winds Monday late morning and then they should start to disspate after 1pm or so. Four hours of potential hurricane-force winds. Compared to the 36+ hours that we got uor collective asses kicked by Ivan two years ago, it's "Just a walk in the park, Cougar."

That said, I'm expecting the opwer to go out at some point Sunday night and be out for maybe twelve hours at the longest. Not a big deal, especially since I plan to be asleep for most of it (Monday's more than likely going to be a "snow day") I picked up a few things today, some water, a box of granola bars, that sort of thing. I'll probably head out to the warehouse tonight and rescue my hurricane supply locker. Not so much that I'll need all the stuff in there (solar shower, a week's supply of gelled cooknig fuel, water purification and such) but if we do get hit harder than we're expecting, I don't want someone else to 'recover' it before I can get out there.

As of the 4pm update, they've actually moved the track more to the north and now she's forecast to pass between here and Cayman Brac on Monday instead of passing directly over us. Next update will be around 10pm tonight, so as long as I'm not flat on my beak drunk, I'll post up something then.

Friday, August 25, 2006 1:43:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 19.5N, 81.2W or about 14.7 miles (23.7 km) from your location. The estimated time of when the center of the storm will be at that location is in about 81.3 hours (Monday, August 28 at 2:18PM EDT)
Friday, August 25, 2006 5:08:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Monday, August 21, 2006
I do a lot of desktop support at work. That means I do a lot of drive re-imaging and re-installing of Windows. I used to rely heavily on Norton Ghost and Ghostcast server, so that when we got a new flock of machines, I could set one of them up the way we wanted it, run Sysprep and then make an image of the hard drive. Once I had that, I could use Ghostcast to push that image out to the other machines (the highest # of machines I ghosted at a time was 15, using a 16 port switch). It was a great solution, and if one of those machines got buggered with a virus or spyware, I could re-ghost it and have it back in service in about 25 minutes.

The downside of that is Windows XP's product code/licensing and now Windows Genuine Advantage. Every time I ghosted a machine and started the install process, it would not accept the XP license code that was on the sticker on the computer. Even if I got past that, the OS would not activate. That meant a phone call to Microsoft, waiting on hold forever and then getting the joy of trying to understand Sandeep or whoever was on duty in the call center in India. I would have to read them off a 25-digit code, then they would verify it, then they would read me back a 25-digit response code, I would verify it, punch it in and then it would activate ok. It was a colossal pain in the ass and drove me to looking for cracks and patches for XP on more than one occasion. Ultimately it got to the point where it was faster for me to install Windows from scratch, manually, and then download all the security patches and whatnot (last time I did it earlier this month, it was 54 updates worth abut 80megabytes of downloads) and then install our applications, join it to the domain and all that sort of thing. There had to be an easier way.

Fortunately there is. As I was Googling around, I came across this site who's title was Automatically Slipstream Windows XP with SP2 and All Post-SP2 Security Hotfixes with a Single Command. Sounds like just what I was looking for. On top of that, this guy Ross updates it every month after Patch Tuesday! He has a windows script/batch file that will copy all the files from your source CD, then download ALL the patches and slipstream them into the folder structure. It's a bit of manual labor/clicking, but it sure beats having to download all that crap everytime I have to do a reinstall. There's also a make file for if you have Cygwin installed to run the script, download the patches, verify the downloads using an MD5 hash, integrate them to the folder structure and then burn it to CD, all in one step. I figured I'd give that a try, I installed cygwin and it didn't work. Then I went back and reinstalled some of the packages for Cygwin, and it still didn't work. I finally gave up on Cygwin and the make script and went back to the Windows batch file, which worked. If you're a Linux command-line freak, Cygwin will probably work for you, but for me it's just one more reason why Linux just won't catch on for the mom n pops and grandmas.

The next step was to create a bootable floppy disc which, even in 2006, is still a pain in the ass and easy to screw up. I've done it before, but I couldn't remember exactly how to do it. I made about a half-dozen coasters last month trying before I "stopped and asked for directions". Enter The Elder Geek. I've been to his site both directly and ended up there from Google a few times in the past and he has good stuff there in simple, easy-to-understand steps (at least for me). His tutorial on making a bootable CD-Rom has instructions for both Roxio and Nero 6. I was using Nero 7, but the dialog boxes were close enough that I could figure it out. The reason I kept making coasters was that I had the "number of loaded sectors" set to the default of 1, and on the tutorial it says to make it 4, or they won't boot. What "number of loaded sectors" means, I have no idea and would not have thought to try and 2, 3 or 4 by trial-and-error. I burned the new image to a disc and popped it in a cow-orker's unsuspecting computer and the Windows XP autorun menu came up. Good, but I'd seen that before. I rebooted and saw the magic "Press any key to boot CD" message come up, pressed The AnyKey and saw the Windows Setup screen come up and start loading files. Woohoo! As I type, I'm making 3 more CDs so that two of us can do the install on two machines at once. Once Windows Setup finishes, there might be a few downloads left, but a few downloads is better than 80mb of downloads.

Monday, August 21, 2006 9:50:39 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Tech | Microsoft | WWW#
Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is a temporary post that was not deleted. Please delete this manually. (4231d3df-14d6-4301-87e7-1f2b58f35df6)

Saturday, August 19, 2006 9:35:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | #
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
hms: Then 5 days ago.... (relax im fine) [Spidey Sense is REALY tingling now...] hms: I get shot twice! [OH is THAT ALL?]
Wednesday, August 16, 2006 7:50:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Misc | Travel#

I can sit all day and talk hockey. Less so with football (NFL or CFL... how many teams are left in the CFL anyway? 4 or 5? not much of a league if you ask me). I watch the last couple weeks of NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl, I watch the World Series, I'll watch the NBA finals but can't possibly follow a whole season (especially baseball). I even watched the NCAA basketball tournament this year (and won the pool!) and sort of keep track of who's beating who for the last five or six years. Then there's soccer/football. Down here with the British influence, Premiership coverage in the sports pages are fairly prevalent (as are cricket and rugby) so it's always there on my back burner

This year of course was a World Cup year, and in 2004 before the hurricane I was following the Euro because it was a championship. (see above) This weekend are the first matches of the Premiership over in the UK. I'm just saying, now, before the season starts, that I'm putting my support behind Tottenham. Say what you want, that's where my support is going. This just could be "their year" (of course as a Canucks fan, I've been saying THAT since I grew my first pube) and if I'm right, then next year everybody will be wearing Spurs jerseys and saying that they've been fans all along...

Speaking of soccer, what's up with the Vancouver Whitecaps?? I remember going to their games at Empire Stadium when I was a kid, and then they played some games at BC Place in the mid-80s but then they (and the whole NASL) just sort of faded away. Now they're back, they're trying to build a new stadium, and who's the manager of the team, the guy pulling all the strings and greasing all the skids? None other than Bobby fucking Lenarduzzi! My first thought was "well no doubt, who else would?" but the second was "You GO, boy!"

Just a couple months ago I was saying to someone that I was getting "sports'd out" with Stanley Cup, NBA finals AND the World Cup going on all at once, but I think that was just a warm-up. NFL is in preseason, NHL training camp starts soon, World Series is coming up and the EPL starts this weekend, too.

On a somewhat related note, I downloaded and tried out Sage TV V5 the other day and it's stunningly gorgeous. The only problem was that it didn't recognize my TV Tuner, the AverMedia UltraTV USB300 so it made the whole exercise pointless. What with weird channels and weird times, I may have to upgrade to a PCI dual-tuner card and time-shift games to catch them all... or just spend more time in Legendz than I already do.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 7:39:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Sports | Hockey | Soccer | Tech#
Monday, August 14, 2006

I saw this post on Gizmodo this morning about the US Navy's new deep diving suit that can work at depths up to 2000 feet. Ideally this suit would allow someone to get down to a stranded submarine in advance of the rescue sub to check things out and assist where neccessary.

“At 2,000 feet, I had topside turn off all the lights, and it was like a star show. The phosphorescence that was naturally in the water and in most of the sea life down there started to glow," Jackson said.

The Hardsuit 2000 was built by OceanWorks International in Vancouver (w00t! go Vancouver!) which I would further venture a guess that they're in North Vancouver and the guys who developed the NewtSuit as well.

Yup. I was right, they're in North Vancouver. I certified a couple of engineers from OceanWorks for their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certs back in the day when I was living in Vancouver and teaching at Great Pacific Diving in North Van. 

Monday, August 14, 2006 3:20:42 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Underwater#
Friday, August 11, 2006

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 11, 2006 6:12:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Scooter#
Wednesday, August 9, 2006

I was out late last night, on a school night no less. I was attending a work/social function and didn't get home til about midnight. Once I got there, I drained the Brita pitcher, took two Tylenol (pre-emptive strike) and then layed down on the bed, keeping one foot on the floor to keep it from spinning.

It was in that state when the phone rang right around one o'clock in the morning. WHO THE HELL WAS CALLING ME AT 1AM??? I dragged my ass out of bed, stumbled to the phone and looked: a 604 number, so it was someone from back home. I vaguely recognized the number as one of my brothers' cell phone so I answered it a bit gruffly as I headed back to bed. I was steeling myself somewhat, because the only time someone calls that late at night it's either bad news or a booty call.

Fortunately it was good news for a change. My little baby brother is having a baby of his own, and he and my middle brother were celebrating and decided to call me, forgetting that I'm on a different time zone. So I'm going to be an uncle. The next question is how old does a baby have to be before I can give it some mountain dew and hand him/her back off to the parents just before bedtime and go home? :)

I haven't spoken to my parents yet, but I imagine they're pretty chuffed about the whole idea of grandkids, especially after playing surrogate grandparents to JoJo, their "grand-dog" for the last year or two.. heh heh.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006 6:18:46 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Misc#
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Little did she know that it was all part of the setup. While we were taking her out for a scooter ride, all our friends were congregating in South Sound at Robert's Treehouse.
Thursday, August 3, 2006 6:42:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Pictures | Scooter#
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
It's August 2nd already and we're only up to the C. This time, C is not for Cookie, but C is for Chris, as in Tropical Storm Chris. He/She (who's that? it's Pat!) is currently northeast of Puerto Rico and the forecast track is through the Bahamas and on towards Florida, or maybe curl back into the Atlantic. Who knows. I hope these guys don't know. The two most recent computer models that were run show Chris taking a more southerly track under Hispaniola and then under Cuba right into our backyard.

At this point, it's more like "hey look at that!" more than anything else, but like always, I'll be closely monitoring anything that has a name. Supplies are staying in the warehouse unless it actually does come this way.

As usual, here's a list of links to help keep up with weather this hurricane season (click on US>Tropical)

I may just set up a bookmark for all this and then I'll post up an RSS feed to all the hurricane resources. If I get inclined to do so, I'll post it up here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:45:03 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
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