Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Friday, March 30, 2007

A few days ago, the RCIP closed Stingray Sandbar due to a couple people being stung by jellyfish and one person getting 'pierced' by a stingray's barb. The next day, under the sensationalistic headlines, they quoted someone in the RCIP as saying a couple people were stung by thimble jellyfish. THIMBLE JELLYFISH.

Thimble jellyfish are... let's see... THE SIZE OF A THIMBLE. THAT'S WHY THEY'RE CALLED THIMBLE JELLYFISH. Their nematocysts are tiny and don't really even sting anyone our size. There are other bits and pieces, jelly junk as we refer to them that are pretty much invisible and DO sting.

The problem with thimble jellies is their larvae. Usually between Mother's Day and Father's Day is their mating period. The larvae, microscopic larvae I might add, float around in the water and end up on your skin. As your skin dries, they panic and burrow down into your epidermis where it's warm and moist. Your skin does not like it so it gets red, itchy, swollen, itchy and did I mention itchy? It itches like the DEVIL IS INSIDE YOUR SKIN TRYING TO GET OUT. It lasts for three or four days and then clears up and goes away. This is what's known as sea-itch, sea lice or seabather's eruption

Some people do have more adverse reactions. Gordy got a pretty good dosing of it  few years back and his eyes swelled up and stuff, but a good course of antihistamine's cleared him up as right as rain. I suppose if you're allergic to bee stings or things like that, you might have a reaction like Gordy's.

As for closing Stingray Sandbar, it HAS been a little rough out there lately with higher-than-normal winds making things rough and choppy. Someone did get "stung" by a stingray the other day, and the description about that was that the stingray was "thrown" into the person by the wave action and got scared. If the conditions were rough, then close the area down, but to say they closed it down because of a couple people getting stung by thimble jellies and one person getting stung by a stingray... while other boats were not affected by the closure when they were snorkeling at the barrier reef just a quarter mile away is a boatload of bullshit.

Friday, March 30, 2007 3:29:19 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Underwater#
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Unlike so many other events that were rumored about but then never actually happened, this one's actually true. I was a bit off in my earlier post, I misheard Zac when he told us they were playing for their own 30th anniversary. That would have made them put out their first album when I was 3, and that didn't sound right. What I found out today is that they're here for the 25th anniversary of Big Daddy's liquor stores down here in Cayman.

Big Daddy's used to have a sports bar, too. We went there, without fail, every Friday for happy hour from the week that I arrived here in 1998 til they closed the doors sometime in 2001 or 2002 and fancied the place up and renamed it Mezza. The best part is that they had these t-shirts printed up a few years ago that said "Who ya daddy is?" on the back in big letters. I always wanted to get my hands on one of those t-shirts, but never was able to find one.

According to the post on tickets are $65 for general admission and $100 for VIP tickets. I don't want to get off on a rant here, because it would be a big one, but WTF is up with SELLING VIP tickets? If any jackass can get a VIP ticket, then there's not really any cachet in BEING a VIP is there? Even the General Admission tickets are rather expensive, at $65, but that's because HELLO we're like what, 4000 miles away from Canada? Can't exactly gas up the family truckster and head out on a road trip with the guitars in the back.

We were talking to the new hottie bartender at Legendz tonight, Jessica about it. She's from Calgary (but we still like her and accept her as a human being) and "has seen the Hip a bunch of times, and never for more than $30 or so, in CANADIAN dollars" so she would not be attending. She's only been here about nine days, so she hasn't quite discovered that WE DON'T GET concerts down here very often, and when we do, it's usually a "tribute band" and not the Real McCoy. I don't really consider a DJ to be "live music" no matter how far he traveled to be here.

So since I've been here since dirt was new, and I'm worn out and jaded and cynical about everything, I'm going to make sure I'm there, just reveling in the live music. Who knows, I may even be one of those jackasses in the VIP section JUST because I bought the expensive tickets! ;)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 7:06:20 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | #
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
It's funny... a few years back when Ratskyn first asked Zac to front them, it was about the same time the movie $imdb("Rock Star") came out. We used to joke around, using the line from the movie about "growing up with these guys posters on our walls, and now I'm one of them!" because Ratskyn was and is really the ONLY rock band in the Cayman Islands. What's even more ironic is that when Ratskyn plays live, they actually do a lot of Tragically Hip covers, and now they're opening for them!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 8:44:17 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman#
If you've never used multiple monitors before, try it. It's like going from a Honda Civic to a, well.. a Honda Accord. :) Within fifteen minutes (if it even takes that long) you'll wonder how you ever got along without it for so long. I have a single monitor at home, it's an Acer 22" widescreen, but at work I recently switched to a pair of 17" LCDs and the productivity increase is staggering.

Then there are crazy setups that take it to the nth degree. Rich has a setup with an Apple 30" Cinema widescreen flanked by a pair of Samsung 21" widescreens in portrait mode for something ridiculously crazy like 3600x1200 resolution. More and more people (developers mostly I guess but also flight sim enthusiasts) are setting up monitor rigs like this now that the prices of LCDs are coming down down down. Dell makes a 30" widescreen that actually beats the Apple Cinema in the specs department, yet is marginally cheaper (and if you throw something like into the mix for Dell discount coupons it gets even better).

Yesterday I was scanning through some of my rss feeds in Newsgator Online and there was a post by Scott Hanselman on his site about multiple monitor setups for developers. Usually most of the stuff on his website goes straight over my head, and I cherry-pick the little tidbits relating to HTPC, Xbox 360, PSP, Torrents and things like that but the one absolute GEM that I took away from his post yesterday about multiple monitors was for a little app called Ultramon. it "fixes" Windows (ie does something that Windows should do built-in) to let it better deal with multiple monitors. If only for allowing one wallpaper to stretch across both (or x-) many screens it would be a neat utility. The dealmaker though is the taskbar. It stretches the taskbar across all your screens, and whichever windows are open on THAT screen show up on THAT taskbar. There are some other cool tricks it does, but within seconds of installing the trial version and seeing the new taskbar on the other screen, that's worth the $30 price of admission right there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:39:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Tech | Gadgets | WWW#
About a month ago, I heard a solid rumor (as opposed to just regular rumors I guess) that the Tragically Hip were coming down to cayman to play a concert for their 30th anniversary. I kept my mouth shut because hey, who likes to spread rumors and false hope? In the past few days I've heard a few more people talk about it, and then this morning Paul had it written on the "news plate" on the front counter at Paperman's Coffee House that they were going to play at Safehaven on May 1st. That sounds pretty specific which leads me to believe that it might actually happen.

Unlike the whole Gretzky/Messier/Lowe/Cementhead visit last year that got pushed back twice before being called off, this one seems more of a Halo 3 rumor than a Duke Nukem Forever vaporware statement. No word on tickets or anything yet, but that's gotta be coming soon if the show is May 1st.

Note to JMG: If you really want to take a census of all the Canadians living in Grand Cayman, then you'll have your chance on May 1st, if this actually happens :)

Update: It's been all over the radio all day, so I guess it actually is happening. As Lee posted in the comments, it's even on their own site.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:21:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman#
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Work has been CRAZY the past few months. I STILL haven't gotten around to posting my travel schedule from January, just for a laugh. I haven't left work before 5:30 since I can't even remember. Monday was another one of those nights, however I had there plans, so I hit the road at 4:59.

My friend Suzie was down visiting, and she wanted to cook one night, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. Saturday after diving we went shopping and then came back here and started cooking.

We started off with two bowls, one to whip cream in and one to start mixing up the other ingredients for the filling. I brewed some espresso and poured the remainder of the bottle of Appleton Estate into it and started soaking the savoiardi biscuits. Yup, you got it, we made Tiramisu.

Sunday morning we went to Vespa Church and then came home and made up some tomato sauce. I had meat sauce already, but I thought it was a bit thick for what we had in mind. We let that cool a bit while we went to Copper Falls with John and Ed and then came back, blanched some noodles, whipped up some bechamel and started building lasagna.

HOLY COW what a lot of work! I've only ever done it once before, and it took about three hours to do last time, too. We finally finished around 11:00 and put it all in the fridge overnight.

Monday night I left work like Fred Flintstone right at 5:00 and fired it into the oven around 5:45. Steph & Zac showed up about 6:45, right before Matty & Joy & the baby. James made it right before dinner. We cracked into a couple bottles of wine, pulled the lasagna out at 7:30 and got to eatin. It was goooood. Just when everyone was getting full of Lasagna, Salad and Garlic bread, I told them to save some room because as rich and calorie-filled as the lasagna was, there was still dessert!

Once we were all finished, we headed up to the Cracked Conch. Ratskyn was playing outside at the bar down by the water. The setup was good, they sounded great and I even got a couple good pictures of the band!

I've been mucking with Flickr to get a mosaic of the photos into this post, but it's frustrating me, so just go to my Flickr page and see the new photos for yourself :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 6:09:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures#
Monday, March 5, 2007
I weighed my options and as much as I liked living close to town and right on the beach, it just wasn't financially practical. Add to that the we all had our fingers crossed that Johnny Rotten was coming back to get Happyfish Divers off the ground and would need a roommate, I decided to look around for a more affordable apartment.
Monday, March 5, 2007 7:24:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman#
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