Potcake XI -- Economic Recession

The recession is affecting everyone, and when a street philosopher and itinerant hubcap vendor talks about it, well you know its real then. I snapped the photo above the day before yesterday, and before I had a chance to blog it, he changed it. In the above photo, Potcake is wearing trousers and shorts and the epigram is:

  • "Potcake Says: You here what happen A? I here you broke."
Translation: You heard what happened, eh? I heard that you are broke.

Then he dropped the trousers (weather warmed up) and amended the sign yesterday:



  • "Potcake Says: How is your Bank Book?"

This fascination with other peoples finances is ironic, considering that Potcake has expanded his own inventory. He has brand new merchandise on top of his mobile business ... er shopping cart. They are brand new, still in the package hubcaps that he is selling.

For your amusement and edification, here is the canonical list of Potcake epigrams:

  • "Potcake Says: Erryone know dat you broke."
  • "Potcake Says: What's Cooking? Got-Layoff?"
  • Blue Pills -- What-Ever!
  • "Potcake Says: This Sweet Christmas make Love, not War. Make a baby."
  • "Potcake Says: The Ants have more sense an you this Christmas"
  • "Potcake Says: It's Christmas Time. Try to be nice."
  • "Potcake Says: You broke for Christmas too?"
  • "Potcake says: Even though you broke, keep on smiling!"
  • "Potcake Says: Not To Day."
  • "Potcake says: Everyone want to ga a tip (Money, money, Money)"
  • "Potcake says: Who gat you broke?"
  • "Potcake says: Alcohal made from Love and War (Sex and Fight)."
  • "Potcake says: Smart People Feed Dumb People"
  • "Potcake says: You were made by Sweet-talk."
  • "Potcake says: Cheap People work you for nothing."
  • "Potcake says: Who is your daddy?"
  • "Potcake says: The debil is here!"
  • "Potcake Says: I Am Mad as Hell and Not going to take it".

Smell and My Aromatherapy Stereo

I got the lobster from my favourite fish monger on the Montague docks. I buy sea food ridiculously cheap now because of the 'fast' seven dollars. I was buying stone crab and lobster, and I was seven bucks short of the asking price. She needed the sale so bad that she let me have the crab claws and a lobster with the promise to pay up later. She never expected to see me again. I was there the next day with the money, and I get a real good deal now everytime that I go to buy the rarer bits of dead sea animals.

But the theme here is smell. The Montague docks smells fishy. You can smell it for a mile in every direction. But when I came home and put the lobster on the barbeque, the smell was heavenly. It was more heavenly when I was dipping the grilled tails into clarified butter and garlic.

A little later on, I noticed that my hands still held the scent of seafood, lemon, garlic and assorted odiferous residues from a magnificent repast. Only hand-sanitizer would remove the lingering odours. That is how I came to ponder smells, and removal thereof.

I saw on TV, a brand new air freshener. It's chief gimmick .... er .... advantage over its competitors, was that it didn't "waste" the toxic substance inside that it used to perfume the air. It had a motion detector so that only if a person was in the room, it dispensed perfume that brought tears to your eyes, and coated your tongue with a sickly floral scent remniscent of embalming fluid.

It struck me that the thing was built backwards. Unless you are unwashed and stink to high heaven, you don't need to perfume the room while you are in it. It should do its work quietly while you are out of the room. It will give the noxious chemicals ... er ... scents a chance to dissipate a bit before you breathe in the noxious coal tar deriviatives.

And that brought me to the composition of scents themselves. It is almost a cultural thing to 'condition' the air with cheap air freshener in the tropics. When our secretary comes in each morning, the first thing that she does, is realease enough air freshener to gas the equivalent of the entire British Expeditionary Forces at the Somme during World War I.

What the world really needs, are natural scents. You can already buy the cheap chemical equivalent of "fresh linen" just off the outdoor clothesline, but someone could make a whole pile of money by marketing natural scents. Oranges and strawberries come to mind. The scent of baking would be wonderful. The dollar store has candles that emanate chemical equivalents of this, but I would like to see the real natural scents.

A few years ago, I used to write down ideas that popped into my head. I quit doing that because I am now at volume 1,249 of my ideas books. However, one of the ideas that popped into my head, was an aromatherapy stereo. I would be just like a music stereo except that instead of music, you would get aromatherapy scents. It struck me that the above described air freshener with the proximity detector was coming close to the concept (with the exception that it just played one note). My scent stereo would play whole symphonies of different moods perfuming the air.

When such a beastie does come to market, remember -- you read it here first. If you would have told me a few years ago, that air fresheners would have proximity or motion detectors, I would have thought that you just came from the nuthouse. What next? Toilets that flush themselves ... never mind ... we already got those. I will go for the electric dog polisher.

To see all my "Things that Need Inventing posts, click on the link below:

http://cosmologicalcabbage.blogspot.com/search/label/Things%20that%20need%20inventing

Karla Homolka Sighted in the Bahamas

The Tribune newspaper reported yesterday, that Canadian serial killer Karla Homolka was sighted in the Bahamas. She is apparently living in a beach house of the agent of the father of her three-year old child, bi-sexual porn star Luka Magnotta.

Homolka was married to Paul Bernardo, the Scarborough Rapist, when they killed Homolka's sister Tammy in a drugged sex scene gone bad. Then they abducted separately two teenage girls and kept them as sex slaves before killing them. The pair are evil incarnate.

Homolka cut a deal with the prosecutors to convict her husband, and served 12 years in jail. Now prosecutors have come to believe that Karla is mentally deranged sadist psychopath. They point out that Bernardo the rapist did not begin to kill until he met Karla. It is believed that Karla skillfully turned into a prosecution witness to escape full punishment while Bernardo took the rap for her.

Homolka is now known as Karla Teale -- the surname from the villain of the serial killer in the 1988 movie "Criminal Law".

Update: If you are looking for all of the posts on this blog about Karla Homolka, please click this link:

http://cosmologicalcabbage.blogspot.com/search/label/Karla%20Homolka

Roach Trapping Re-Visited

In a previous blog entry called "My Life as a Roach Trapper", I told of the Vegas Roach trap consisting of a jar, some water and coffee grounds. You can find that blog entry here:

http://cosmologicalcabbage.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-life-as-roach-trapper.html

I spoke of how the thing didn't work. Well I have to retract my statement. A couple of days after I wrote the blog entry, there were about 4 or five roaches in the trap. But the efficacity of this roach trap was proven in a different way.

The Lovely One was watching TV and she saw a roach crawling across the carpet. It had come through the patio door. When she went to execute it, it crawled under the TV stand. She was all in a tizzy.

I took a jar, and added some water. I didn't have coffee grounds, so I threw in a tablespoon of expresso ground coffee beans. Within three minutes the roach was climbing up the trap.

So, I have to report the Vegas roach trap really does work. Here is a shot of the trap with some of the roach corpses in various stages of deconstruction.

I now can claim some expertise as a roach trapper.

To see all of my posts on Roach Trapping, please click here:

http://cosmologicalcabbage.blogspot.com/search/label/cockroach%20trap

Josh and Fergie Wedding Ring


The readers of this blog are turning me and this blog into a total celebrity whore. A female reader sent me an email telling me that Josh Duhamel and Fergie arrived here directly from their honeymoon in the South Pacific. And she asked me if I had a picture of Josh's new wedding ring that the tabloids were crowing about.
As it turns out, I do. Pictured above is the wedding ring that Fergie gave Josh.

Fall of the Nassau Grouper

I am now a member of the National Trust in this Caribbean nation archipelago, and one of the aims is to protect the Nassau Grouper. Last night, there was a lecture by a noted ichtyologist who had studied the Nassau Grouper. She painted a frightening picture of the decline of the fish throughout the Caribbean basin.

The Nassau Grouper is an amazing fish in terms of taste. It is a wonderfully delicate white meat that is flavorful and sweet. Morphologically, the fish is of the ocean bass family, but there is no comparison of eating the muddy flesh of the freshwater bass compared to the delicate gastronomical delight that is the Nassau Grouper. I have shot a few in season with my Hawaiian sling, and they made wonderful memorable meals.

The grouper spawn from the middle of December through to February. They migrate to these aggregation grounds where large groups collect and spawn then disperse. They seem to spawn around full moon times in December, January and February.

The grouper fishery has collapsed in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This is the last bastion of the grouper, and fish stocks are declining. The researcher said that if nothing is done, the fishery could collapse as early as 2016.

As a result, the season is closed. However, in an earlier blog entry, I posted the pic below which shows a Nassau grouper out of season.



The natives who continue this practise are hurting themselves and their future livelihood, but they fail to understand this. The practical lesson will be harsh for them.

Even More Curiouser - Travolta Case

This is the courtroom where attorney Pleasant Bridgewater will appear in the Travolta Case tomorrow.

The whole island is abuzz about a document that surfaced and is in police custody in the Travolta extortion case. Apparently this document is the cornerstone of the $25 million dollar extortion case.

The buzz is that the document is a medical report or an autopsy report, or a medical record of some sort that shows Jett Travolta suffered from a disease that the Scientologists do not believe in. The best candidate is epilepsy. If this were true then the Travoltas and the Scientologists would be responsible for Jett's death.

In the meantime, it will be a Roman Circus tomorrow at the Magistrates court, pictured above when the accused attorney Pleasant Bridgewater appears for a hearing.

Monday Morning Blues

This is sort of a post weekend roundup. It is back to real life here in Paradise. To remind me of the surrealism of the last four days, I post the above pic with me and supermodel Angie Everhart. You will note my lovely "helmet head" hairstyle from my golf cap.

I remember Angie as Sylvester Stallone's ex, the Pepsi girl, and who can forget this shot:

Sighhhhhhhhh.

And speaking of ships in the night, I get an amazing amount of hits to my blog where ever the massive ship, the Lord Vishnu RoRo (Roll-On Roll-Off)Car carrier goes. I can follow here progress by charting the countries that the hits are coming from whenever she pulls into the harbour. She carries over 5,000 cars, and I saw her asea on Saturday off the coast:


And in the Michael Jordan Invitational, I didn't print a pic of all round nice guy, Boris Kodjoe. If you read this blog, you know that I caddied for him last year, and I am impressed with him as a person, a golfer and an all-round nice guy.


I am amazed at the popularity of Josh Duhamel. To be honest with you, I had never heard of him before this weekend. But everyone at the tourney knew him, knew his name, and his popularity with the women is phenomenal. Here are a few more pics of Josh that I snapped:





This is another view of how massive the newest $100 million dollar New York Yankee CC Sabathia is:

I would be remiss not to post this shot of football great Marcus Allen. The girls like him a lot too.



So, it is back to work with me and I have the Monday morning blues. I don't want to go to business meetings any more. I don't want to be the Chief Technology Officer for a financial services company. I want to be a golf bum in the tropics. I keep telling myself that this will happen soon, but not soon enough for my liking.
With apologies to Cecil and Delmer:
I got the Monday Morning Blues
on the bottom of my shoes .......

Jordan Invitational Finishes

Well the Jordan Celebrity Invitational is done for another year. The winners were John Smoltz and Julius 'Dr. J' Irving. I had a blast. I caddied for tennis legend Boris Becker. He was teamed up with supermodel and TV star Boris Kodjoe, whom I caddied for last year. Yesterday we played in a foursome with 7 time Cy Young winning pitcher Roger Clemons and New York Yankee, Johnny Damon.

Today the two Boris' played with Las Vegas actor Josh Duhamel (also Dorian Gray) and baseball catcher great Mike Piazza. We finished out of contention at -1.

Between Boris Kodjoe's supermodel and actress wife Nicky, and Boris Becker's girlfriend, and Mike Piazza's Playmate wife, we had perhaps the prettiest women in tropics following us. This was in addition to the women in the gallery following Kodjoe, Piazza and Josh Duhamel.

In the picture above, you see my caddie course book, the shirts and hats given to me to wear in the four days of the event, the Montecristo Churchill cigars which Boris Becker gave me, various golf paraphenalia from the Ocean Club of James Bond fame, and my caddie bib signed by Piazza, Duhamel, Kodjoe and Boris Becker.

And sometime soon, you will see my smiling face on Boris Becker's Facebook. I can hardly wait for this event to come back next year.

Curiouser and Curiouser - Travolta Extortion

While the celebrities at the Jordan Invitational cavort on the golf course at Paradise Island, another celebrity story is unfolding over Jett Travolta's death. It was reported that an extortion attempt was made on the John Travolta family.

Yesterday, the Bahamas police made three arrests. The first two were announced by CNN. They were the paramedic at the scene of Jett's death who snapped a cell phone pic and a lawyer/failed politician named Pleasant Bridgewater, shown below:



Bridgewater is an ex member of Parliament who lost her seat and contested the loss in election court. At the time, she was an appointed senator. She lost that bid to regain her seat. During the trial it was revealed that she absconded with $600,000 of a client's money. She was the person 'acting as a lawyer' who tried to extort the $20 million from the Travolta's.

But the curious turn, is that one of her colleagues, belonging to the same political party was ex Minister of Tourism Obie (Obediah Wilchcombe). Wilchcombe said that he was a friend of the Travolta's and even offered himself up as a guest on Larry King as a spokesman from the Bahamas. Wilchcombe is pictured below.


The strange bit is that Wilchecombe was arrested as well. Word is that he is accused of alledgedly being the decoy, mastermind or whatever in the extortion attempt. Wilchcombe has a chequered past as a journeyman media reporter, who mysteriously got rich.

Rumours are flying around. Some say that this is all a big smokescreen put up by the Church of Scientology because the information reflected poorly on some of the peculiar peccadilos of John Travolta. Others are convinced that something else is afoot, because usually the Bahamas police do not act so fast. Their other investigations relating to Anna Nicole Smith or a tourist killed by a boat flying on to the beach have been a lot less enthusiastic.

Whatever the outcome, one can be sure that this flying circus is not over. Greta Van Susteren is coming down to sort all of this out.

The Latest Pics From The Jordan Celebrity Invitational

The man everyone came out to see: Michael Jordan:
The ever popular Chris Tucker

Samuel L. Jackson striding off the green:

Pitcher Roger Clemens:

The Hall of Famer and Mr. Nice Guy Ozzie Smith:



Ken Griffey Jr. and fan:

New York Yankee Johnny Damon:


Actor Comedian Flex Alexander and volunteers:


Footballer Dwight Freeney chatting up the scorekeepers:


Basketball legend Dr. J -- Julius Erving:

Reprise of Chris Tucker:

The highest paid pitcher in baseball history CC Sabathia:


Hockey Player Brett Hull, son of hockey legend Bobby Hull:


Seven Time Wimbledon Champ and six time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker:



Gorgeous Supermodel Angie Everhart:


Tomorrow is the all celebrity tournament with special guest Bill Clinton.

Celebrity Golf II

I haven't had a chance to process my pics. It is early in the morning and I am walking to the golf course from my house (3 minutes). I will have more pics today and tomorrow.

Below is Chris Chelios, the hockey player:




Football great John Elway pitching to the green:



Samuel L Jackson putting his putter away:





The BIG LT -- Lawrence Taylor:




Gotta run. It's a beautiful day in paradise.

Celebrity Golf

Pic of my station on the 8th Hole:

Well, the Michael Jordan Invitational Golf Tournament was held in my back yard again, and I volunteered as a scorekeeper and a caddie. For the Celebrity/Amateur first two days, I am the scorekeeper on the 8th hole. I will be caddying for a celebrity on Saturday and Sunday. Celebs showing up for the final two days include ex-President Bill Clinton and a host of others.

Below is a pic of actor Josh Duhamel with some of my fellow volunteers:


Here is a list of celebrities that I have scored today:

  • Flex Alexander actor comedian,
  • Marcus Allen ex-footballer,
  • Brian Baumgartner Emmy winning actor on the show Office,
  • tennis great Boris Becker,
  • Jerome Bettis ex-footballer,
  • Brandi Chastain,
  • Chris Chelios,
  • Roger Clemens,
  • Vince Coleman baseballer,
  • Johnny Damon Yankees,
  • Richard Dent footballer,
  • Chris Doleman footballer,
  • Josh Duhamel actor,
  • John Elway,
  • Julius Erving,
  • Angie Everhart,
  • Fergie,
  • Terry Francona baseball manager,
  • Nomar Garciaparra baseballer,
  • Phil Gordon poker player,
  • Wayne Gretzky,
  • Janet Gretzky,
  • Ken Griffey Jr.,
  • Bill Guthridge basketball coach,
  • Mia Hamm soccer player,
  • Ryan Howard baseballer,
  • Brett Hull,
  • Dan Jansen,
  • Derek Jeter,
  • Michael Jordan,
  • Boris Kodjoe,
  • Toni Kukoc basketballer,
  • Sanaa Lathan actress,
  • Spike Lee,
  • Kenny Lofton,
  • Misty May-Treanor beach volleyball,
  • Joe Morgan,
  • Julianne Moore actress,
  • Charles Oakley,
  • Paul O'Neill,
  • Stone Phillips,
  • Mike Piazza,
  • Aidan Quinn actor,
  • Ahmad Rashad,
  • Kid Rock,
  • Jimmy Rollins,
  • Stuart Scott sportscaster,
  • Dean Smith basketball coach,
  • Ozzie Smith,
  • John Smoltz,
  • Lawrence Taylor,
  • Alan Thicke,
  • Gabrielle Union actress,
  • John Ventimiglia Sopranos,
  • Adrian Young drummer of No Doubt
  • 100 million dollar Yankee CC Sabathia

The real interesting part starts Saturday when I carry the bag. I hope that the coolish weather and winds lighten up. It was sunny, but a bit on the coolish side.

I clipped a pedometer to my shorts today and it registered 2.61 miles walked today.

Savings, Banks, and the Average Joe

The Royal Bank of Canada operates in this tropical paradise. It makes $300 million (US dollars) in profits annually, just in this country. A large part is due to the fact that this is a tax haven, however they do ride the backs of the local populace.

While walking home from work the other day, I found this bank statement. It is a savings account. The balance is 6 cents.

Let me add some semantic tags to this bank statement. It was pitched out of a vehicle on the bridge. That means that the owner works in the tourism industry which employs 8,500 people who must cross the bridge every day. It costs a dollar toll to cross the bridge so this was not an idle trip for someone with 6 cents in the bank.

Another semantic tag is the address of the owner, which I have obscured. It is a decent middle class address in a clean neighbourhood. There are many many bad neighbourhoods where the denizens don't even qualify for a bank account.

The other thing that gets me is the charges. There was never anything more than $100 and some dollars, yet there are two $1.00 deductions for a withdrawal fee and 50 cents for stamp tax. This stamp tax on accounts blows me away. This is supposed to be a tax haven.

The reason why I picked this up, is that this totally validates our business model. We have a stored value payment card, and a card connected to an account in our micropayments system. The fees are much less than shown in the bank account. Not only will it be easy to convert the above customer, but 70% of the people in these islands are unbanked. Our payment card should spread like wildfire.

Travolta Extortion Attempt

The world knows that John Travolta's son died of a seizure in this archipelago. There is a curious story going around these islands that hasn't really made it out to the mainstream press yet.

Apparently the local police force is investigating an extortion attempt against the Travolta's by two individuals including a politician/lawyer. The story was broken in a local paper by an unattributed source.

The islands are abuzz with gossip. The forums are speculating that an individual had the photo of the deceased (Jett) and a lawyer/politician approached the Travolta's to suppress the photo being given to the press. The politician is supposed to be a woman who lost a high profile election recount court case, and was recently accused of misappropriating client funds. Apparently this was an attempt to solve her money woes.

Whatever the truth, it is likely to be covered up, as the police force here ranks as one of the most corrupt police forces in the Caribbean.

Further news: One of the extortion attempts was by a health care worker who was shopping around photos and sensitive information about the deceased.

Wassermusik

On the fast ferry, this gentleman took out his euphonium and passed the hour and some journey from an out island back to the capital.

Amid the engine noise, he played his music for no one in particular.

Impediments to success


The above photograph is from these tropical islands. Can you guess the occupation of the woman here?

This pic sort of illustrates what I have learned about success in business. One of the biggest impediments to the success of any venture, is pre-conceived notions, or false assumptions.

Often times we embark upon a business venture or a journey, or a project or endeavour, and do not even bother to test the basic assumptions behind our reasons for doing this.

We as a group have made several mis-steps by having false assumptions. For example, we thought that WiFi connectivity was a slam dunk in these tropical islands, because it is so everywhere else. We based a business area around reliable WiFi connections. The WiFi infrastructure is pitifully deficient, and it cost us a couple of months because we assumed that it wasn't.

There are many more personal examples, both in my career and in the Lovely One's venture. Luckily, we were able to recover from the actions of proceeding on these false assumptions or pre-conceived notions.

In the picture above, look at the wheel in the foreground. It supports a circular rotating platform. It is a lighthouse, and the woman is a lighthouse keeper on the same island that Christopher Columbus first landed on in 1492.

Crab 'n Dough Recipe

In the out islands of this archipelago, we have a variety of sea life, but one of the delicacies is land crab.

These little critters are scientifically called Cardisoma guanhumi, and they burrow among the Mangroves and in low-lying broadleaf coppice where the water table is close to the surface. Once a year they leave their nests and migrate en masse to the sea to lay their eggs.


Quite literally, they hit the road. Many a squashed crab can be seen along the roads when cars zipping along at night flattening them into pavement crab cakes. However, the residents go out with a flashlight and catch them for a local delicacy called Crab 'n Dough. They also make Crab 'n Rice substituting rice for the dough.

It is quite an operation. A local woman took these pictures of the process and posted them.

After dark, one gets on the road with a flashlight and runs down the crabs. The crabs are put in a sack. When one gets a sack full of crabs, you go home and transfer them to a pen. Typically, one uses a fish trap or a lobster pot.

The crabs must be sequestered for about a week to "clean them out" They are watered and fed with fruit (they like watermelon), leaves, coconut and vegetable scraps.

This is where the process gets interesting. You take a board and break off the legs and claws and put them in a bowl.

This part takes getting used to. After the legs and claws are broken off and they are in a bowl, their eyes still follow you:

You have to scrub the crabs with a brush to remove all of the grit:

Toss all of the body bits into a pot. Throw in seasonings like salt, pepper, Old Bay Spice, hot pepper, lime juice, garlic, thyme and if you like, a pinch of corriander.

Then you make the dough. Put a couple of cups of flour, a generous pinch of salt and a teaspoon and a half of baking powder into a bowl.


Add about a half a cup of butter, margarine or shortening to the dough and incorporate until no large lumps remain. Work it thoroughly. Stir in some finely grated coconut (optional).

Add enough water to make a pliable dough. Turn out to a floured board and knead until smooth.

Shape the dough into a round that is roughly the diameter of the pot.

Add water to the pot of crabs -- just enough to come half way up the stacked crabs.

Place the dough over the crabs, and tuck it in.

Put the pot on the stove and cook for about half an hour until the dough is risen and is firm to the touch.

This is what the crab and dough looks like after it is plated:

This is what it looks like after the meal.

Even though this is a local delicacy, I much prefer the stone crab. It perhaps is the best crab that I have ever had.
Yesterday we got a bag of stone crab claws at the outdoor market, and I made a delicate stone crab linguine with hand cut pasta. It was to die for.