When dillies are "green" (ie unripe), they are formidable weapons. They are hard as rocks and perfectly round with superb aerodynamics. The kids use them as thrown projectiles.
The rest of the posts on this blog as to Karla's whereabouts can be read by following this link:
These were serious infections. I didn't have time to benchmark, or to do anything fancy. I needed a cure. There was Symantec loaded on the machine. It identified the Backdoor virus, and said that it cleaned it out, but after a reboot it detected it again (and again and again). Symantec was impotent, even after I followed the removal instructions.
I then downloaded AntiSpyware. It told me after a scan that all I had was some tracking cookies, that were of low risk. I moved on.
The download was quick. It then updated the database and the scan was blazingly quick. It then completely cleaned the machine in one pass. I then tried it on another computer, and it found a virus in an ISO image that wasn't even activated yet.
As part of the thank you, the tournament organisers hold a tournament for us, the volunteers on the same course -- The One and Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Lucky for me, it is just two blocks from my house.
The course is long and open. Some of the views of the ocean are exhilerating. Here are the members of my foursome:
Another member of our foursome assesses his second fairway shot on a long par five.
This tropical paradise isn't a tropical paradise in some sections. Crime is systemic, endemic and pandemic when you have an economy based on tourism, a downturn in the economy, and a marginalised, poorly socialised, functionally illiterate population of over a quarter of million crammed onto an island 21 miles by 7 miles and a lot of it is brackish swamp.
A major hotel laid off 1,500 workers and many people sell pre-paid phone cards on the street to make ends meet. Here is an email that is circulating in these islands:
Yesterday at 2:30pm, my friend was returning home from taking her 4 month old puppy to the vet and as she was getting out of her car in Camperdown to go into her house, she was attacked by a man who came through the trees and demanded her handbag.
She was holding onto the leash as he threw her to the ground, and as he struggled to get the bag, the retractable leash broke and he ran away with her handbag AND her beloved puppy.
Nation-building is tough in a place where most of the populace is complacent and inertia reigns supreme.
- Quote: "Who can afford to go to church these days?"
- Quote: "I stopped going to clubs because I am tired of running for my life."
- Our assumptions about the unbanked in this country have been validated. Only 30% have access to cheques, and banks accounts.
- Quote: "My cell phone is an extension of my body."
- Sixty-five percent of the higher socio-economic group use their cell phones as alarm clocks.
- 100% of the focus group members, both of the lower and higher socio-economic groups have cells phones.
- Only 30% of the lower socio-economic group were fully employed (ie. not part time or casual)
- Only a very small percentage of people eat a formal breakfast.
- The average person eats out at least once a day.
Watching these proceedings was more interesting than watching TV.
I had just returned to the boat with my spearfish and my catch, from the nearby reef. I stretched out in the sun as the warm rays dried me off. The capricious zephyrs rocked the boat and me with it. And once again "Lyrics for your Life" ran through my stream of conciousness. "Lyrics for your life" is something that happens inside my head. I can encapsulate any life situation with song lyrics. At the particular moment that I snapped this pic, it was Cheryl Crow:
When she opened it an peered inside, this is what she saw:
However just the day before, Monica bought her lunch at Mrs. Ramsey's Mobile Canteen parked on Kemp Road near East Bay Street in Nassau, adjacent to the Esso On the Run Station.
Monica ordered barbecued ribs and rice. She had an extra Cracker Jack-like prize included. It was a tasty protein morsel of roach in sauce:
The Bahamians have a saying "Roach on yer Bread" or 'getting roached'. It means that someone else is having sex with your spouse or significant other.
Roach on yer rice is something different. According to the Terminex commercial, roaches carry 33 communicable diseases. In this tropical roach paradise, there are no real health inspections for mobile food canteens. They are not even licenced. That is why I prefer to buy my food from the supermarket and prepare it myself.
- It is not apparent whether the name is male or female.
- I think that the pronunciation is Kiley. It reminds me of the woman who named her child La-A, pronounced LaDasha
- Team sports is a good aim. Obesity among children is rampant on this tropical isle where peas 'n rice is a staple, a cultural icon and comfort food.
- Crafts and Archery are also admirable.
Then we come to the Bible as an activity. All of the other activities are sports or movement or creative. The Bible as an activity sticks out like a sore thumb.
One must remember that these isles are a Third World country. There is developmental impairment. When you divide the number of AIDS and HIV cases by the population, you get one in every 33 suffering from this infliction. Seventy-five percent of the families are single-mother households with multiple children by multiple partners. Rarely do the mothers get child support.
Gambling is illegal, yet even police frequent the ubiquitous numbers houses. Corruption is endemic. Incest and sex crimes are off the register. And there is a church on every corner. The pastors drive Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Jaguars, and one "Bishop" Neil Ellis of Mount Tabor has a private jet. This is in a third world country.
So you have to excuse my cynical comments when I see the Bible as an activity. It is just another way of unempowering the poor masses. When 1,500 workers were let go from the largest hotel complex on the island, the religious leaders told their congregrations that they fully expected 10% tithes from the lay-off packages, even though the poor workers faced dismal job prospects with the downturn in the economy.
Now, for this idea, I have to admit that it is not my idea. The idea belongs to Mike, who is the captain of the super-yacht called the Destiny (I have profiled the Destiny earlier in this blog).
Here in the hot tropics, a beer bottle cooler is a must unless you gulp your beer in nano-seconds. Otherwise you will be drinking warm, insipid beer much like in an old English pub. So Mike puts on the foam rubber cooler that cools and insulates the cold beer. However, his problem is that he sets his beer down, and then after a few minutes cannot find it. That isn't a problem for most of us, but you have to remember that Mike's boat is over a hundred feet long and has a jacuzzi.
So Mike wants me to invent a beer bottle cooler with a clapper like device, that when you clap or whistle, it responds.
I upped him. I want to put a small device on the pull ring (waterproof of course) that not only sounds out where the bottle is, but has a couple of other functions. One of them is an MP3 player so that you can have music when drinking your beer.
The second thing is a sensor at the bottom that tells you when you are nearing empty -- something like an electronic gas guage, all connected of course to the audio warning system.
I have all sorts of ideas that need inventing. To see some of them, click on this link:
There are remarkable advantages. You have an incredibly large finger bowl to wash to your hands. The dishes can be washed right at the table. There are no flies. And the little fishes swim around and take care of the crumbs. Once in a while, they take a nip of a hair on your leg, but that is okay.
Yesterday was Independence Day in these tropics and once again me and some of my friends had a barbeque on a private island beach.
Even when you poke the veneer of men like President Obama and President Sarkozy of France, you will find that they are basically horn dogs.
In a similar vein, I got the following in an email. Students in these tropics have to write a general knowledge BGCSE Examination (Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education). Here are some actual questions and answers collected by the teachers:
Q: Name the four seasons.
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar
Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutant like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoetists.
Q. How is dew formed?
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.
Q. What causes the tides in the ocean?
A. The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and Nature hates a vacuum.
Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
A. If you are buying a house, they will insist you are well endowed.
Q. In a democratic society, how important is elections? (don’t you mean “how important ARE elections, apparently not only the students need saving here).
A. Very important. Sexy can only happen when a make gets an election.
Q. What are steroids?
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.
Q. What happens to your body as you age?
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.
Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.
Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
.A. Premature death.
Q. What is artificial insemination?
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow.
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
A. Keep it in the cow.
Q. How are the main parts of the body categorized? (Eg. abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into three parts – the brainium, the borax, the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and the lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowes AEIO and U.
Q. What is the Fibula?
A. A small lie.
Q. What does ‘varicose’ mean?
Q. What is the most common form of birth control?
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.
Q. Give the meaning of the term “Caesarian Section.”
A. The caesarian section is a district in Rome.
Q. What is a seizure?
A. A roman emperor.
Q. What is a terminal illness?
A. When you are sick at the airport.
Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp areas and they look like umbrellas.
Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight.
Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Sheik wears on his head.
Queen of the Prom
Look for the black thing in the center of the picture.
Moseying across the lawn.
You can see how big this black bear is.
Kind of makes one look over your shoulder or whistle in the dark when we are walking around at night at home. There are bears here in the tropics, but they are the human kind.
With a BMW, you cannot cut a key. The key knows the car and the car knows the key. I had phoned a local lock company, and they said that they had the software to help and they stated confidently that they could get the Beamer re-keyed. They gave up after two days, citing that the car was a right hand drive.
I phoned all of the BMW dealers in Miami. All to no avail. My local mechanic has a machine to do it, but the software is in German. He is struggling. The car is at the airport, accumulating charges at about $10 per day.
Finally in desperation, I phone home. In this case it is Otto's BMW Center in Ottawa Canada. I am put through to to Bob in service. He tells me to fax my driver's licence and ownership and I will have the key in 5 days. I fax him the stuff. The car serial number on the bill of sale is wrong. I go to the airport, but the VIN or serial number is not visible in the windshield like the North American cars. The days are ticking by. I do not know what to do. In desperation, I phone my mechanic, Lee of Lee's Motors on Abundant Life Road here in Nassau. He has recorded the VIN number of our BMW.
In the meantime, I am truly stuck. I have to get back and forth to the airport to commute to Freeport. I have to get to work. It is summertime here and truly too hot to walk. Taxis are hellishly expensive. In the tropics, we have probably the highest taxi fares in the world. It costs double digits just to go a few miles.
Along come our neighbours Yves and Sonia. They are fellow Canadians. Their spirit of generosity is overwhelming. They fed me. They took the Lovely One to the airport for her trip home. And they lent me a Mustang to get around the island until my key arrives, which should be late this week. They probably think that I have stolen their car.
But there is more. I opened the trunk of the Mustang to put some groceries in, and I almost burst into tears with homesickness. There was a pair of ice skates. When in Canada, I kept my skates in the trunk of my car. It is such a Canadian thing to do. In Ottawa, we have an 8 kilometer stretch of the Rideau Canal that freezes over and it is the world's longest skating rink.
Yves et Sonia, merci infiniment de votre esprit de générosité. J'apprécie vraiment votre amitié. Vous avez été de bons voisins dans cette période des difficultés. Merci encore.
This past week in Freeport, I have never really been dry. If I didn't get rained on, then it is hot and muggy and soon I am dripping sweat to the point that my shirt is soaking wet. There hasn't been any in-between normal weather that is the hallmark of the Caribbean Basin. I haven't been swimming on the beach in close to a week.
The marked difference from this time last year, is the intense and almost constant thunderstorms and violent rain showers here in the tropics. It certainly is not dry. This has an added dimension for me, because I spend a lot of time in small airplanes commuting back and forth to Freeport from Nassau. They are the plane rides from hell.
The pilots fly by the seat of their pants, twisting and turning the plane to avoid the severe turbulence inside the anvil column of a thunderstorm cell. The ride is still bumpy and scarey. There have been several moments where the plane drops and your stomach is in your throat. When the plane starts to fly again, the jolt is sharp like a huge bump.
As I write this, it is raining in Nassau, and I hear the thunder. It is gray and dreary outside. The only one happy about this, is the mocking bird in the palm canopy, singing his heart out.
Anti- fundamentalists threw a decapitated pig into the grounds, desecrating the mosque. Riots ensued. People were killed. The name of the town where this happened is appropriately named Mysore.
How is this relevant to me in the tropics? Tonight, I had to go through airport security. I even had to remove my shoes, because the .20 Euro pieces in my penny loafers were causing the metal detector to buzz. I got to thinking that all of these measures were in place because Muslim fundamental terrorists try to blow up themselves and airplanes to kingdom come.
I immediately thought of a cheaper way to protect airports and airplanes from muslim terrorists. I had read that Muslims avoid pigs even more than Jews. Jews do not eat pig. Muslims do not even touch them. It was said that the chief hijacker of September 11th was so devout, that he did not even eat Jello for fear of consuming pork by-products.
So here is the plan how to make airports safe from muslim attack, and not having to do expensive screening. The idea is simplicity in itself. Everyone has to queue up and swear on a slab of bacon that they are not a terrorist. The fundamentalists would not even touch the pig for fear of not going to heaven when they detonated the bomb strapped to them.
As you can see from the above illustration, this plan is highly workable. And the benefit is that your hands can flavour the cardboard tasting peanuts that they give you on the aircraft. The only fly in the oinkment, is the possibility of swine flu. But I am working on that.