Bob Marley Resort Nassau

Bob Marley's wife Rita runs an upscale resort on Cable Beach in Nassau the Bahamas. It is a high dollar funky little boutique resort. The style is rattan colonial with woven palm thatch roofs, and interiors that look like a cross between Bombay Company and tropical manor houses.

The resort is secluded and wooded with a series of buildings in a verdant garden with paths to each building. The path to the restaurant and bar has a small stream running through it with stepping stones reminiscent of Duns River Falls in Jamaica.

A bunch of friends invited us to go and dine outdoors and listen to the music. The musicians were wonderful and talented, however the genre of music was oldies on morphine. Several Bob Marley cover songs were done in incredibly slow time. It was reggae muzak elevator music.

The bar was a happening place and looks like a convivial place for drinks.

There were only four entree items on the restaurant menu and the jerk chicken roulade was the most inexpensive at $36 dollars. In short, the place is a total cash-ectomy -- surgical removal of all of your money. They were out of the two white wines that I chose, and I had to go with a $40 bottle of Chardonnay that goes for $9 in the liquor store up the street.

The food was tasty. There wasn't enough heat in the jerk chicken for my taste, and the portions were adequate, but on the sparse side.

The surroundings and ambiance are nice. One of the rooms in the hotel is dedicated to Bob and has pictures of him, his white father, various people in his life and one of his Gibson guitars hanging on the wall.

All in all, it was a nice evening, but the negative factor was the high cost of the food, that wasn't reflected in the taste or value. I would say that if you don't mind spending the cash, it is an okay place. The rooms start at over $200 a night, so bring two wallets.

in other news,

Yesterday was a watershed day for the blog. I had over 7,000 hits, and at 9:00 AM this morning, I was already at 2,100 for the day. Thank you.

The World Discovers Cosmological Cabbage -- For Now

These are my numbers at noon today. The world has somehow virally discovered Cosmological Cabbage. What I have learned, is that these blips are transient -- here today, gone tomorrow.

However these thing are interesting. I have tenfold the hits hat I had on Sunday. Now if I wasn't in a tropical country with currency restrictions, I could monetize the blog.

For now, I just have one message: Welcome to Cosmological Cabbage.


After the three day noreaster blew over, I went walking along the beach to see what the tides brought it. I was amazed at the amounts of flotsam and jetsam that the tides brought in.

Notably, there was a lot of footwear. Most of it were singles, but I did find a pair of running shoes that someone left behind. I also found a pair of swim glasses. Mixed with this, was a whole lot of garbage.

I was reminded of the recycle operation on the Indian Ocean. A group of Kenyan people collect the flip flops that wash up on the coast and craft them into jewelry, sculptures and toys. The youtube video of this successful operation can be seen by clicking this link:

My Evening With A Nobel Laureate

I received a treasured invitation from one of my fellow directors who sits on our board of directors. We are invited to a lecture given by Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, here in Nassau. I have never been in the presence of a Nobel Laureate.

This is particularly eventful for the Lovely One, because there is a dearth of culture and cultural events here in the Bahamas.

The Nobel Laureate is Derek Walcott, a poet from St. Lucia. Here is an excerpt from his biography from Wikipedia:

Derek Alton Walcott (born January 23, 1930) is a Caribbean poet, playwright, writer and visual artist. Born in Castries, St. Lucia, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.

His work, which developed independently of the schools of magic realism emerging in both South America and Europe at around the time of his birth, is intensely related to the symbolism of myth and its relationship to culture. He is best known for his epic poem Omeros, a reworking of Homeric story and tradition into a journey around the Caribbean and beyond to the American West and London.

Walcott founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959, which has produced his plays (and others) since that time, and remains active with its Board of Directors. He also founded Boston Playwrights' Theatre at Boston University in 1981 with the hope of creating a home for new plays in Boston, Massachusetts. Walcott retired from teaching poetry and drama in the Creative Writing Department at Boston University in 2007. In fall 2009, he will commence a three year distinguished scholar in residence position at University of Alberta. He continues to give readings and lectures throughout the world. He divides his time between his home in the Caribbean and New York City.

New Food Invention -- Sour Apple Cranberries

Over the weekend, I was whipping up some fruit salad. In a previous blog entry (that you can read here ), I told you about how I discovered that one can add zing to a fruit salad by dumping in a little sour apple schnapps.

My fruit salad was chiefly yellow and orange fruit. To add a little colour I threw in some dried cranberries and topped the whole thing off with a jigger of Sour Apple schnapps. That's when the eureka moment hit. What would happen if you soaked or pickled some dried cranberry in the sour apple schnapps. I had to try it out.

I got a little pimento jar and jammed it full of dried cranberries. I filled it to the rim with sour apple schnapps, and put it in the fridge. A few hours later I tried one.

The cranberries absorbed the schnapps and it was delicious. The taste and apple and cranberry goes together well. I could see this as a dessert topping, going into fruitcakes, and being whipped into ice cream. I am willing to bet that you will see this new food invention in the marketplace. Apples and cranberries are a natural.

Who are the winners in the recession?

Who are the winners in the economic recession? Obviously those who can afford to play golf at over $200 a round at the exclusive One and Only Ocean Club.

Readers will know that I sometimes collect corporate golf balls on the beach off the 17th hole. I find less and less corporate golf balls, and that is what I call the Cosmological Cabbage Economic Indicator or the CCEI.

So when the CCEI points down, who are the winners? Some financial firms and lawyers! I had to laugh to myself when the first ball that I picked up was from Goldman Sachs. Fine & Deo are exclusive condominium lawyers from Toronto Canada. The good life rolls on for the chosen few.

All Creatures Great and Small

If you have ever walked along a tropical beach and seen a hole dug by a crab, the above pic is what the denizen of the that hole looks like.

They motor along sideways, and can go at a tremendous clip for short distances (outrunning me).

I was on the beach photographing the surf from the noreaster that was blowing, and this crab was rummaging around for food among the bits of seaweed thrown up the surf. I blocked his route to his burrow in the beach, and he stood still long enough for me to photograph while he was evaluating the situation.

Eventually he made a beeline for the surf, and hid under some rocks in the tidal pool.

Cell Phone Processing -- I did it

We have a money card in the marketplace. We also have a card with electronic vouchers that makes an all-inclusive island vacation possible.

Several of our merchants are not connected to a credit card terminal. You need to be connected to take our card. My solution was to write a program to process them manually over a telephone. The merchant would phone in with the card numbers and an operator would process them on the merchant's behalf.

I came to the realization that the days of the credit card terminal may be limited. Many cash registers have the card swipe capability already embedded. Credit card terminals have a monthly fee attached to them, and many merchants do not want to pay it. However everyone has a cell phone, and that became the focus of attention.

It didn't take me long to develop the technology. We are unleashing this shortly on this island nation. I love it when a plan comes together.

Winds of (Weather) Change Still Blowing

For the third day in a row, a strong noreaster is blowing. I caught this kiteboarder yesterday near Saunders Beach.

I got into the ocean today. The surf was about 4-5 feet high. About twenty yards out the chop was only two-three feet high. Swimming was rough. It was hard as well with the continuous bobbing up and down.

The folks at the office loved the change in weather. The windows were opened for the first time in months and the air conditioning was turned off. The security guards are all wearing ski jackets and toques in the evening. Fall weather has finally hit.

Adding Zing to a Fruit Salad

I am ever the experimenter by nature. I have accidentally discovered how to really add zest and zip to a fruit salad. Here is the back story:

A house guest of ours that was coming to dinner, remarked that she liked Appletini's. To make an appletini, one needs sour apple schnapps. I bought some. Booze is cheap here and I think that the bottle cost me $12. Our guest never did have the appletini. The bottle sat on the liquor shelf. My youngest daughter cracked the bottle and used a couple of ounces for some of her drinks when she stayed at our house in the tropics for a week.

Yesterday I made a fruit salad out of pineapple, mango, grapes and oranges. I wanted something to tie all of the flavours together so I threw in a jigger of the Sour Apple Schnapps. That was the ticket. It made the fruit salad. It has a bit of sugar as well in it, so everything came together nicely.

I have just found a way to use the rest of the bottle. Appletini's are bubble gum drinks that are gross. They are a waste of alcohol.

No Ocean No Swim Today

The weather has changed drastically today. The sun doesn't want to shine anymore, and the whole day has been mostly slate grey.

The ocean is roily and wild with a decent surf and continuous offshore winds. The waves were breaking way out offshore, and the breakers were pounding the beach in dramatics sprays.

The above pic was snapped in an area called Sandyport on the way to the airport.

Spearfishing Notes

I went spearfishing for the first time in a long while. It was good to get back on the reef. For the longest while, my ocean recreation involved swimming a half-mile stretch of Cabbage Beach every night after work.

Equipment-wise, my mask and snorkel were previously used by guests and I didn't have the right adjustments that I feel comfortable with. My fins were standing on end indoors and had a slight curve to them. And I left the rubber launcher part of my Hawaiian sling on a private island, so I was using a new one. The surgical rubber is new and has a heavier pull weight. The ocean was choppy, and the visibility wasn't that great, but it was okay.

The first thing that I saw was a barracuda. It was a juvenile. Barracuda have a certain allure here. As the top predators in the food chain, one can be poisoned with ciguatera toxin by eating mature fish. Ciguatera is a neurotoxin and ingesting it results in a range of symptoms from death, to permanent disability, to partial disability lasting years, to flu-like symptoms and painful sex. It is a nasty poison. It is the Caribbean equivalent of fugu poisoning by eating sushi from the puffer fish in Japan.

However barracuda is a delicacy in the tropics. I was invited by the Jamaican ambassador (who sits on the board of our sister company) to share barracuda fried over a wood fire with the West Indies Cricket team the next time they practice at Haynes Oval. I have a Japanese acquaintance who is a dive master with a local diving company. He is the zen of all spearfishers (he can hold his breath for something close to three minutes), and he told me that barracuda were safe to take and eat if they were less than or equal to the length of your forearm. I have seen barracuda both at Jaws Beach and Snorkeller's Reef that were as large as me.

So I see this juvenile barracuda. I'm thinking "What the hell -- let's shoot this thing. You only live once" (I hope that the Lovely One isn't reading this). A juvenile barracuda is no broader than a ruler and a difficult target to hit. To top it off, my Hawaiian sling has a weird feel to it, because the sling is new. I line up the shot and I miss.

The interesting thing is that the barracuda knows that it is the apex predator. It ducks the spear and turns right around fascinated by it. No fear. I retrieve the spear, fire again and miss. Again it moves in to examine the spear. It finally swims off because it gets spooked by me.

A tasty jack swims by. I load up, and the jack is quite curious. It swims to me. I line up and fire and of course miss. The jack is no fool. It was curious until it was shot at. Once it saw the spear coming, it high-tailed it out of Dodge.

I did see a spotted grouper that I fired at again, but it is hard to fire the spear at the fish as it swims between your legs.

I did shoot a small bottom feeder. The kitties thoroughly enjoyed it.

Weather Report

It is quite pleasing to still have hot weather. Back home they have had the first snow, and now there is frost almost every night.

Here in Nassau, we still get quite warm days (90 degrees or 30 degrees C), and Cabbage Beach is still eminently swimmable.

One of the benefits of the tropics, is the extremely stable weather from day to day -- except for the hurricane bits.

The Black Swan

Further on the Cosmological Cabbage Book Club (CCBC) I am finally reading "The Black Swan" in its entirety". It is tough slogging and hard to read. This was because of a highly technical style of writing that is sometimes ornate. Not really ornate, but rather disruptive. While stressing a point over a whole chapterette, there are various segues and detours drawn from history and philosophy. The anecdotes are clever, however their connections to Taleb's points are rather abstruse.

The premise of the book is that human history and events are fraught with "Black Swans" or highly random unpredictable events which cannot be forecast. Examples include 9/11 and various stock market crashes -- indeed the entire human history.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb was a quant -- a person who works in finance using numerical or quantitative techniques. He really wants to be a philosopher, and couches his writing in philosophical terms such as "the Platonic fold" and epistomology and stuff.

I found myself simultaneously agreeing vigorously with him and getting mad at him. Perhaps it is akin to the atheist throwing off the whole frame of reference of a devout theist. Perhaps it is jealousy because it is the kind of book that I would have liked to write. I have about a tenth of the book left to read.

The single biggest point that I got out of the book so far, is that it is not a bad strategy to buy lottery tickets. Don't expect to win, but to put yourself in the game that you might win if the high improbable happens -- which it does every day according to Taleb.

Update: Instead of Black Swans, my contention that it is possible to have observant turkeys. If you are at all interested in this concept, click on the label "The Observant Turkey" or click HERE.

My Twitter Moments

I am not on Twitter. However, if I was, here is a sampling of the tweets that I would have had:

1) Holy Moley. I am in a secure data vault containing the servers of all the Bahamas offshore banks. The IRS would love to be here.

2) Holey Moley. The chief justice of the Bahamas court is on the plane to Canada. He is given preferential treatment and no one checks his ID. He boards long before anyone.

3) Holey Moley. The chief justice of the Bahamas court is on the plane to Nassau. How the hell did he get aboard? I didn't see him in the departure lounge.

4) Holey Moley. You can store a lot of crap on an 8 GB USB stick. It cost me $12 in Ottawa. A 2 GB stick in Nassau is US$ 75.00.

5) Holey Moley. Nassau is the only place I know where technology infrastructure stops working for a while then self heals.

6) Holey Moley. While shopping at a discount store in Wakefield Quebec, I got a free can of coffee for spending over $30. The only thing free while shopping in Nassau is a new dent in the BMW.

7) See the IGA above. It is in a little place in Farm Point, Quebec, Canada. It has a wider range of groceries than all of the grocery stores in Nassau put together.

Autumn Leaves

I have just returned to the tropics from a quick stay in Canada for Canadian Thanksgiving. Yesterday, the first frost glazed the windows with ice. The leaves have all changed colours and are dropping to the ground. The trees are bare again as the land girds for winter.

Upon arrival yesterday, the first thing that I did, was swim Cabbage Beach. The temperature on Paradise Island was 30 degrees Celsius, or about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It is nice to have your feet in both places.

Canadian Thanksgiving

The blog is on hiatus. I am returning to Canada to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with friends and family this weekend. See you next week.

My Coconut Crop

The title is a phrase that I never thought that I would use -- my coconut crop.

Pictured above is the coconut palm tree on the north side of our patio. The coconuts are huge and ripe. They are ready for the picking. The problem is that I don't know how to get them down.

They are at least 20 feet in the air. I don't have a ladder that high. Certainly I am not going to climb the tree. We didn't get one good blow during hurricane season which is almost over. That usually brings some down.

I suppose that I will have to wait for nature to take its course. Someday I will get around to moving our barbecue which is directly under the coconut tree. It could get some serious dings from the falling coconuts.

How to Rejuvenate Pineapple

We had some pineapple sitting around in the fruit bowl. When I got around to cutting it up, it was a little past its prime. On top of that, it was way too immature when it was picked, and so it never developed the sugars that it should have.

When I did cut it up, it was a little bland, and because of the lack of sugars, tasted soapy. I wasn't going to toss it because there was essentially nothing wrong with it. It was just a little flat.

I cut it up and put the spears in a freezer bag. I squeezed the juice of an entire lime on it. Then I took an ounce of golden rum and dissolved three teaspoons of powdered sugar in it. I dumped it all over the pineapple, sealed it up, and put it in the fridge for a day or two.

The pineapple, after marinating was absolutely delicious.

Make Up yer Mind

Take a look at the above spam advertising. They can't even get their numbers straight on the same webpage. And I am supposed to click on it? It is time there was truth in advertising on the web.

One True Sentence

I was reading Ernest Hemmingway's biography. He wanted to write the "one true sentence". He wrote six as writing practice. These are the true sentences that sprang to mind as we were walking from the beach from our morning swim.

He roared past us in a car with a spoiler on it that cost more than the car itself.
He replaced the muffler with a resonator to give the engine a throaty roar.
He had urban hip-hop blasting from the speakers.
He has a sticker that says "No Fear" on the back of the car.
He has a decal of Bob Marley toking a joint on the side of the car.
He had to brake every 250 yards for the speedbumps but roared on fearlessly fast to the next one.
He works in the hotel laundry.

This is my short story for today.

Social Anthropology Experiment Part III

I have already posted two social anthropology experiments and they get quite a few hits. Here is my third. It is also an experiment in thin-slicing.

Look at these people. Can you guess what they all have in common.

Hint: It is an occupation.

To see my other anthropology experiments click on the following link:

All is not well in Paradise

Crime is a grave matter.

The following email is circulating in the Bahamas:

Women Being Followed

There have been more than a few women who have been followed by the following car. The police say that they have recieved many complaints about a:

DARK GREEN HONDA CIVIC license plate # 203377, left hand drive. The complaints are all the same. Two guys, one with dreads (dread locks) and the other wears Oakley-like shades. A lot of the complaints have come from the west, but a few are now coming from the east.

Please be on the lookout for this vehicle. Two women were followed from Paradise Island on Tuesday evening. One they followed to her house in blair and tried to break her car glass with a gun, but she got away and went to the poloce station, whilst there a complaint came in about a robbery by assailants of the same description.

Please be on the lookout and ladies, PLEASE BE AWARE as you drive, who is driving behind you and your surroundings when you get to your house.

Let's try to pass this email on, because they are not publishing this information in the papers.

Because of the recession, property crimes (and murder) is at an all time high in this country. All is not well in Paradise.