Found on Road Part II

As previously iterated, the pics below represent what I found on a country road on my walk to one of my remote offices. The last iteration had a dead rodent body among other things.  This section of road was more in the line of consumables packaging.

 It was roughly a mile walk and this documents the flotsam and jetsam of humanity in that lonely mile.

 Lays Potato Chips.  Baked not fried.  Better for you, but the bags ain't that good for the environment.  The bag was resting on some wild strawberry plants.

Beer.  The universal lubricant of blue collar society.  This beer is Moose Light, which could be appropriate because it is not unknown for moose to live in the part of the country where the can was photographed.  It would be ironic if a moose drank some Moose Light.

And finally, another drug of choice for society -- cigarettes.  I was mesmerized by the warning photo of the woman.  Either she is a vampire, or she was aghast at the empty package being thrown on a bed of clover.  Note that there are no four-leaf clovers in the photo.  You may want to click on the photo to enlarge it and see the woman's gums all eaten away from smoking.  She has quite of set of vampire teeth.  I bet that she is a hit a parties.  People pay her to smile.

There is still more to this series.  Stay tuned.

Late Summer Hay Field

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As Labor Day approaches, the final cut of hay for the summer is baled and ready for transport.  Late summer is special.  You just know that this is the final hurrah for the year and it is a particularly beautiful time.

Torture in the Bahamas

Some Cuban refugees trying to make it to the United States landed in the Bahamas.  They were taken to the detention center.  Five of them escaped.  They were recaptured and tortured by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force marines. They were severely beaten to within an inch of their lives for one person.

The Cuban community in South Florida took up their cause.  The Bahamas Foreign Minister, Fred Mitchell, lied to the press and Florida community about the incident.  He then quietly deported the witnesses back to Cuba so that they could not speak about the atrocities that they suffered in the Bahamas.  The Prime Minister is burying his head in the sand, hoping this will go away.

Think that the Bahamas is a good place to vacation.  Think again.  Human rights abuse is rampant in the island nation.  It is plain wrong, an ethical travesty and a reflection of the moral compass of the Government of the Bahamas.  The man's name pictured above is Yordan Berta Cantero.

Found on Road Part I

Recently I found myself working at a remote office, about a mile and some from where I was staying.  I elected to walk to the office every morning.  Naturally I had my camera along.  I decided to document found things on the road in that mile.  This is part one.  Each part will have 2 or three photos.

The very first thing that I saw that caught my eye was a dead starnose mole. (click for larger image on all images),
According to Wikipedia, the star nose is a bunch (eleven, I think) little finger-like appendages with a lot of nerve endings.  Since the mole lives underground, these are like feelers and sniffers combined into one.  It is sort of like a sensory navigation tool while underground.

The very next thing that I saw, just a few feet away was a discarded banana peel with a bit of banana left in it.
Yes we have no bananas.

Proceeding down the road, I saw this washcloth.  Why would someone be carrying a washcloth and why would they jettison it out the window?

I thought that perhaps it might have been used to wipe a baby's derriere after some crap delivery, but it didn't appear to be soiled.  Why would someone pitch it?  One of life's small mysteries.

To be continued.

Human Rights Abuse in the Bahamas

Someone should call Amnesty International.  The Bahamas is one brutal place and it is getting worse.  Because of its geographic location, it is the epicenter of human trafficking, drug trafficking and all sorts of financial perfidy.  The government is corrupt to the bone.  The Bahamas have been independent for 40 years,  and from 1973 to 1992, the founding Prime Minister, Lyndon Pindling ran drugs to the United States.  The current government is no better.  They are led by a weak, ineffectual prime minister and his cabinet is a kleptocracy of thieves, vote-buyers and low-lifes.  It is no wonder that the social fabric of the Bahamas is unraveling.

Some Cuban refugees landed illegally in the Bahamas on their way to the United States.  They were rounded up and put in a detention center and an inhumane jail.  They made a futile escape effort and were re-caught.  The Bahamian guards beat them severely.  The above is a picture submitted to the government, showing their wounds.  The foreign minister, a man named Fred Mitchell, lied to the Cuban American groups trying to save them.  He had them immediately deported to Cuban, so that there were no witnesses to the human rights atrocities committed by Bahamians.  All the while, he was telling the Americans that they were still in the Bahamas, undergoing due process.

The Bahamas is going downhill fast.  Here are the headlines from yesterday's paper:

  • Cuban Injury Picture Showing A Man's Whipped Back 'Is Genuine'
  • Dengue fever alert in Florida
  • Teenager gunned down outside house
  • 14-year-old boy drowned in pond
  • Marine's death is thought to be suicide
  • THREE DEAD in 48 hours of violence
  • Man dies after being thrown from car

It's not a pretty picture.  So what is one to do if one wants to enjoy, live and work in the tropics?  The answer is the Cayman Islands.  It is one of the most civilized places in the Caribbean and they welcome you with open arms.  Here is a pic of Seven Mile Beach that I took:

It's truly better in the Cayman Islands, and that is where you will find me.

Stool Sample -- Poop in an Envelope

These days, if you go for a medical checkup and the doctor wants a stool specimen or a stool sample to perform tests, they give you an envelope.  You actually have to put your crap in an envelope.  The instructions are hilarious.  Do not mail your crap.  Who would even think of mailing crap?

When I first saw this envelope, my thought was that it was not big enough.  The second thought that came to mind was that this was going to be a messy affair.  The third thought was that the outside of the envelope was not going to be very pristine after the filling operation.  Then, there was no way that I was going to lick the envelope to close it.  I knew that they were going to test my poop, but I sure as heck wasn't going to do the taste test.

I think that they should give you poop buckets for samples, like the ones that KFC comes in.  They would be easier to fill and you just snap the lid on.

Moonlight Serenade Graphics

Yesterday, Google had a Google Doodle for Clair de Lune by Debussy.  It was well done.  It inspired me to make a doodle for Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller which is my personal favorite moonlight song.  I had a pic of a moonless night.  It was a time exposure of the hills around a Scottish loch.  I put a moon in it, along with reflection on the water using photoshop, and I found the music below on Youtube.  Enjoy.



Google Street-View Hottie

I wanted to look up a place, so I went to Google Maps.  After I satisfied myself as to where this particular piece of geography was, I zoomed in on the downtown region and found myself in Google Maps Street View.  I looked around and drove around for a few seconds and this caught my eye.  This was a bona fide Street-View hottie.

I had seen the website "Caught on Google" where people were caught by the Google cameras in unflattering positions.  Perhaps this is a whole new category -- StreetView Hotties.

Prince William Bites His Nails

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Prince William and Kate Middleton had their baby George who is heir to the throne after his father.  I know that going through the birth of your child is a hair-raising experience, but I never thought that Prince William was a nail biter.  Check out the photos above.

North Korean Smartphone -- World Exclusive

The bozos running North Korea say that they have invented a new smartphone.  In the picture above from the North Korean News Agency, the pimply-faced Kim Jung Whatever is examining the phone.  Interestingly enough, analysts say that the pics are staged and there are no pics of any manufacturing -- just inspection of phones in styrofoam containers.  The phones are actually made in China and shipped to North Korea.

A telling point is that the bum boys that follow the dear leader around all have pens and paper and notebooks to capture the words dripping from the greasy jowls of the leader.  That is an indication of the state of technology.  Someone should tell dear leader to lose the Elvis pompadour.

Anyway, in a world exclusive, we bring you an actual photo of the North Korean Smartphone.  It is shown below:

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Tire Fire At The Bahamas Dump

If you are at all a fan of The Simpsons, you know about the ongoing tire fire.  It is part of the Springfield scene and has been burning for years.  It is a cultural icon.

Well, the Bahamas is now is the same league.  The dump burns with amazing regularity and it is like Old Faithful.  This week, they have a stubborn tire fire that still has not been put out.

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As you can see, the smoke billows across the island of New Providence.  The island is only 18 miles long and 7 miles wide and it houses over 300,000 people.  The Minister of Health is warning that people with respiratory problems should stay indoors.  I would imagine that the burgers from the Burger King shown here don't taste good.

In contrast to a fire on the continent, you can drive somewhere to get a whiff of clean air.  It is impossible to do that on a small island.

Illiteracy in the Bahamas

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You have often heard me rail about illiteracy in the Bahamas.  The Bahamas gained independence in 1973, and the first Prime Minister was Lynden Pindling who was a drug runner.  His government was for sale, and he sold the country to the Columbian cocaine cartels.  He enriched himself immeasurably and the rest of the Bahamas suffered.  One act of his government, was to fire the qualified British teachers and replace them with under-qualified Bahamian teachers.   

As a result, the Queen's English is virtually unknown and a majority of the teachers have a thick Bahamian patois that breaks rules of grammar.  For example, recently one party was ejected from the House of Assembly. They broke out signs saying "Bahamas be for Bahamians".  

Most of the 3,000 or so school-leavers (high school graduates) are illiterate and have no math skills.  The socio-economic fabric of the Bahamas has unraveled.

The latest incarnation of this endemic and systematic illiteracy was in the local newspaper.  In the above picture, you have the current Prime Minister, the deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the widow of the drug-running founding Prime Minister and others.  They are gathered to dedicate a street to an educator named Frank Edgecombe.  There is one problem that all are blithely unaware of.  Take a look at the sign.  The honoree's name is spelled wrong.  The "b" is missing because in the vernacular, it is unsounded in Mr. Edgecombe's name.  No one appears to notice or have shame over the illiteracy.  It is situation normal.

1927 Ford Model T

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I found this 1927 Ford Model T in Niagara wine country on the Niagara Peninsula.  This Ford is made in Canada (it says so right under the radiator fill cap) so presumably it was manufactured in Windsor or Oakville Ontario, if the Oakville plant was in operation in 1927.

This car was a classic model.  There were 18 million of them made in the United States and they were the car of the century that gave North Americans an affordable car made on an assembly line.

This car is one of the key inventions of the last century and perhaps in the 100 most significant inventions that brought us along on our development path in mechanization and technology.

Crime and Sharia Law in the Bahamas

So, when you think of the Bahamas, you may think of James Bond, sophisticated, tropical and exotic.  For a country that is a mere 90 miles off Miami, you couldn't be further from the truth.  Most of New Providence (where Nassau is located) looks like a Florida parking lot.  The island culture has been heavily Americanized and the last exotic thing left is that they drive on the left hand side of the road.  The socio-economic fabric is coming apart at the seams with children having children (78 percent of the households are single mothers with children from more than one man) and crime has skyrocketed.

But the Bahamas laws are still from the Stone Age and are akin to Sharia Law.  Let me quote yesterday's newspaper:

Wanted Abaco man caught

A wanted Abaco man is in custody after he was arrested on Sunday.

Jarrad Morley, 26, was wanted by police for questioning in connection with a housebreaking, shopbreaking and sacrilege investigation. Police had issued an all-points bulletin for Morley.

According to police, he was apprehended around 3 a.m. by officers in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

The arrest took place in Dundas Town near Marsh Harbour Police Station.

“Police in Abaco would like to thank the public for their assistance in this matter,” Police Affairs and Communications Officer Inspector Terecita Pinder said.

WTF - Sacrilege Investigation??????????????  Holy Cow, by saying Holy Cow can you be arrested for sacrilege investigation?  What century are we in?  If you say Buddha is a big fat jerk, does that get you arrested?  We have seen the Taliban, and they are among us.

The real ironic bit, is that Randy Frazier was a minister who was convicting of raping a 16 year old girl in the church, and he is in jail, and yet his church voted to keep him as pastor.  There is something horribly wrong in the Bahamas.

And speaking of horribly wrong, as a tourist, you were usually quite safe on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.  That changed yesterday with this newspaper clipping

Police are investigating the apparent rape of a 15-year-old female tourist on Paradise Island last night.

According to initial reports, the girl was sexually assaulted in the parking lot of the hotel where she was staying.

Police currently have a 19-year-old Bahamian man in custody assisting them with their inquiries.

The beautiful island in the sun is disintegrating before our very eyes.

1940's Vintage Fargo Truck

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I was visiting wine country, and we stopped at a farmers market.  A few vintage vehicles were on display.  Among them was this vintage 1940's Fargo truck.

This brought back memories for me, because my grandfather had a 1940's cargo panel van with the same front grill, curved fenders, pod headlights, running boards and the globe for a hood ornament.

There was chrome and red and blue enamel for decorative touches and you can see the hole in the front where you could start the engine with a crank if the battery was dead.

Bahamas Crime Report

(shot up doorway)

I missed this entry from yesterday's blog post about tourist safety in the Bahamas.  As a matter of fact, my last three blog posts deal with the frightening rise of crime in the Bahamas which is a popular tourist destination.  The following news item from the Bahamas Tribune, underscores the danger of being out late in a non-tourist area night club.

A shooting at a local club last night left five people in hospital with gunshot injuries.
The incident happened in the Coconut Grove area at a club on 7th Street off Robinson Road, around 9pm last night.
Police reports say a "dark male" standing about 5'6" tall and wearing a black and white jacket, came into the establishment and fired shots.
As a result, four people inside the club - ages 37, 33, 28, and 22 - were shot.
As the gunman fled the club, he fired more shots, resulting in a 41-year-old man being shot.
The victims were taken to hospital where two have been treated and discharged. The status of the other three victims is unknown.
Police say the suspect fled in a black Honda, driven by another man. Police are appealing to members of the public who may have information to contact them, noting they can remain anonymous.

The scenery is beautiful in the Bahamas, but it is going to wrack and ruin in the Bahamas.  The social fabric is disintegrating and crime is on the increase to the point where the murder rate is close to 7 times that of the US average.  Any sort of native culture has been Americanized and the Junkanoo celebrations happen only twice a year.  And they too are the scene of violence and crime after the parade passes.  What a shame that these islands in the sun are getting unsafer as time goes by.

Is The Bahamas A Safe Travel Destination?

The short answer is no.  The murder rate is atrocious.  Here is a clipping from today's newspaper:

LESS than two months after an attack on a senior US diplomat, another US official was robbed at the beach with his family last weekend.

Yesterday, a US Embassy spokesperson confirmed reports that the employee and his family were visiting a beach in western New Providence when they were robbed by two men.

Embassy spokesperson Neda Brown said: “No weapons were utilised and the family was unharmed. The police are investigating the robbery. We continue to encourage US Embassy personnel and all American Citizens resident or visiting The Bahamas to be consistently cognizant of their surroundings at all times to avoid being a victim of crime.”

It was not confirmed whether or not the employee was a diplomat or an American citizen. Last night, ASP Edward Ferguson said the matter involved a theft from the employee’s car, and for this reason, it was not included in the daily crime report.

Mr Ferguson said officers in the western district were investigating the matter.

In June, 74-year-old Vice Consul Kathleen Cayer was attacked and robbed as she walked to St Francis Xavier Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church on West Hill Street.

As she walked to attend the 11 am mass, a man pushed the vice consul to the ground and stole her purse, cash and jewellery. Ms Cayer suffered minor injuries.

At the time, Acting Charge d’Affaires John Armstrong downplayed the impact that the recent attack on a senior diplomat might have on relations between the US and the Bahamas.

Yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell said: “We wish to express publicly our deep regret at this. We again recommit ourselves to fighting the scourge of crime.  This kind of action does great harm to our country and we decry it in the strongest terms.”

To save your life, most shootings take place in the nightclubs after 1:00AM.  Leave early.  Take a cab.  Stay in the tourist areas.  Do not rent a scooter.  Stay at Atlantis or a resort and downtown only. Take water taxis to Paradise Island.  Don't walk about in neighborhoods that you do not know.  Do not go "Over the Hill".  You will be robbed or worse.  The socio-economic fabric of the Bahamas is deteriorating week by week.  Take lots of precautions when visiting.

Here is another clipping from today's newspaper:

A BOSTON couple were on honeymoon in Cable Beach when they were tied up and robbed inside their vacation home.
The pair have hit out at the police investigation into the armed robbery, The Belleville Intelligencer reporting that they claim their police report was riddled with mistakes, including key elements like the date of the robbery.
The pair were sleeping in a private vacation property near Cable Beach when two men broke in. The couple were tied up, with tape covering their eyes and mouths, while thieves took whatever valuables they could find, the Intelligencer reported.

Simple Pedestrian Rules For Visiting The Bahamas

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Okay, so you are visiting the Bahamas, or any tropical country.  Here are the rules for being a pedestrian:

1) Drivers are not taught defensive driving.  They do not expect pedestrians to be on the surface of the roadway.

2) The roads are narrow.  This is an artifact of the colonial days.  Property walls come right to the edge of the roadway.  Oftentimes there is no shoulder to walk on.

3) Due to lack of rigid inspection standards, the cars are in very poor shape.  Many times they cannot stop quickly due to need of mechanical repair.

4) There is rarely enforcement of drinking and driving.  Also the Bahamas has a very active drug trade.  Impaired drivers are not routinely caught.

5) Speeding is an issue.  Because of the unsafe nature of the roads, even slight speeding is dangerous.  Roads are not banked or crowned.  Visibility is poor at intersections.  Vegetation grows to the edge of the roadways.

6) Large trucks are extremely dangerous.  There is no ongoing inspection regime.  One sees bald tires, swaying loads, mechanical breakage of hitches and no brakes.  Many accidents are caused by the trucks being unable to stop on a downhill run, such as the toll gates near the bridges.  Cars have been run over by dump trucks in the past.

7) As a remnant of the British system, cars drive on the left.  If you are from the US or Canada, you always look the wrong way to see oncoming traffic.  You have to look both ways twice before stepping on the surface of the roadway.

8) There were crosswalks on West Bay Street, however the Baha Mar complex caused a huge re-route and many were removed.  Do not count on motorists stopping for you at crosswalks, even on Paradise Island where there are speed bumps in front of the crosswalks.

9)  Tourists rent scooters and they are on unfamiliar roads.  I have seen more scooter accidents than I care to remember.  They also tend to run over and into things, including pedestrians because they normally do not drive scooters at home.  If I were a tourist to the Bahamas, I would not even rent a scooter.  Many of them are not mechanically maintained, and the unfamiliar roads with the potholes and inattentive drivers means that you take your life and limb into your hands when renting them.  Often times, the owners of the scooters have lapsed or inadequate insurance.

10) Bus stops are dangerous because all of the mini-buses called jitneys are privately owned.  The drivers race from stop to stop to beat the other buses to get the fares.

11) Ambulances are unreliable in the Bahamas.  Breakdowns are frequent and they have caught fire.  Ambulance attendants are not trained to North American paramedic standards in terms of dealing with major trauma.  They lack the equipment for major, life-threatening trauma.

12) Crime is rampant in the Bahamas.  Tourist may get robbed simply for the cell phone and the gold chain around your neck.  Stick to the well-traveled tourist areas.

All this to say, is that being a pedestrian is dangerous if there are no sidewalks.  And there are few or no sidewalks in places on Shirley Street which is the only main west-bound thoroughfare in Nassau.  The above photo was taken yesterday.  The guy lay on Shirley Street for over 20 minutes, bleeding from the head after being hit by a car.  This was in spite of the fact that the hospital and ambulance base is on Shirley Street.

You are better off to take a tour, take a taxi or stay in the tourist areas.  A vacation is supposed to be a vacation, and the Bahamas is not as idyllic as the travel posters would suggest.

Safety First In The Bahamas

It is always safety first in the Bahamas.  That is why one should always wear a motorcycle helmet.  These fine dudes are totally safe and following the safety rules.