Crime Waves

I was talking to an acquaintance yesterday who had a motor stolen from his boat. The replacement cost is $10,000. In this recession, nothing is safe in these tropical islands. The loss to him was that he would be unable to go lobster fishing this season. Many amateur lobster fisherman are not going on the water, because they cannot afford to fix their boat engines.

As the situation gets more desperate, the robbers and thieves become more brazen. I was talking to a woman who's daughter was forced out her car at gunpoint, and her wallet and cellphone were taken.

The one bit of good news is that the bulk of the crime wave does not happen in the tourist areas, and I live and work in those areas. For example, my BMW was stuck in airport for five weeks, and it was quite apparent that the car was there for a while. I have disc brakes on all four wheels, and the disk rotors are usually shiny, but had a thin patina of rust on them from all of the rain. There was stuff in the trunk, and my transponder to go on the bridges to Paradise Island for free. All of this was untouched.

And speaking of the BMW, I finally have a new key and I am driving my car again. It was all thanks to Bob and Jamie at Otto's BMW Center in Ottawa Canada. No other BMW dealer in this hemisphere would help me, especially since the Beamer is a right-hand drive car.

So the beat goes on. Thank goodness that other than the Lovely One's mugging attempt, we haven't been touched by the crime wave, and we intend to keep it that way.

New Food Invention -- Sea Grape Syrup

I periodically profile my Eureka moment for new inventions. Today's entry is a little different. It is for a novel, new gourment food. The idea for this came by accident.

Last year, I thought that I would make unique island gifts for Christmas. One thing found in these islands is seagrape. I thought that I would make seagrape jelly as a gift for all of my friends up north. It would be a novel gift from the tropics. Pictured above is a seagrape tree. Seagrapes are used for hedges and property lines, but they also grow into big trees, as pictured above. They bear green fruits that turn purple when ripe.

Collecting seagrapes is not like other grapes. For one, they have a huge seed in the middle, and only a small layer of pulp covering the seed. The second differentiator, is that seagrapes do not all ripen at the same time. They ripen a few at a time, and the rest of the fruits are green and indedible. The easiest way to harvest seagrape, is to let the fruit fall, and pick it up from the ground.

Instead of collecting seagrapes for my jelly, I bought a huge bag of them for a dollar from the Haitian fruit vendor lady. I then went looking for pectin, to make the jelly set. It was unavailable on the island. The fruits were starting to get very ripe, so I followed the recipe by boiling the fruits with sugar and lemon juice, and I put them in jars, thinking that I would add the pectin when it became available.

The jars have been in the fridge all this time. I did get some pectin from Canada, but never re-processed the jars due to time constraints.

Here is where the inventing comes in. Last Saturday I made some delicious cornmeal and sour cream pancakes. I normally put organic honey from Abaco on my pancakes, however the honey was in the fridge, and it was so cold that the honey wouldn't pour. I saw the jars of seagrape syrup waiting to be jellified. On a whim, I opened the jar, and dumped a generous portion on the pancake.

It was delicious. The seagrape syrup was just as good as real maple syrup. Here is a novel food idea ready to be commercially exploited. When you start seeing seagrape syrup in the gourmet food shops, remember that you read it here first.

Chinese Cyber Spies Hack Australian Film Festival

The cowardly Chinese are at it again. The government-sponsored hackers attacked the website of Australia's largest film festival on Saturday last. The reason that they did this was because the festival was showing a film on Rebiya Kadeer (pictured above). Rebiya leads a group of ethnic people in China called Uyghurs who want democracy from the nasty, human-rights violating machine that is the Chinese government.

I have personal reason to castigate the Chinese, because they have launched hacking attacks on my own servers. I was mentioned on a CNN online page about Chinese cyber spying. You can see my collection of blog posts on the subject by clicking here.

The Chinese hackers bombarded the Australian film organizers with emails filled with f-words, calling them racists and haters of the the Chinese people. It called for an apology to the Chinese people.

The amazing thing is that billions of Chinese don't ask the obvious question. The obvious question is why they tolerate the abuse of their own human rights. The obvious question is why they tolerate a state machine that dictates their actions and represses and censors their information.

The Chinese hackers do not realise that they are emasculated eunuch attack dogs of a self-serving few who call themselves the Communist Party. Their energies would be better served trying to free themselves of the tyranny of the Chinese government, rather than being two-bit tinpot mouthpieces for a corrupt, truth-denying political machine.

Surf The Web Privately Part II, Blocked Referrers

When I examined the web analytics for my blog recently, I saw a pile of "Blocked Referrer" entries. In the past couple of months, I profiled Scroogle.com, where one could go to their site, and using their proxies, surf the web anonymously. You may find that article by clicking HERE.

I thought that the inventors of Scroogle had a winner of an idea. Everyone likes their privacy at one time or another. However they are not going to get rich from their idea, because of the new Google Browser called Google Chrome.

As it turns out, my blocked referrers probably came from Google Chrome. Chrome has the capability of opening a browser tab and surfing the web anonymously.

This fact is amazing because Google makes most of its money from webvertising, and its efficiency in doing so is garnered from knowing where the buyers on the web came from.

Conspiracy theorists would ask the question: "Does Google block the referrers of Google Chrome to everyone except its webvertising clients or web analytics?" Enquiring minds want to know.

Ahoy Havanna

A few years back, some enterprising Cubans hankering to put some ocean between themselves and the Castro brothers welded pontoons and a bow to an old green truck and set out for the United States, an episode which you may have seen in the news. Sadly, the U.S. Coast Guard took a dim view of the escapade and sunk the craft after taking aboard the crewmen.

A couple of years ago, a Miami car dealer had the equally enterprising notion that a recreation of the M/S Chevy would be a first-rate piece of P.R. among his mostly Cuban customer base. A hundred grand and a few buckets of green paint later, herewith the result. Now this is admittedly a bit spiffier than the original, what with the Cuban flag upholstery and all, but it is unlikely you'll run into anything like this out on the Interstates up there in America. Eat your heart out, Hummer owners.








Spending the Summertime Naturally High

Another Sunday in Paradise, and I will be able to sneak a few hours off for some beach time. Yesterday, I got my swim in, swimming half the length of Cabbage Beach. I did go to the office, but I didn't feel cheated out of a Saturday, because after my swim, the sky got dark and it started to rain.

Today the sun is shining in the tropics, and I'm going to soak up the sun. I am to meet a friend, Susi from Munich Germany, on the beach and perhaps later on we will catch a burger and a beer at the harbourside Green Parrot.

The "Lyrics For Your Life" karaoke machine in my head is in overdrive. (Readers of the blog will know that I have song lyrics for every occasion spontaneously pop into my head.) Today, not only will I be as Cheryl Crow says, "soaking up the sun", but I will, as Elton John sings in Texan Love Song, I will be "spending the summertime naturally high". Carole King finishes this off with her lyrics, "these are the good old days". And so they are.

P.S. The catamaran pictured here belongs to fellow Canadians, Wes and Janice, who sold everything and live on the boat. They were baking bread when I boarded the boat.

Google Chrome

I finally did it. I made the switch to the Google Chrome browser. I had downloaded the browser previously and thought that it was gimmicky and never used it. I thought nothing of it.

Then a few days ago, I noticed that the Explorer Browser was extremely slow. It would be lethargic and would stop in mid-typing and freeze for a minute. I was sure that I had spyware, malware, a keylogger or something.

However, after checking with the best free antivirus software in the world , I realised that it wasn't that. It was just crappy Microsoft again. And when you go on Youtube , the site told me that I was using an outdated browser.

This morning after waking in a fog from two days away in Freeport, I checked my mail and was totally underwhelmed with how long it was taking. On a whim, I downloaded Chrome. The download was quick.

When I ran Chrome, I was amazed. It is blazingly fast. It is almost as if I got another processor. Videos load quickly. This has got to be the fastest browser that I have ever used.

I then tested it on our corporate website that has jsps, pdf on the fly makers, all sorts of browser and session objects and javascript where Firefox fell down, and it worked fine.

I have to say, I am a believer in Chrome.

Fruits In Season

Several tropical fruits are in season. Mangos are in season as well as sapodillas or dilles. Regular readers will recall that this fruit tastes like either pumpkin pie or apple pie, complete with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

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.

Possible New Karla Sighting

A reader of this blog informs me that there has been a possible new sighting of Karla Homolka in Ottawa, Canada. This reader speculates that Ottawa is the seat of government and that the notorious and infamous torturer and serial killer was there on the business of trying to change her name again (not a re-hash of the Emily Tremblay story) or some other matter related to her past incarceration and business with federal government.

The rest of the posts on this blog as to Karla's whereabouts can be read by following this link:

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

Anti Virus Comparisons

I have been through hell lately with a severely infected computer. As it turned out, the machine was infected with Trojan.Win32, TR/Dropper.Gen Trojan, Win Backdoor, and a worm virus that manifested itself under many names. In addition there was Adware which popped up porn pics of Brazilian nudes. (A colleague asked to have that one installed on his machine).



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 went to pandasecurity.com. The scan took all night, and told me that I had some infections and it wanted me to pay to remove the infections. Waiting all night wasn't worth that.

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.

I decided to try SuperAntiSpyware. This program was great at identifying all of the variant of viruses and trojans that I had infecting the machines. It asked me to pay to get rid of some of them. The scan also took a long long time.

Finally nearing desperation, I tried AVIRA. You can find it here: http://www.avira.com/


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.

To me, AVIRA is the best anti-virus package on the web and the good news is that it is free for personal use.

AVIRA saved me a lot of grief, and saved me a lot of time, and I highly recommend it.



Tropical Snakes

This is the first snake that I have seen in two years of living in the tropics. I have to look it up to identify it. It was killed by a bird, and has a couple of puncture wounds on the underside.

The kitties were quite wary of it, even though it was dead.

Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Tournament for Volunteers

Regular readers of this blog will know that every year since I have been in the tropics, I carry the bag for a celebrity in the Michael Jordan Invitational Golf Tournament. This happens every January. This year I caddied for tennis great Boris Becker. Needless to say, it is a volunteer job that I love.

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:



A team mate strolls to the tee box, assessing his shot.

Another member of our foursome assesses his second fairway shot on a long par five.

The last member signals a thumbs up on the signature 17th hole by the ocean. In the background there is a jetski, a parasail and a cruise ship. Ironically, just behind him is golf ball beach, where I amassed my golf ball collection.

I had the game of the year for me. I have trimmed down and gotten fit and although I do not hit the long ball as far as I used to, my accuracy has improved and my score was amazing.

I mistaken announced that 2010 was the last year for the Jordan in the Bahamas. I was wrong about that statement and wish to retract it and apologise to anyone for any stress and inconvience that it may have caused.

And They Stole The Dog Too



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.

My friend was taken by ambulance to the hospital, due to the extreme blow to her head and cuts and bruises. She was later discharged and stayed at a friend's house last night.WE NEED TO FIND SOPHIE!!! She is the love of my friend's life and she is absolutely distraught!!

There is a $ 500.00 reward, no questions asked. Tel 427-0841

The puppy's name is Sophie and she is bigger now than she is in the pictures where she was only 7 weeks old. She just had her face groomed last week and she has 4 beads on her right ear. She is white and has fluffy hair. Please look out for Sophie and tell everyone you know and be careful.

Nation-building is tough in a place where most of the populace is complacent and inertia reigns supreme.

Focus Groups


For the past two nights, my colleagues and I have been huddled around this TV set at a marketing company. On the other side of the building in the boardroom, they assembled focus groups -- core groups of a representative demographic to whom we want to market our money cards. We were discretely watching the proceedings over closed circuit TV.
It has been a fascinating insight in the lives of the people here. These are some of the nuggets that I have gleaned.
  • 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.

A Bahamian Idyll


It was a sunny, sunny Sunday in Paradise. It epitomised the Fludd lyrics "we were down by the sea, it was a holiday". It was a stolen moment from a hectic work schedule. For that day and moment in time, it was my place in the sun, where my restless heart stopped running for an afternoon, and I reveled in the peace and serenity of my circumstances.

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:

"I ain't got digital,
I ain't got diddly squat,
It's not getting what you want,
It's wanting what you got!
I'm gonna soak up the sun !!!!"
And so it was.

Roach On Your Bread

Poor Monica. She is a marketing assistant at the office. She went to the chocolate milk container to make herself a cold chocolate milk:

When she opened it an peered inside, this is what she saw:

The mystery was how the cockroach got into the sealed container.

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.

Social Dysfunction

I found this name tag on the beach. Apparently a group of youth had a class trip to the beach for a fun day full of activities. Here are my observations of this name tag:

  • 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.

Fish Barbeque


I went spear fishing with a friend. Afterwards, we started the barbeque, cooked the contents of our cooler, and had an amazing seafood dinner.

Bastille Day

Due to our emotional ties to the south of France, I would like to wish every a Happy Bastille Day.

They certainly do celebrate it here in the Bahamas, oddly enough at a restaurant called Provence.

Things That Need Inventing - Improved Beer Bottle Cooler


This is part of my continuing series on how to get rich by inventing things. I provide the idea and you do the work, and when you get super rich, you will remember where you got the idea.

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.

One of these should sell like hotcakes.

I have all sorts of ideas that need inventing. To see some of them, click on this link:

How to Picnic on a hot tropical summer day

When the sun is beating down, and you are grilling on the beach in the tropics, there is only one way to have a picnic -- by dragging the picnic table in the surf to cool off.

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.

Men Being Men

Ladies, this picture proves that men are simple, and men will always be men. If you want to understand men, this picture says it all. Here you have the most powerful men in the world. They were derailed easily. Instead of saying "Look !! A shiny object", all you have to do is have a woman with a sexy body walk by. Men are simple creatures.

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.

Ghetto Prom Shoes

Here we go again -- ghetto prom shoes. Never ceases to amaze me.

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:

Geography
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.

Sociology
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.

Biology
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?
A. Nearby

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.

English
Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

Technology
Q. What is a turbine?

A. Something an Arab or Sheik wears on his head.


Queen of the Prom

View From Our Back Yard In Canada

The Lovely One is up north, spending some time away from the tropical heat. She sent these pics of the view from our back yard and a special visitor.

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.

A Spirit of Extreme Generosity

The Beatles had a song with the lyrics "I get by with the help of my friends". In these tropics, this statement is really true. I am still without a car. I left the keys to the BMW in a hotel room in Freeport, an island to the north, and they were the only set that we had. In spite of knowing where I left them (on the telephone table in the room), the hotel was unable to find them.

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.

Rest and Relaxation on a Private Island

I have been working incredibly long and hard lately and a couple of friends (Stephanie and Shelley) invited me to accompany them for a day of rest and relaxation on a private island a few miles offshore. The Lovely One is up North and couldn't accompany us.

We arrived at an incredibly beautiful beach. We swam, and went spearfishing. I found myself in a school of jacks. I speared the biggest one, only to have a barracuda rush in and grab my fish. We grilled hamburgers and sausages instead, and washed it down with beer.

Then some more friends showed up in a big boat, and Shelley and I hitched a ride back to Nassau in the big boat.


It truly felt like a festive holiday, and it was a marvellous way to wash away the stress of my job in the tropics.

Rain Rain Go Away


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.

How To Stop Muslim Terrorists Effectively and Inexpensively

I went on a business trip on Thursday morning to Freeport that was supposed to last a few hours. Instead of returning home Thursday night, I had to stay over. I washed out my underwear and socks in the sink. Thank goodness I brought a spare shirt.


Friday night came and I still wasn't getting any closer to Nassau. I bought a shirt and socks and underwear. In the hotel room, I watched CNN. One of the stories was that Islam fundamentalists were building a mosque in Pakistan.



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.