Thursday, June 28, 2007

Feeling the heat

Last week was undoubtedly the hottest week I can remember so far for this year and its only just the start of summer now. It makes sense though as last week also marked the summer solstice so hopefully things will get cooler in the following weeks. This(37C or 99F) is the highest I've seen my infrared thermometer go up to in this apartment and when I pointed at the ceiling it went up to 39c.. Is it worth it to buy an AC if I am planning on moving out within the next 12 months? This wouldn't be an issue at my old apartment, it had a pool and AC... I could be splashing around and beating the heat by the poolside everyday :(

Since there was none of the desired items at my place I went to Lime Cay on Saturday. I quickly noticed some people brought their little house dogs(are they really dogs?) I'm just imagining the dogs taking a whiz or a dump and burying it in the sand for us to find later.. how about they leave the mutts at home. Anyway the owner of this mutt to the right came in the middle of the afternoon and set down their stuff under our tree about 4 feet away from us and immediately the dog ran over and walked all over our blanket before the owner casually came over to get it back[evil thoughts flooded my brain]. We went for a walk and came back to find our blanket covered in sand and the dog sleeping in a hole he dug. Only upon our arrival back did the owner decide to look over and come to de-sand our property... is it wrong for me to want to hurt the dog and its owner at this point in time?

One thing that always amazes me at Lime Cay is the amount of container ships that always pass not too far away. Oddly enough my friend said Wingman is probably on that red ship leaving now and he called me later that day saying he was leaving on Sunday. This time his ship comes back to Jamaica so he wont get too home sick, see ya in 20 days wingman :p

The picture on the left there is one of the main reasons I don't like Lime Cay.. lots of garbage is left on the beach by the people who visit and lots of debris is washed up on the nether side of the isle. I am always amazed at what I find washed up on that side of the Cay. The picture on the right is of the beach on the way back from Port Royal just outside the airport, it was the first time I was stopping there. The picture doesn't do justice to how much debris that has washed up on shore... lol even the Pilar Del Caribe litters the beach.

The following day, Sunday, I went for lunch at the Pegasus. They have a buffet thing normally by the poolside. The pool looked good but the food was horrible, they never fail to disappoint me. I have never heard anybody say anything good about their food before and they are much more expensive than other places. They dinning area is covered and has lots of ceiling fans but the place was still blazing hot... I put them on par with Morgan's Harbour lunch buffet, don't go to either.

This week isn't as hot as last week though, I can't wait till I can sleep without the fan again.

Click here for a few more random images from Port Royal.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tagged? BS!

This is the first time I'm being tagged.. I think. Tami was the evil doer. Anyway here are my eight things about me:

  1. Aside from my parents and sister I have no blood relatives in Jamaica.. family life is a strange concept to me.
  2. I love bright yellow. A ugly girl could have on a nice yellow top and she would move up a few notches in my book.
  3. I don't fancy a lot of things other people like.. such as cake, chocolate, fast food, soda.. etc.
  4. Still doesn't mean I won't eat it if you put it in front of me.. it would be gone after 2 bats of your eye :p
  5. I have a pool table yet still I still suck at it.
  6. I'm not cheap.. I am just used to the all the years I never had money.
  7. I have 3 offices across town, every day I think long and hard as to which one I want to work at for the day.
  8. I am a very open person.. I can't keep secrets about myself. Get a few of my friends together and you would have an authoritative and complete source on my life.
As an extra I'll just throw in this, it has been a while since I put on a tie or went to church and I did both last weekend.

I guess I should tag someone now, Alex I choose you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Island village beach trip

I have never really heard of Island village in Ocho Rios before but I found myself there last Saturday evening with bff and her fambily. It was nice, they have a long board walk lined with shops which leads to the beach at the west end of Ochi. The first thing you see as you enter their beach was a huge blow up water slide which you can get a glimpse of in this first picture and everyone(but me) had fun sliding down there.

The beach was nice and cute but that is only if you were wearing blinders and ignored everything outside of the immediate environment. Some people call it a water way, I call it a gully and there was one a few meters away to the right of the beach.. not cool.

To the left of the beach further up the bay is what I would consider an industrial docking bay, the ship that was there [un]loading stuff was just pumping out waste fluid nonstop, I think the crystal clear waters of Lime Cay outside of Kingston harbor is the lesser of these two evils.
Eventually everybody got up on the floating trampoline in the sea. That climb out of the water on to the trampoline was so hard, I helped most of the people I was with up but struggled to get up by myself. I bounced around a few times and boom flicked off into the water.. if I was 15 years younger I'd probably go back up and jump off a few more times, sigh old age.

They eventually closed the beach at 5pm an kicked us out as they were going to have some Father's day show at the amphitheater in the middle of the compound. I wanted to stay longer but the compound was closing for the show plus the party I was traveling with wanted to leave for town early.. lame. It has been a while since I have spent any time in Ochi, maybe next time I could stay a bit longer and be a tourist. Before we left though I wondered around the Island Village compound and paid my dues

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Haste makes waste

I think I am a generally laid back person, my father says if I was anymore relaxed I would fall asleep. I think corporate life has be slowly creeping up on me though, I find myself getting aggravated while sitting in traffic to/from work. I'm sure there were other things bothering me but my mind is drawing a blank at the moment. There is no real rush to reach, work why let the traffic bother me?

Upon reviewing the last couple of months somehow I came to the conclusion that I was living life in the fast lane and need to slow down a little. I normally come to this realization once a year or so and try to adjust accordingly. So for the past week while driving about the place I have been telling myself haste makes waste repeatedly to help have that mentality stick. Some of my friends already think I behave like an old man, I guess this will just add more fuel that that fire.

Under the theme of slowing things down I started thinking about vacation last week. For me I would be more than satisfied spending my vacation sleeping on a deserted beach somewhere watching the crabs walk by with a close friend. This is easy to get a lot of the girls I know are bums and are normally available to fill such idling requests but sadly for me I have had Disney World on my mind recently. My parents visited a few Disney parks in Orlando last month when they went on vacation(from what I dunno they are retired) and a few years ago they paid for my sister to go up too, they would never extend such an offer to me but that is a rant for some other time.

I bought this memory card for my sister earlier this year after my father lost the card from her pda and I was given the task to get another one. They came to the right person I only paid 99c and $9 to have it shipped to myself in Jamaica, it was the deal of a lifetime! Anyway ignoring my big crusty thumb, the SD card has Mickey on it! I am a sucker for anything Disney, I have fond memories of the Magic Kingdom and other parks from the last time I went as a kid more than 15 years ago. To compound things my friend left her mp3 player at my house and while going through it she had the Disney's Greatest album on it with songs that reminded me of the old Disney movies I loved.

With all that on my mind I went online and built myself a week long vacation package for myself. It was a complete package and affordable and I started to day dream at my desk of all the blissful fun I would be having until I realized my plan involved me paying for a vacation for one of my bum friends also. This threw up red flags all over the place, while it is nice having bum friends who are ready for anything anytime, they are po'. I have reservations about bums(no offence to my friends) on vacation.

Other alternatives are go with a platonic friend(may not be as fun but she could pay for herself) or go with my sister I know she loves it just as much as I do but I don't think I'm her ideal vacationing buddy. If push comes to shove I could go with my parents(blehhhh) they mentioned buying a timeshare in Orlando after having so much fun on their trip last month. My mother always complains how I never go on trips with them. I don't really see how spending a few hundred thousand to travel Europe or go on cruises with my parents would be fun but I think she hit gold when they bought that timeshare.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

H.E. Pennypacker move over

Some people make small budgets in their heads or on spreadsheets. I find that to be boring as the real advantages of keeping track of ones spending comes from the reports which will only be generated from a proper finance tool such as MS Money, Quicken or GnuCash(my fav. open source alternative) and as such I normally knock out expense reports on a monthly and quarterly basis. It doesn't take much to maintain, I just keep my receipts and sometime on the weekend I reconcile and update the books.

I started doing this in 2005 and now have a few years of data to work with. I must say I am pleased with the insight these reports provide, the chart above shows a quick overview of my income vs spending and I have highlighted the results from the 2nd quarter of 2005 2006 and 2007. There are a few more weeks left in this quarter but I don't expect the figures to change much, I also used conservative income estimates so if anything it should change for the better.

One thing that pops out at looking at that chart is that my expenses for 2007-q2 is the same as 2005-q2.. who said your expenses grows as your income grows? Well according to the reports my opex(utilities, car, food) spending has increased as expected, I have no control over inflation but since I started generating and reviewing my detailed quarterly expense reports I think I have clamped down on unnecessary capex.

These reports are always at the back of my mind I was drooling over some 44" plasma TVs the other day but decided to delay such purchases till the end of the year if there is any surplus in the budget. Last year I was drooling 26" LCD TVs but the car incident sopped up that surplus so hopefully nothing terrible happens between now and the end of the 4th quarter *knocks on wood* and there is also a surplus.

Do other people budget and plan like me or am I the only Pennypacker in blogsphere?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Work is transforming me into another mindless drone

As I have mentioned before my lust for tech is dying a slow and painful death. Taylor2nd just highlighted it for me a while ago when he asked me how come I wasn't participating much anymore on a local tech forum that we use. I used to post and idle on that site all day, reading up all the new tech news hot off the press as it unfolds but work has gotten in the way now. I still load the page the first thing in the morning when I get to work but there is no guarantee that I will look back in that window for the next couple of hours.

Also a couple of weeks ago during a conversation with Taylor2nd I realized I have thrown away my BSD past. Currently I am using a 64bit-pure based port of Slackware Linux since AMD released their cheap AM2 64bit processors about 10 months ago. I must say it sucks the developers of flash/java plugins for FireFox have decided that there aren't enough users to care about getting them working on this platform so I have been browsing sites unable to see flash/java content.

The lack of java/flash support pushed me to download NetBSD3.1 x64 to install and abandon Linux once again. I have always liked NetBSD but never used it on my desktop because they lack support for key hardware as I would find out after installing, rebuilding the kernel, building desktop and finding that there was no nvidia devices detected for my video card. This is the shit I went through in the 90's when trying to get X to work on redhat 4.x but I am now in the know that there is no way X on netbsd will work with my video card so I had to nix NetBSD x64 from my list of suitable desktop OS replacements.

At this point I could no go back to no flash/java support so I decided to give NetBSD 3.1 x86 a try. I installed, rebuilt the kernel, built, no cigar.. the same video card problem popped up. I could always go FreeBSD x86, I know they support my hardware, but for some reason I have my mind set against it. I think I might end up throwing away x64 Linux for a i386 version of Slackware.. one step forward, two steps back.